With the proper care, Pelee mums can last from late summer, right into the fall holidays. Follow these easy steps for lasting color this fall.
Temperature – Although Pelee mums can tolerate a large range of temperatures, they are happiest with a constant temperature in the range of 65º-70° F. Use your own sense of temperature as a guideline for your plants. If you are comfortable, your Pelee mums will be comfortable as well.
Location – Avoid placing your Pelee mums in direct sunlight or deep shadows. A location in a nice bright room is ideal. A minimum of 12 hours of light (daily) will greatly increase the longevity of your potted Pelee mums.
Fertilization – Pelee mums should not require any additional fertilizer while in the home. Commercial production of potted Pelee mums is a very specialized process resulting in optimum levels of nutrition in both the leaves and the soil of your plant. There is more than enough nutrition available to your potted Pelee mums to see it through its useful life over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Watering – Pelee mums require a good amount of water to maintain optimum health. Allowing the plants to dry to the point of wilting will decrease longevity considerably. There are several rules of thumb to use when applying water in a home environment:
1. Gauge the weight of the plant after irrigation. In a few days, lift the plant again. If the pot feels much lighter than previously, it is usually a good indicator that the plant needs irrigation.
2. Place your finger on the top layer of soil and press down slightly. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it is probably a good idea to go ahead and water again.
3. If the leaves begin to droop slightly and they feel soft to the touch, the plant is beginning to wilt. It is very important to apply water immediately at this stage.
4. When irrigating your potted plant, irrigate thoroughly. Wet the entire root ball and allow the excess water to leach through the holes in the bottom of your pot. This will help to maintain healthy roots, while eliminating any excess fertilizer salts that may be accumulating near the bottom of your pot.
5. Never allow your pot to sit in a container of water. This is one of the quickest ways to destroy your roots. Once the roots are gone, the top of the plant will soon follow.
If you would like to place a saucer under your pot, try placing a half inch or so of pea gravel or large aquarium gravel in the bottom. Place your Pelee mum on top of the stones. This will keep your pot off the bottom of the saucer and away from any harmful salts or excess water. A small amount of water in the saucer can help to increase the humidity around the plant as well.
Information courtesy of Bexar-TX.tamu.edu