Mum’s the word
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.”
Even after they finish blooming, keeping watering mums will help them reappear next year.