How Long Do Mums Bloom and How to Extend Their Bloom Time

a basket of mums on a porch in the fall

Mums, a.k.a. chrysanthemums, are one of the most popular fall flowers. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and they can brighten up any garden or porch with their cheerful blooms.

But how long do mums bloom, and how can you make them last longer? I answer these questions and share some tips on how to care for your mums so they can keep blooming for as long as possible.

How Long Do Mums Bloom?

The answer to this question depends on several factors such as the type of mum, the climate, and the care you provide. Generally speaking, mums can bloom for up to eight weeks, from late summer to early winter, depending on the variety and the weather.

However, if you buy your mums when they are already in full bloom, they may only last for a few weeks or even days.

It’s important to note that mums are “short-day” plants, meaning they begin to form flower buds as the days grow shorter post-summer solstice. This characteristic is crucial to understanding their blooming cycle.

Specifically, garden mums generally don’t begin to set buds until the evenings are around 10 hours long. The length of the day, along with temperature and plant age, plays a pivotal role in when and how profusely mums bloom.

close up of white mums
How Long Do Mums Bloom and How to Extend Their Bloom Time 4

The Two Main Types of Mums

Florist mums are the ones you usually see in bouquets and arrangements. They have large, showy flowers, but they aren’t very hardy. Florist mums are best used as annuals, meaning you can enjoy them for a short time and then discard them.

Garden mums, on the other hand, are more suitable for planting in the ground or in pots. They have smaller, more compact flowers, but they are more resilient and can survive the winter in most climates. Garden mums are perennials, meaning they can come back year after year, if you plant them at the right time and give them the proper care.

Read also: How To Grow Chrysanthemums In Pots

How to Make Your Mums Last Longer

Whether you have florist mums or garden mums, there are some things you can do to extend their bloom time and keep them healthy and happy. Here are some tips on how to make your mums last longer:

  • Choose the best mums. When buying mums, look for healthy plants with lots of buds and green foliage. Avoid plants that are wilted, yellowing, or have brown spots. Also, check the label to see what type of mum you are buying and what its bloom time is.
  • Plant them at the right time. If you want your mums to survive the winter and bloom again next year, you need to plant them in the spring or early summer, so they have enough time to establish their roots and get ready for the cold. If you plant them in the fall, they may not have enough time to acclimate and may die when the temperature drops.
  • Give them enough light. Mums need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to produce the most flowers. If you have them in pots, place them in a sunny spot and rotate them occasionally to ensure even exposure. If you have them in the ground, choose a location that gets full sun and is not shaded by trees or buildings.
  • Water them regularly. Mums like moist but well-drained soil. They do not tolerate drought or soggy conditions. Water them when the top inch of soil feels dry, and make sure the water drains out of the pot or the ground. Do not let the water sit on the leaves or the flowers, as this can cause fungal diseases.
  • Fertilize them sparingly. Mums do not need a lot of fertilizer, especially if you have them in rich soil. Too much fertilizer can make them produce more foliage and less flowers. If you want to give them a boost, use a balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) once a month during the growing season, and stop fertilizing them when they start to bloom.
  • Pinch them back. Pinching is the process of removing the tips of the stems to encourage branching and more flowers. Pinching can help your mums produce fuller and more uniform plants. You can pinch your mums from spring to midsummer, but stop pinching them when the buds start to form, usually around late July or early August.
  • Deadhead them regularly. Deadheading is the process of removing the faded or spent flowers to encourage more blooming and prevent seed formation. Deadheading can help your mums look neat and tidy, and also prevent diseases and pests. You can deadhead your mums by snipping off the flower heads with scissors or pruning shears, or by pinching them off with your fingers.
  • Protect them from frost. If you have florist mums, you can bring them indoors when the temperature drops below freezing, or cover them with a cloth or a plastic sheet at night. If you have garden mums, you can mulch them with straw or leaves to insulate them from the cold, or cover them with a cloth or a plastic sheet if the frost is severe. Do not cut back your garden mums until spring, as the dead stems and leaves can help protect the roots from the cold.
orange, red, and yellow mums in a basket, how long do mums bloom?
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Preventing Premature Flowering in Mums

Here’s a pro-tip I’ve picked up over the years: be aware of the weather’s impact on mums. In unusually cool summer weather, mums may produce buds prematurely, which can hinder them from flowering later. To avoid early flowering, pinch off these premature buds and ensure consistent watering and fertilization.

Conclusion: Chrysanthemum Blooming Time

Mums are beautiful and versatile flowers that can add color and charm to your fall garden or porch. By following these tips, you can make your mums last longer and enjoy their blooms for as long as possible.

If you have any questions or comments about mums, feel free to leave them below. We would love to hear from you!

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