Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

Help for Fading Mums

By:
Yellow and red flowering mums.

Store bought mums look pretty, but those gorgeous blooms don't last long.

Every year I buy gorgeous, blooming mums in the fall; and within a week the blooms have faded and the plant is kaput. How can I make store bought mums last longer? -Meredith

Those pretty balls of blooms are irresistible, aren’t they? Like little spots of pure sunshine on a crisp fall day. Problem is, those showy Chrysanthemums are grown for selling, not for lasting.

Blooming white mums

Mums come in many varieties

By manipulating the amount of daylight, growers can force the mums into full bloom on a regular schedule that corresponds with garden center delivery dates. This gives us a steady stream of blooming pots, but it also gives us plants that are likely rootbound, stressed and on their last legs.

The blooms on forced mums don’t last long, and they’re generally meant to be enjoyed and tossed. Some varieties are winter hardy and will come back next year (check the label!), but this year’s forced blooms are likely to be short-lived. However, there are a few tricks to prolonging the bloom time and getting more enjoyment out of your store bought mums.

How to Make Mum Blooms Last Longer

  • Buy Mums with Buds: If the mums you buy are already in full bloom, you have no way of knowing how close they are to finishing. Rather than buying ones with the fullest flowers, look for plants that have plenty of unopened buds, so you’ll be able to enjoy the full blooming period.
  • Protect Mums from Sun: Mums are normally full-sun plants, but sunlight will make them bloom more eagerly. To prolong the blooms, keep the plant in bright indirect light, rather than full sun.
  • Hardy, white perennial mums

    Hardy perennial mums

  • Water Mums from Bottom: Protect your mums from rain, and water them carefully without splashing the foliage or blooms. This will help keep the blooms from spotting and browning.
  • Keep Mums Cool: Warm temperatures also encourage blooming, while cool temperatures will help mums blooms last longer.
  • Plant Hardy Perennial Mums: If you love fall mums, try filling your garden with hardy perennial varieties that will come back larger and more glorious each year. Perennial mums usually have about a month long blooming season in late summer or fall, then they die back for the winter and sprout fresh in the spring. Look for hardy mums in the perennial section of your garden center.

Further Information

Julie



Please Leave a Comment

2 Comments on “Help for Fading Mums”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  1. Lori Bosarge Says:
    November 9th, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Thank you Julie. I just purchased mums and am having the same problems. This info helped!

  2. Elizabeth polzella Says:
    October 23rd, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    If I plant store bought mums in the ground after they appear to be KAPUT will they grow and come up in spring???
    Live in Ct where winters are cold and snowy and sometimes icy

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at todayshomeowner.com.