Mums The Word: Six Tips To Make Mums Last To Thanksgiving


Who doesn’t love the fall season in the Hamptons? All of flowers, farms, and vegetables change, as well as the light, the color of the sky, what I want to wear, and where I want to go out to dinner….everything becomes fun and fresh again with the advent of fall.  My garden goes dormant so I love to decorate my porch pots with lots of colorful mums.

The pretty porchscape at Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor
I planted this pretty group of mums, peppers and cabbage around our mailbox at our Water Mill home, Maple Shade

Mums are beautiful fall plants that come in great autumn colors such as amber, gold, orange, purple, violet, white and shades of red and pink. These pretty plants add bursts of gorgeous color to autumn gardens and festive fall porches. Create a fall “porchscape” with mums, multi-colored pumpkins, bales of hay, and gourds ~ and sometimes I throw in a couple of buddha for an unexpected twist.

Fowlers Garden Center in Southampton has a great selection of mums and fall accents

Almost every Hamptons farm stand and nursery sells mums at this time of year, but I love the giant size, and selection, at Fowler’s Garden Center in Southampton.  They have rows and rows of mums and they replenish their inventory each week so don’t worry if you can’t make it out this weekend. Display your mums in pots or plant them in the ground and if you take good care of them, they can last until late November. Check out some easy care instructions further below:

How To Care For Potted Mums

Water the mums regularly. Soak the mums until water runs out through the holes in the pot bottom. After the initial soaking, water daily or until soil is moist. Don’t allow the potted soil to dry out, as this will harm the plant.

Keep mums in natural light or in the direct sun, whether indoors or out. Mum plants need plenty of sun for proper growth. Keep them away from night lighting, as this disturbs their flowering cycle.

Deadhead spent blooms. After flowers begin to wilt and die, pluck them from the plant at the base of the flower. Leave on any buds, blooming flowers and leaves.

Allow the mum plants to go dormant over the winter. Keep them outside once the blooms die, and mound the pots with dried leaves or garden refuse to prevent premature freezing.

Prune the mum plants in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Cut back stems to about 12 to 18 inches or shorter for bushier plants.

Water mum plants in the spring as new growth begins and color returns to the plants. Keep them well watered throughout the spring, fertilizing once a week for the first couple months and then ceasing fertilization once blooms are present. − via