How to Care for Pot Mums

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Enjoy the beauty of a pot mum outdoors, on a patio, deck or porch, and then take it inside to create a bright, decorative spot for everyday or special occasions. Admire them in the late summer, right into and through fall. Give the flowers proper care to enjoy a long blooming period. Mums are easy-care plants but they can be difficult, though not impossible, to rebloom the following year.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers
  • Fertilizer
  • Provide the potted mum plant with a good soaking when you bring it home. This means pouring water into the soil until it drips out the drainage holes at the bottom.

  • Water the mum plant often to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, after the initial watering. The frequency of watering depends on the plant's location and the weather. Outdoor plants usually require more frequent watering than indoor plants. Check the soil moisture by feeling the surface; do not allow it to dry completely.

  • Place the pot mum in a sunny location. The plant needs at least six hours of sunlight, whether they are indoors or out. However, the mums do not need complete direct sunlight, as it may fade the blooms.

  • Fertilize your plant just before it begins to bloom, as evidenced by the formation of flower buds, and then again in midsummer. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, according to the manufacturer's suggestions.

  • Remove any spent flower heads. As the blooms die, pinch or clip them off. This ensures all the nutrients and moisture goes to the new buds and blooms, helping with a longer bloom period.

  • Protect the pot mum after its growing and blooming cycle ends in the winter. Place them in a protected location outdoors. Cover the pots with dried leaves or other dried garden clippings to protect them from the winter weather.

  • Prune the pot mums in late winter or early spring, after the last expected frost, when you bring them out from their protected location. Cut the plant back to a height of 12 to 18 inches.

  • Water the pot mums well as the new growth appears. Once again, give the plant enough water for it to drip out of the bottom drainage holes in the pot. Then, keep the soil moist.

References

  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
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