Mums are popular plants, most prevalent in the fall months. This is because they are relatively easy to maintain and pinching the blossoms at the right time during the growing season can cause them to bloom in an array of stunning jewel tones for the fall season. As with any plant, mums have particular watering needs.
Established Chrysanthemum plants (mums) should be watered two or three times per week directly onto the soil. Mums that have been newly planted or repotted should be watered daily until established. Mums prefer the soil to be damp between each watering, though not to the point of over-saturation. The soil should not dry out completely between each watering.
Watering plants can be tedious and oftentimes plants recover more easily from being underwatered than overwatered. To understand what your mums need, read on.
Table of Contents
- How to Tell if Mums Need Water?
- How Do You Know When Your Mums Are Sufficiently Watered?
- Can You Overwater Mums?
- What are Signs of Overwatered Mums?
- How Long Can Mums Go Without Water?
- Should Mums’ Soil Be Moist?
- Why are My Mums Turning Brown/Yellow?
- Why are My Mums Droopy?
- Do Mums Need Fertilizer?
- How Much Sunlight Do Mums Need?
- Will Temperatures and Humidity Affect Mums?
- Will Mums Survive in the Winter?
- Will Mums Survive in Direct Sunlight?
- Final Thoughts
How to Tell if Mums Need Water?
You should water your mums with approximately one inch of water directly onto the soil at least two or three times per week. When you initially plant or repot your mums they will need daily drinks of water until they are established, at which point two to three times per week is ideal.
Some telltale signs that your mums need to be watered include crispy, dried brown leaves indicating exposure to too much heat combined with dehydration. The foliage may also appear wilted when the soil has dried out. The soil itself will look dehydrated, though it should also not be over-saturated with water.
How Do You Know When Your Mums Are Sufficiently Watered?
Ideally, established mums should be watered two or three times per week. You will know they have been sufficiently watered when the foliage is lush, green, and standing upright on its own. The blooms will look healthy, hydrated, and all foliage will grow well during the growing season.
Can You Overwater Mums?
Even though mums prefer to be regularly watered and their soil damp at all times, it is possible to overwater them. Mums that have been overwatered will appear droopy and may have a hard time recovering due to potential root rot.
What are Signs of Overwatered Mums?
When overwatered, the foliage of mums will start to wilt and discolor. Once this happens, it can be a sign of root rot from over-saturation. Mums that have been overwatered can have a hard time recovering. To avoid this, ensure potted mums are in pots with drainage holes on the bottom and that they are kept in areas with good air circulation that receive 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
How Long Can Mums Go Without Water?
When mums are initially planted and during their growth and blooming season, mums cannot go more than a couple of days without water. You want to ensure that your mums are watered two or three times per week, not so infrequently that the soil dries out between each watering but also not so often that the soil stays soggy and saturated with water as this can lead to root rot.
Should Mums’ Soil Be Moist?
Mums do not like their soil to dry out completely between each watering. If the soil dries out, the foliage will begin to wilt, indicating that it needs water right away. While mums should be watered two or three times a week ideally, they should not be overwatered.
If the soil becomes too saturated with water that does not drain well, the roots will likely start to rot. Overwatering mums is harder to recover from than under-watering them.
Why are My Mums Turning Brown/Yellow?
The foliage on your Mums can be a good indicator of what your plant needs. If the leaves are turning yellowish or brown, it could suggest a few things.
While mums prefer direct light for 4-6 hours a day, getting too much direct sunlight and exposure to the hot afternoon sun can cause the leaves and flowers to dry out and burn. If you suspect this may be the case, try moving your mums to shaded areas during the hottest parts of the day.
Discoloration to the foliage of your mums might indicate too much water or moisture being built up around the roots. Mums prefer to be well watered but overwatering or exposure to high humidity can cause the roots and foliage to rot giving it a brown or yellow appearance.
Lastly, you might not be watering your mums enough or you might be watering it incorrectly. Mums should be watered two or three times per week to maintain optimal hydration. Ensure you are watering your mums at the soil level as pouring water onto the foliage directly will cause the plant to wilt and weaken.
Why are My Mums Droopy?
Mums prefer to be well watered. If you have not watered them in a few days, your mums will let you know by looking droopy. If spotted in time, your mums will recover from this wilted phase quickly once watered. If potted, ensure your mums are in a pot with drainage holes on the bottom then place it in a dish of water so that it can absorb as much water as it needs from the bottom up.
Your mums may also appear droopy if they have been overwatered or are in an area where the humidity is too high and the ventilation is poor. This can cause the roots and foliage to rot from too much moisture. It can be challenging to save a plant that has succumbed to too much moisture but it is possible.
Make sure your mums (if potted) are placed in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom so that water does not pool around the roots and that it is in an area with good air circulation and sunlight.
Do Mums Need Fertilizer?
Once the last frost has happened for the season, you can feed your mums with nitrogen and potassium-based fertilizer to boost their new growth potential before the growing season and at the start of the growing season. By the end of summer, you should stop fertilizing your mums so as not to harm any new growth that might sprout in the fall season.
How Much Sunlight Do Mums Need?
Mums prefer well-lit areas and should be placed in areas that receive 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. You will notice that your mums flower best when grown in direct sunlight, however, during the staunch heat of the afternoon sun, they should be pulled into the shade so that the foliage does not burn.
Will Temperatures and Humidity Affect Mums?
Mums thrive in moderate climates that are not so hot that the foliage dries and burns but not so cold that they freeze even under layers of mulch. While mums prefer to be watered regularly and have some humidity, too much humidity can cause them to rot. If you live in a humid climate, keeping your mums where there is good air circulation is key.
Will Mums Survive in the Winter?
Potted mums can be brought indoors for the winter, though they should be isolated and treated before being placed with any other indoor house plants to avoid the spread of unwanted pests that may have been residing in your mums.
In the winter, you may notice that your mums produce fewer leaves and flowers as winter tends to be a dormant growth season for most plants.
Mums that are planted in the ground outdoors can survive mild winters by placing a layer of mulch over the root and soil area for extra insulation before the first frost. It is best to leave the branches and other foliage intact to act as an added layer of insulation for the plant during the winter, pruning and pinching them in the spring.
Will Mums Survive in Direct Sunlight?
Mums prefer sunlight and should be grown in areas that receive 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. Too much sunlight, exceeding this time recommendation can lead to excessive heat exposure causing the upper foliage on your mums to burn and dry out.
Mums are dazzlingly beautiful plants that bloom to impress in a variety of jewel tones. To achieve this, it certainly helps to know their watering preferences along with other growing conditions that could impact the amount of moisture present in your mums.
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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.