Mum’s the word

Rappahannock News - - FROM PAGE ONE -

Don’t toss out those au­tumn mums just be­cause they turn brown and ap­pear dead. Prop­erly cared for, chrysan­the­mums can eas­ily be kept over the win­ter and will con­tinue to brighten home gar­dens next year.

Yes, mums after bloom­ing look like they’re fin­ished, but don’t be fooled. Their roots sur­vive with sim­ple wa­ter­ing.

“When they were grow­ing in a farmers’ field, they were wa­tered ev­ery day,” ex­plains Chris Mullins, Vir­ginia Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion hor­ti­cul­ture and green­house spe­cial­ist. “So if you have th­ese in a pot on your deck or pa­tio, you want to con­tinue wa­ter­ing them just about ev­ery day.”

Mullins says leav­ing the brown plant ma­te­rial in­tact “will give the plant some pro­tec­tion in the win­ter­time. Prob­a­bly some­time in May you’ll start to see some shoots com­ing up.”

BIGSTOCKPHOTO

Even after they fin­ish bloom­ing, keep­ing wa­ter­ing mums will help them reap­pear next year.

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