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How to Overwinter Fall Mums Indoors

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When you think about the seasons and the flowers associated with them, several plants are likely to pop in your mind. Chances are when you think about fall, you see beautiful, flowering mums, or more specifically, chrysanthemums (Dendranthema x grandiflora). Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, mums are often treated as annuals and tossed out each year. This is needless. You can leave your garden mums in the ground during winter, especially with a layer of mulch in the cooler zones. However, because potted plants are more susceptible to cold damage, bring your mums indoors for winter safekeeping. Come spring, take them back outside and start your watering, fertilizing and pruning regimen so you can produce lush, compact, blooming wonders for which mums are prized.

Keep mums outdoors until the foliage and flowers die back after the first frost. Cut the brown foliage and stems, leaving 1 inch above the soil line. Use sterilized pruning tools so you don’t transfer disease to the mums.

Move the plant indoors to a dark area that is between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A basement or unheated closet might work well. If temperatures could drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, wrap the bottom and sides of the pot with three or four layers of newspapers.

Water mums so the soil is slightly moist during winter dormancy. Feel the soil about 1 to 2 inches deep two or three times a month and irrigate the plant when the soil feels dry.

Keep mums indoors until one week before the last expected spring frost. At that time, take the pot outdoors to its summer location for two or three hours, then bring it back indoors to its winter location. Each day, bring the pot outdoors and leave it there for an hour or so longer each time. After the last expected frost, keep mums outdoors and begin their regular growing season care.

How to Overwinter Fall Mums Indoors. When you think about the seasons and the flowers associated with them, several plants are likely to pop in your mind. Chances are when you think about fall, you see beautiful, flowering mums, or more specifically, chrysanthemums (Dendranthema x grandiflora). Hardy in U.S. …

How to Keep Mums Alive Inside

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Mums, short for chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum spp.), are a bright addition to the indoor garden, with multipetaled blossoms in pink, yellow, white, red and orange. These perennials, hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, grow 1 to 2 feet tall and equally wide. As houseplants, mums are prized for their ability to cleanse the air of pollutants. Keeping mums alive indoors is relatively easy. By paying close attention to their cultural requirements and monitoring plants for an occasional pest you can extend the life of these colorful blooms.

General Care

Plant mums in pots filled with fresh, sterilized, well-drained potting medium. This applies to growing mums indoors or in containers outside.

Irrigate the potting medium only when the soil begins to feel dry to the touch, but do not wait so long that the plant begins to wilt. Avoid overwatering that results in puddled water, because wet soil leads to root rot.

Place mums in an area of the home that provides filtered, bright light, such as a window. Avoid direct sunlight that can harm the plants when grown indoors. Reduce daylight exposure to approximately 10 daily hours of sunlight to push mums to bloom.

Adjust any air conditioning in the home for a general temperature range of approximately 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for best development, particularly during nighttime hours. Though indoor mums continue to grow at daytime temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing the temperature may help keep mums looking vibrant and healthy.

Monitor and Treat for Pests

Monitor mums regularly, examining them for any changes or abnormalities.

Look for signs of an aphid infestation, because these pests are common to indoor mums. Search foliage for the presence of the tiny pests with soft bodies in a variety of colors, such as green or black, often gathering in groups on leaf undersides. Examine mums for damage, such as distorted foliage and the presence of a sticky substance called honeydew, which aphids secrete as they suck fluid from plant tissue.

Control aphids to keep mums alive. Wash aphids off of mum plants with a soap mixture of 2 teaspoons of mild detergent to 1 gallon of water, suggests the University of Missouri Extension. Saturate plants with a low-toxicity insecticide, such as an insecticidal soap, in the case of severe infestation.

Search plants for another common pest, the leafminer. Examine foliage for the tunnels they create as they feed into plant tissue. Look below the plant for leaf drop, which often occurs as a result of damage.

Remove with pruning shears and destroy plant material affected by leafminers, such as mined leaves. Apply neem oil to plant surfaces to kill leafminers, making sure to thoroughly saturate the mum plant. Plants rarely suffer severe damage as a result of these pests.

How to Keep Mums Alive Inside. Mums, short for chrysanthemums (Dendranthema x grandiflora), make visually pleasing additions to the indoor home garden, with multipetaled blossoms in a variety of hues, such as pink, yellow, white, red and orange. These flowers display green foliage and have a height and width of 1 to 2 …