Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are a great addition to your garden. They can add an array of colors, textures, and shapes that will bring beauty to any outdoor space.
But can you plant mums in the ground? Mums can typically be planted in containers and hanging baskets or in the ground to elevate the beauty of any space (Source: University of New Hampshire). Mums are actually quite easy to plant in the ground and require little maintenance after planting.
But before you jump into planting mums in the ground, you should know a few things. Let’s take a look at how mums can be planted and what kind of maintenance is required for them to thrive.
You might wonder whether Frost Will Hurt Your Mums or Not, I wrote a whole article that I encourage you to read.
When to Plant Mums?
There are two different types of mums—gardening and florist varieties. Gardening varieties are usually hardy plants that you can plant in spring or fall, depending on your climate zone.
Hardy mums are typically available to purchase in the fall. Hardy chrysanthemums offer a wider variety of flower colors and bloom forms than the florist mums.
Hardy mums are perfect for planting as perennials and produce underground stolons making them better suited to survive colder winters. They can grow well in USDA zones 4 to 9.
On the other hand, Florist mums may not be as hardy and should only be planted in the fall when temperatures begin to cool off. Florist mums are often sold in the spring in containers and are better suited to growing in pots.
In addition, they are generally grown in greenhouses using growth hormones to prevent them from growing large.
Florist mums typically have shallow roots and aren’t best suited to grow outside as perennials.
Here is the recommendation:
- If growing mum as a perennial, plant it in early spring or at least six weeks before the first harsh frost in the fall.
- And if growing chrysanthemums for a pop of fall color to elevate your late-season garden, plant your mum plant when they flower in later summer or early fall and treat them as annuals.
Once you have determined which type of mum you have purchased, it is time to start planting!
Where Should You Plant Mums?
Mums require full sun exposure (at least 6 hours per day) and well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter like aged compost or manure.
They should also be spaced between 18-24 inches apart, so they have plenty of room to grow without overcrowding each other.
It is also important to ensure that your soil pH isn’t too acidic or alkaline; most mums prefer slightly acidic soils with a pH between 6-7.
Maintenance Requirements for Mums
Once your mums are planted, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance tasks like watering and fertilizing. Watering should be done regularly but not too frequently as mums do not like wet feet; about 1-2 inches of water per week should suffice for most climates.
Fertilizing should also be done every 2 weeks with an all-purpose fertilizer formulated for flowers; this will ensure that your mums get all the nutrients they need while blooming!
Additionally, deadheading spent blossoms helps promote new growth and keeps your plants looking their best throughout the season.
Planting Mums in the Ground
If you want beautiful pops of color in your garden throughout the summer and early fall months, then planting mums in the ground might be the perfect option for you!
Proper care and maintenance allow these hardy plants to bring beauty and life to any outdoor space while providing vibrant colors throughout the season.
Here are the key steps to successfully plant mums in the ground:
1- Selecting a Location
When selecting a location for your mums, choosing a site that receives full sun (at least six hours per day) is important.
The rule of thumb is to choose a garden spot with rich, well-drained soil and full sun.
Mums do best when they are in well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter like compost or manure. If the soil has poor drainage, consider planting your mums in raised beds or containers instead.
2- Mulch and Fertilizer
Once you have selected your location, mulch and fertilizer should be added if needed. You can use organic mulch like shredded leaves or straw to help retain moisture and protect your mums from extreme temperatures during both winter and summer.
Additionally, adding fertilizer will help ensure that your plants have enough nutrients throughout their life cycle.
3- Planting and Watering
When planting mums, dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball of the plant but no deeper than 3 inches below the surface of the soil. Place your mum gently into the hole so that it is snug against the sides, and fill it with soil until it is level with the surface of the soil.
Water deeply after planting and continue watering once or twice a week for at least two weeks afterward. This will help ensure that your new plant is properly established before winter arrives.
How Do You Winterize Garden Mums?
Sometimes garden mums do winterkill, mainly if the soil drains poorly or when the temperature drastically drops. Mums can be very quickly damaged by freezing because of their shallow root systems.
Here is How To Winterize Garden Mums:
- You can winterize your garden mums and prevent all the damage with mulching and proper care in the fall.
- Keep in mind adding to your garden mums will increase their chance of surviving the winter, particularly if the dead plant stems are removed in the spring.
- For optimal results, add a 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch over the crowns of plants.
- The following are for mulching garden mums: shredded bark, pine needles, clean straw, or evergreen, according to University of New Hampshire garden experts.
- Avoid using leaves, as they can flatten and offer very little insulation.
- Cut back dead stems before your garden mums start to grow again.
What to read next:
- Are Mums Indoor Or Outdoor Plants? (With Examples Types Of Mums!)
- Are Belgian Mums Annual or Perennial? (Let’s find out!
Planting mums correctly can make all the difference between having healthy plants throughout their life span or having them die off prematurely due to improper care.
When planted correctly, they should thrive even under cold weather conditions and bring color to your garden all year round!
With proper maintenance (like regular watering), they should last you many years—so why not give them a try? Planting mums in the ground doesn’t have to be hard—just follow these steps for success!