Mums are full sun plants and need to be placed in full sun to bloom out fully before setting them in entry ways or other dimly lit areas. A green mum will not bloom out if set in shade or even half shade.
Always pick up the pot to see if the plant is light. Mums should dry out slightly before the next watering. During cool, overcast weather they will not dry out as fast as on warm, windy days. A plant on the east side of the house will need less water than one located in full sun, but do remember that a potted plant requires more water than one planted in the ground. Bottom watering is the most effective. Set the pot in a pan of water for about 20 minutes and let it soak. Be sure to remove the plant promptly as sitting in water for a prolonged time will cause root rot. Overwatered and underwatered plants will display similar symptoms: limp, yellowish green leaves and smaller flower size. If the pot feels heavy let it dry out before watering again.
Mums are zone 6 plants which means that sometimes they live and sometimes they don’t in our zone 4 and 5 gardens. We can attempt to create a microclimate by placing them on the east or south side of a windbreak, plant into loose, fertile soil in a well-drained area, leave the dead tops on over the winter, mulch with an 8” layer of straw or loose leaves around Christmas time, and be sure they are well watered at Thanksgiving time before the ground freezes. Spring planted mums have a better chance of overwintering but that is no guarantee with a tender perennial. We enjoy them for what they are: beautiful, long lasting fall color which no other plant can rival. We hope you enjoy them too!
Fall Mums & More
Many visitors make Groth’s a stop on their annual fall outings. We have 3500 high quality, reasonably priced potted mums in every color imaginable. The plants are huge, loaded with buds, and will remain in color for 4 to 6 weeks. People are constantly amazed at the quality of the plants and will ask Deb how she “gets them like that.” “It’s what I do all summer. I enjoy growing the plants, pay attention to what they need and make sure they get it,” is the answer. We also grow over wintering fall pansies, which bloom until early December and return in the spring even bigger and better.
Fall wouldn’t be complete without pumpkins, gourds, ornamental corn and squash and we have a great supply of locally-grown ornamentals for all your fall decorating needs. Folks also enjoy the many mixed containers we’ve grown and trialed over the summer, and enjoy sharing photos of their successes as well! Preordering hanging baskets for the following spring has become part of the fall package at Groth’s. We love to know what people have enjoyed so we can grow more of those plants the following year!