What to Do With Mums in the Spring
Will My Chrysanthemums Ever Be Pretty Again?
Here's a picture of the mums I bought for our front porch last fall. Gorgeous! These pretty chrysanthemums served their purpose. We enjoyed their beautiful coral color every single day.
Then came winter. The flowers faded, and finally the blooms froze. At that point, I moved the two pots to the end of the porch and pretty much ignored them— until now. It's mid-April as I write this. What should I do with my mums now that it's spring?
It's Spring: Time to Prune My Mums
There's Life in Those Mums, If You Choose to Revive Them
First I want to state that I am NOT a gardener. I'd like to call myself a "lazy gardener," but that would be far too generous. Lazy yes, gardener no. I buy plants and do a bit of transplanting here and there, but that's about the extent of it (though I'm going to try to do better, I promise). So if you read anything on this page that goes against what you already know to be true, forgive me and leave a comment to set me straight.
My two Rosy Victoria Coral garden mums spent the winter freezing their pots off, sitting on the far end of the porch. Occasionally they'd get a little bit of rain and several times we had to rescue them after the wind blew too hard and the pots went flying off the porch.
So today, I was quite surprised that despite the neglect there were actually some rather wilted green leaves growing up from the bottom on both plants. The decision has been made— I'm going to try to get these babies growing again.
How to Revive Mums
- Prune all the dead parts down to the roots.
- Add a little fresh compost or fertilizer to the soil.
- Move the pot to the sun.
- Water thoroughly.
- Keep an eye on the plants and take extra care watering and watching for insects as the new growth establishes itself.
- As mums begin to grow through the spring and into summer, they're going to start producing buds. To get the most out of a mum, it's best to prune those buds, pinching them back until the time comes to let the plants develop new leaves, branches, and flowers. That way they'll look gorgeous next fall.
How to Revive Mums: Step-by-Step Photo GuideClick thumbnail to view full-size
Should You Try to Revive Mums or Throw Them Away?
There's no shortage of chrysanthemum sales around here in the fall. In fact, after a long, hot summer many people can't wait to get rid of their spent annuals and replace them with colorful potted mums, already blooming and beautiful.
Then there are those who nurture mums from year to year, letting the plants die off in the winter then pruning and caring for them through the summer, keeping them trimmed up so they'll be gorgeous again when cooler weather arrives.
What will you do?