Mums, also known as chrysanthemums, are a genus of flowering perennials native to Eastern Europe and Asia. They typically grow to about 18 inches in height and produce large, ornamental flowers in late summer and early fall. The flowers can be a myriad of colors, depending on variety. Potted mum plants require little care to grow and can thrive in the home garden with only routine maintenance.
Plant mums in a 7-inch pot with a growing medium made up of two parts potting soil, one part peat moss and one part organic compost. Keep the potted mum plant in a location that receives full morning sun and partial afternoon shade during the first year of growth.
Keep the potted mum plant at a daytime temperature between 75 and 80 degrees F and an overnight temperature between 60 and 65 degrees F. Place a thermometer near the mum plant to ensure it stays within the recommended range.
Water potted mum plants twice per week throughout the year. Apply enough water to moisten the soil, yet not enough to leave it wet and soggy. Use a spray bottle to mist potted mum plants once per day to increase the relative humidity.
Feed potted mum plants once per month using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Water both before and after applying the fertilizer to prevent root burn from the sudden influx of nitrogen. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for correct dosage. Do not fertilize during November, December or January.
Remove any faded or dead flowers as soon as possible to prevent them from turning into seed. Pinch them off as close to the stem as possible, and the potted mum will quickly form new blossoms instead of using nutrients to form seeds.