Mums for Fall Beauty Now and For Years to Come
Mums are often the last flash of color in the garden. But getting them to survive the winter can be difficult.
I use mums as annuals to brighten my front steps, fill voids in summer containers and my garden in fall. If they make it through the winter, I am a great gardener. If not, I planned it that way.
Increase your overwintering success by leaving the mums stand for winter. The dried stems help catch the snow and hold it in place, making the perfect winter mulch. Add a few evergreen branches on top of your mum once the ground freezes for added insulation.
You can improve their hardiness by planting garden mums in spring. Mum plants are now more available in spring for this reason. Simply pinch back the plants to 4 to 6 inches throughout June and you will be rewarded with a well-rooted blooming mum in fall.
And consider purchasing some of the new hardier mums bred by the University of MN.
A bit more information: One of the hardy Minnesota mums is Mammoth Mum™ and it really is my favorite mum. This large mum is covered with blooms, needs no pinching and is hardy to zone 3. Clara Curtis, Duchess of Edinburgh and Mary Stokes are other popular mums that have been around for years and tend to survive our winters.