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Can I Plant My Potted Mums Outside?

By Jenny Green

Growing or placing potted mums (Dendranthema x grandiflora) outdoors adds a seasonal flower display to your landscape, and planting the mums in the garden after they flower allows some plants to continue growing. Potted mums are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10a. The container label sometimes states whether a potted mum is suitable for planting outdoors.

Growing Mums Outdoors

Planting

Potted mums grow well in partially shaded and sunny spots, and in freely draining, organically rich soil. In warm climates, the plants need protection from hot afternoon sun, so plant them where they'll have shade in the heat of the day. The best time for planting potted mums outside is spring.

Remove the potted mum from its container, and place it in the hole.

Scoop the dug soil around the root ball until the hole is full.

Firm the soil gently with your hands.

Water the plant until the soil is moist to the depth of its root ball.

Watering

Deep, infrequent watering provides the best growth in potted mums. Water the plants when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. In sandy soil, the plants may need water every two or three days, but in heavy soil they need water less frequently.

Planting Faded Mums Outdoors

You can plant potted mums outdoors after they flower; this gives some plants a new lease on life, providing they receive protection from winter temperatures.

Planting

Plant faded potted mums in a sunny site sheltered from strong winds. Not all potted mums survive winter outdoors, but planting them in a warm site increases the chances of success because their root systems can develop before winter weather arrives.

Prune faded flowers where they join the rest of the plant, and prune halfway down each stem, just above a leaf. Water the plants so that the soil is moist to the depth of the root balls. Water the plants as needed while they're actively growing.

Mulching

Mulches protect potted mums from frost and heavy rain, which can cause rotting. Spread a layer of leaf mold, garden compost, shredded bark or other organic matter 4 to 5 inches deep around potted mum stems before the first local average frost date.

 

About the Author

 

A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about travel, gardening, science and pets since 2007. Green's work appears in Diva, Whole Life Times, Listverse, Earthtimes, Lamplight, Stupefying Stories and other websites and magazines.