Why do my mums die?

fall-mumsEveryone has pots of mums in Fall as part of the decorating landscape. However, when you plant them and expect those beautiful plants to pop up in your garden the next year, you’re oft times disappointed. Why? What went wrong?

Most botanical gardens and professionals treat garden mums as annuals. Here are some suggestions for overwintering:

  • Improve hardiness by planting garden mums in spring. Many garden centers now sell mums for spring planting, thereby giving the plant time to get established before harsh weather.
  • Those that are growing in your garden should be left standing for winter. The dried stems help catch snow and hold winter mulch in place. Cover plants with evergreen branches after the soil freezes.
  • Increase winter protection by mounding 6 to 8 inches of soil over the dormant plants. Remove in spring as the temperatures hover near freezing.
  • For best results, try planting hardy varieties like ‘Maxi Mum’ bred by the University of Minnesota and hardy to zone 3, or its hardy relative¬†Chrysanthemum x rebellum. ‘Clara Curtis’, ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’, and ‘Mary Stoker’ are popular cultivars for cold weather areas.

Remember to thoroughly water your mums, and all perennials, just before the ground freezes.

Written by Vicki

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