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If Mums Are Perennials?

莹723
02-03
Chrysanthemums, also called mums, are the quintessential fall flower. They're inexpensive, come in tons of different colors and bloom in response to shorter days when the rest of your garden is fading. They also have few pests and generally aren't munched by hungry deer because their foliage isn't particularly tasty.

But are mums annuals or perennials? The answer is...mums really are sort of both, depending on conditions and when you get them in the ground. If you wait until fall to plant chrysanthemums in your garden, you're missing out! Plant them earlier in the season, and you'll be able to enjoy them returning year after year.

1.What kind of mums should you plant?
There are garden mums, also called hardy mums, and florist mums. Garden mums thrive in zones 4 to 9, while florist mums—like you can buy at the grocery store in gift pots—are only hardy to USDA Hardiness zones 7 to 9 (find your zone here). Read the label so you know what you’re buying to ensure that a specific variety will survive winters in your area.

There are garden mums, also called hardy mums, and florist mums. Garden mums thrive in zones 4 to 9, while florist mums—like you can buy at the grocery store in gift pots—are only hardy to USDA Hardiness zones 7 to 9 (find your zone here). Read the label so you know what you’re buying to ensure that a specific variety will survive winters in your area.

2.Do mums come back every year?
Yes. And no! It depends on when you get them in the ground. Mums need to get their root systems established in time to survive winter. If you plant them in the fall, that's often too late because they’re putting energy into blooming, not building roots. You may get lucky if you plant them early in the season and if you choose those that are in tight bud, rather than plants in bloom.

You also have a better shot with fall planting in warm climates. For anywhere else in the country, get your mums in the ground in spring if you want them to return next year. They still will bloom this fall, too.

3.How can I make sure my mums come back?
Dig a hole slightly larger than the pot and just as deep as the root ball. Water well, and mulch to maintain moisture, keep down the weeds and offer winter protection. Water during dry spells. When the plants appear next spring, feed them with a granular slow-release fertilizer, if you like, and pinch off the tips (the top inch or so) a few times before July to encourage bushiness.

After that, stop pinching or you’ll remove flower buds. If you're not into maintenance, leave them be for a more freeform appearance. Either way, your mums won't have that tightly mounded shape subsequent seasons as when you bought them. That's because the plants you first brought home were treated with growth regulators to produce dense, rounded forms.

4.Do mums need full sun?
Absolutely! They need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Like most flowering plants, they won't bloom well if they aren't getting tons of sun.

5.Do mums need special care?
Once in bloom, don't bother cutting off spent blossoms because that doesn't extend the flowering time. Next spring, don't be too eager to yank them out if it appears they're not doing anything at first. Sometimes it takes time for them to pop up after a long winter. If you don’t see anything happening by late spring, they probably didn't make it. Treat yourself to some new mums!

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