Did you know that mums (chrysanthemums) don’t have to only last one season? With a little work, your hardy mums can survive the winter!
Step #1: Prepare the Soil for Water Drainage
A very important part of winterizing your mums begins when you plant them. Make sure that the soil drains well so puddled water doesn’t form ice on the roots!
It’s not the cold temps but usually, ice on the roots that kills your mums.
Step #2: Cut Back to 3 or 4 Inches
After a few hard frosts, the leaves on your plant will turn brown and die, now is the time to cut back, to about 3-4 inches.
If you cut it too far back, less fresh stems will grow back in the spring.
Step #3: Cover With Leaves and Mulch
After the ground freezes, you will want to cover the plants with leaves and mulch.
A nice heavy layer. This is to keep the ground from thawing out and refreezing, which is not good for the plant!
Optional: Pull and Store
Your other option is to pull the plants before the first freeze. Clean the roots of dirt (or bugs).
Some gardeners use a disinfectant or a hot water dip to control eelworms. The recommended treatment is five minutes in water at 46°C (114°F).
After this, dry the stools thoroughly, trim the roots to about 15cm (6″) in length, and then box them in seed trays using an open compost.
Store in an airy place (a cold greenhouse is fine) and keep the compost dry. Plants grown in pots can be moved into a cold greenhouse, or some other sheltered place and, as above, kept dry.
Step #4: Start Watering in Early Spring
In the early spring, start watering to encourage growth. Remember not to put Chrysanthemums outside, in the spring, until the danger of frost has passed.