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Planting Indoor Gift Mums in the Garden

I received a mum as a holiday gift. How can I keep it growing until it is warm enough to plant it outside in my garden?

First you need to decide if it is worth the effort. Mums set flowers based on day length. The varieties of mums used for gift plants are not as hardy as most of the "garden mums" but typically set their flowers when the days are short and the nights are long. Under natural circumstances the plants won't start blooming until late fall (short days) when the snow begins to fly. You can grow your mum indoors like a houseplant. Remove the faded flowers, move it to a sunny window, and water the soil thoroughly whenever it starts to dry. Move the mum outdoors when the danger of frost has passed. Pinch the plant back to 4 to 6 inches throughout June to keep it tidy and compact. In fall you can try bringing your mum back indoors to see if it has set flower. Otherwise enjoy the foliage and your memories in the garden.


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