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Mums the word!

by Sue Adams

Available in dozens of gorgeous varieties and colors, mums bloom for weeks – which is why they’re a favorite for filling pots and beds when other blooming plants start to wane.  Here are a few tips for caring for your garden mums.

– Note – there are two types of mums. Those sold in Adams Tropical Greenhouse are Florist Mums. These produce few underground runners which are needed in order for mums to survive cold weather. Garden Mums, or Hardy Mums, sold in Adams Seasonal Greenhouse may survive the winter. But they need help.

– Mums love full sun, but all that heat means they need plenty of water. If you’ve repotted your mums, give them a good soak, then water every other day or when the soil is dry.

– Don’t let your mum plants wilt. Although the plants will probably survive after a good soaking, the flower buds will not last as long or look as bright.

– When the foliage has succumbed to frost, cut the plant back to the ground. Apply a thick mulch (chopped leaves, pine needles, etc.) over the plants. When spring arrives and the threat of frost is over, remove the mulch. Simple reminder: When the forsythia bloom, it’s time to remove mulch!

– When the plants are 12-18” (around July 4th), remove the top growth, taking it down to three or four leaves up from the base of the mum. This will encourage the plant to produce side branches and create a bushier, more flower productive clump.

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