How Often to Water Mums
Chrysanthemums, commonly known as mums, are one of the most common signs of fall in the northeast, along with scarecrows and pumpkin-flavored everything. You’ve likely just gotten your mums for fall or planted a hardy perennial variety and wondered how often to water mums. This guide will cover all you need to know about watering frequency, along with how to water mums for the most success.
How Often to Water Mums
It’s best to water mums whenever their soil gets dry. Test the soil by touching the surface each day. If the soil on the surface is dry, water it deeply. If it’s damp, leave it for a day or so before checking again.
While it largely depends on whether you’re having an exceptionally dry or rainy season, once every day or two is often sufficient for most mums. They like about an inch of water per week. However, there are some signs to look for and particular conditions to consider:
Mums that aren’t getting enough to drink will become stressed, dropping their petals and ceasing production of new blooms. They often wilt, and both flowers and leaves can turn brown, dry, and/or brittle. Water your mum immediately if you spot any of these signs.
On the other hand, overwatered mums can begin to exhibit root rot and fungal diseases, causing leaves and blooms to turn black or brown and mushy. If the soil is also extremely waterlogged, try repotting it in a pot with good drainage and fresh, well-draining soil, and either lessen the amount of water you give it or keep it in an area where it will not receive as much rainwater.
Watering Mums in the Ground
Mums planted directly in the ground often need watering once every few days. When they’re first planted and getting established, plan to water every other day or as needed to keep the soil moist. Once they’re established, they may need slightly less, down to even twice a week if the soil is staying moist.
How Often to Water Mums in Pots
If you keep mums in pots, you should expect to water them at least every other day unless it rains. The containers get hotter and dry out more quickly than the ground, meaning mums, like all potted plants, will need more frequent watering than their in-ground friends.
On hot days, plan on daily watering. In addition to checking the soil surface for dryness, you can also lift your container to determine whether it needs extra water. An unusually light container = a mum in need of a drink.
Always double check to make sure your pot has at least one drainage hole. If it doesn’t, create one with a drill or other tool. Sitting water in the bottom of the container can lead to root rot.
You could also consider putting a tray or dish underneath the pot to catch extra water. This can help preserve moisture.
How Often to Water Mums in Full Sun
If your chrysanthemums live in a sunny area, you should expect to water them every day unless it rains.
How to Water Mums
Water mums deeply when it’s time. If you have a container, keep watering until excess water starts running out the drainage hole. When it’s hot and dry, it’s better to drench the soil and leave it for several days than only give it a tiny bit that ends up evaporating. When it’s damp and rainy, water it less, and let the soil soak up the water and dry out before you water it further.
Always water at the base of your mum, on the soil, avoiding blooms and foliage. The roots are what need the water, and additional water on the leaves and flowers can lead to mold and rot.
Water chrysanthemums in the early morning and late evening to keep the water from evaporating in the hot midday sun.
Try mulching around your in-ground mums to conserve moisture. This will also keep weeds from growing in.
FAQs on Watering Mums
How much water do mums need?
While it varies, mums need about an inch of water per week.
Do mums need to be watered daily?
Sometimes they do – like during hot and dry days. At other points you may find every other day or a couple of times a week is sufficient.
Do mums need more water in the summer?
Yes, mums often need more water in summer when the days are hotter and the sun is more direct.
What’s the best time of day to water mums?
Early mornings and late evenings are the best times of day to water mums. Evenings may have a slight advantage, since they then have all night to soak up the water.
Can I overwater mums?
Yes, mums can be overwatered, leading to root rot and more.
What happens if I underwater mums?
Underwatering mums results in wilting, brown, dry leaves and flowers, and eventually a dead plant.
How do I know if my mums need water?
You can test the soil using your finger. If the top of the soil is dry, they need water. Other signs include a lighter than usual container and wilting.
Should I water mums from the top or bottom?
The best way to water chrysanthemums is from the top, however, you can set a pot of them in water for an hour or two to help revive a wilting plant.
Can I use tap water to water mums?
Yes, pretty much any water is good water as far as chrysanthemums are concerned!
Are there any specific watering tips for potted mums?
Water when the soil is dry and water at the base of the plant rather than the foliage. Give it enough of a soaking that water runs out the drainage holes at the bottom.
How long can mums go without water?
It varies based on weather conditions, but in hot, sunny conditions a mum likely wouldn’t survive more than a few days.
Do mums like to sit in water?
No, mums do not like sitting in water for extended periods of time.
Enjoy Your Mums!
So, how often do you water mums? You should now know the answer is whenever the soil is dry to the touch. Happy mum growing!