Garden mums, short for Chrysanthemums, are loved not only for their vibrant fall colours but also for their minimal maintenance. Though a tough plant is a challenge many gardeners enjoy taking on, mums are welcomed into the soil for their low-fuss attitudes and their ability to stay alive longer when snipped for an arrangement (plenty of stunning arrangement ideas here!)
In the summertime, vacations are aplenty. And even though your mums are easy to care for, that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. You’ll need to implement some sort of plan if you don’t want to kill your mums this summer.
Below, we’ll give you all the notes you need to ensure you’re caring correctly for your mum garden in the summertime. Because nobody likes coming home from holiday all refreshed, only to see all their plants are feeling quite the opposite!
Summer Care for Your Garden Mums
To make sure your blooms stay healthy long enough for their big show in the fall, take heed to these tips for proper summer mum care. You’ve got this!
To Pinch, or Not to Pinch?-That is the Question
Traditional garden mums are often pinched to encourage compact, bushy growth and increased flower buds for fall. From early spring to midsummer, when the shoots are about 6 inches tall, you will want to remove the stem tips, which allows for new, lateral branches to develop. Then, pinch again when they reach 6 to 8 inches. Keep pinching periodically until early July—you’ll yield attractively compact plants with extra flowers.
- A No Pinch Alternative. Rozanne® and Friends are pleased to offer Igloo Mums, which are more reliably hardy than traditional garden mums, and naturally form compact, bushy plants with lots of flowers—without pinching in spring and summer! Time saved by not having to pinch can be better spent weeding, or otherwise enjoying your garden!
Double Your Pleasure with Igloo Mums, too
By not pinching in spring and summer, Igloo Mums will first flower in midsummer, earlier than traditional garden mums. After these flowers are spent, cut back plants halfway for a repeat flowering in the fall!
Because summer temperatures are known to dry out plants, check your mums’ moisture levels daily. You’ll likely need to water thoroughly in the hot, dry spells. You might also need to water deeply once a week in the summer. If your mums are in containers, water them until the water begins to drain through the bottom of the pot. You can also mulch with composted leaves around the plants to preserve moisture and deter weeds.
Fertilize Once a Month
Work into the soil around the plants a general purpose garden fertilizer. Use 5-10-5 at ½ to 1 pound per 100 square feet, or 10-10-10 at half that rate. Water in after application. Alternatively, water-soluble fertilizers could be used according to package instructions. Fertilize once a month during the summer months to help stimulate strong plant roots in preparation for the fall and winter time. Stop fertilizing around mid-August.
Lastly, there’s only so much you can do for your mums when you’re away on summer holiday. If you plan on being gone at all, review this vacation guide to see how you can care for your plants depending on how long you will be away.
As long as you care for your mums the right way this summer, you should have no problem enjoying the fruits of your labor come fall. If you want to stay on top of your garden with articles like these, make sure you join Rozanne’s inner circle!