Potted chrysanthemums are one of the classic fall flowers, bringing colour to the garden and containers when the blooms of summer start to fade. Starting in August, you will see them for sale at plant nurseries and grocery stores, and it’s hard to resist picking some up to take home. But you might be wondering how long these autumn beauties will last.
Potted chrysanthemums will flower for 8 weeks in cool fall weather, with individual flowers lasting for 2 to 3 weeks before they fade. You can extend the bloom time for your potted chrysanthemums with some simple steps to keep them in good shape until fall frosts shut them down for the season.
How to Care for Potted Chrysanthemums?
- Transplant them to a larger container when you get them home; at least 2 inches bigger in diameter will give the roots room to grow.
- Water them thoroughly and keep the soil moist but not sopping wet.
- Keep outdoor plants away from nighttime lights, as chrysanthemums need 9 to 13 hours of darkness every night to flower.
- Use a diluted water-soluble fertilizer once a week throughout the flowering period.
- Remove dead flowers to encourage fresh blooms.
Can Chrysanthemums Survive the Winter in Pots?
In climates with freezing temperatures in winter, chrysanthemums will not survive in pots. Their roots will not have enough earth around them to insulate them against the cold. However, if you want to save hardy chrysanthemums for next year, once the first hard frosts have hit, plant them out in a vegetable or flower bed, covering them with a loose layer of chopped leaves or straw.
Varieties that are less hardy need to be brought indoors to either a cool room or an unheated garage where they will not freeze.
Potted Chrysanthemums Temperature Tolerance?
Hardy chrysanthemums can survive temperatures as low as -20°F (-28C), but only if they are planted out in the ground for the winter.
However, many of the potted mums sold in the fall are not as hardy, and can be killed by freezing temperatures. They should be brought in for the winter if you want them to bloom again next fall.
Do Potted Chrysanthemums Come Back Each Year?
While many gardeners simply toss potted chrysanthemums at the end of the season, they can be saved from year to year with proper care. Whether you plant them out in a garden bed to survive the winter, or move the pots indoors to prevent them from freezing, they will start to put forth fresh foliage the following spring. Pinch back the stems up until the beginning of July to encourage bushy growth.
Keep them well-watered and out of the hot summer sun, and by September your potted chrysanthemums should be ready for another autumn of blooms.
When Should You Plant Chrysanthemums in a Pot?
If you’ve planted your chrysanthemums in the garden for the winter, leave them there through the spring and summer. Then, when you’re looking for fall flowers in your containers, transplant your mums to their pots for a couple of months of blooms.
If you moved your potted chrysanthemums indoors for the winter, it’s a good idea to re-pot them in the spring to a larger pot, and then set them in a shady spot for the summer.
How Long Do Potted Chrysanthemums Take to Grow?
You can grow potted chrysanthemums from seed in about 16 weeks. If you start them in early spring indoors, the plants will be in great shape by September.
How Long Will Potted Chrysanthemums Last Inside?
An indoors potted chrysanthemum will bloom for 3 to 4 weeks with proper care. Water when the top inch of soil has dried out, use a water-soluble fertilizer once a week, and remove flowers as they fade. Keep them in bright, indirect light, and set them outside or in a dark, cool room overnight to prolong their blooms.
Potted chrysanthemums are an easy way to add fall colour indoors or outside, with colours from white to dark red to complement any décor. Even better, you can usually keep these perennials alive for more than one year so that you can continue to enjoy their beauty!
See how long other potted plants last:
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- How Long Do Potted Geraniums Last?
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- How Long Do Potted Calla Lilies Last?
Janice is a retired High School teacher who is spending her leisure years keeping busy with all sorts of projects. Aside from freelance writing, she’s an enthusiastic amateur chef, home wine maker, and tends a large raised-bed vegetable garden, while at the same time running a Bed & Breakfast.