How to Take Care of the Mum Flowering Plant

Overview

Mum is short for chrysanthemum. The mum is also commonly called "The Queen of Autumn." This is because the mum blooms in August as well as the early fall months. Mums are great for landscaping because they are available in so many different colors like yellow, white, bronze, red, orange, purple and pink. If you plan on using mums in your garden, you will want to know how to care for them.

Step 1

Prepare the soil so that it drains well. Mums will not do well if the soil doesn't drain properly. Sandy type soils can be mixed with the dirt in your garden for good drainage. You don't, however, want to use something like peat soil because it tends to hold the water.

Step 2

Add a 10-10-10 fertilizer to the mum plant's soil. You will need to use 5 lb. of fertilizer for every 100 square feet of soil. Do this at the beginning of the season, and again in the middle of the growing season.

Step 3

Make sure that you plant your mums at least 18 to 24 inches apart. This will give them the space they need to grow healthy and strong.

Step 4

Water your chrysanthemums once per week unless you have adequate rain fall. You will need to water your mums two to three times per week if the temperature remains hot, the air is dry, and you haven't received much rain.

Step 5

Spread a layer of mulch 3 to 4 inches thick around your mums at the end of November. The mulch will keep the ground a little warmer so that it doesn't freeze and cause damage to the mums. You can also use the mulch year round if you have a problem with weeds. The mulch will keep many of the weeds from growing, which will save you time from having to pull them all out.

Step 6

Keep your mums in an area of the garden that receives a lot of sunlight. Mums prefer the sun, and will do much better than if you kept them in a shady part of the garden.

Tips and Warnings

  • If any part of your mum begins to wilt, cut it off. It could be infected with a disease known as verticillium wilt.

References

  • University of Minnesota: Garden Chrysanthemums
  • Purdue University: Chrysanthemums
  • Ohio State University: Growing Chrysanthemums
Keywords: flowering mum, chrysanthemums, mum care

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.