“Hello, we recently bought mums to plant in the flower beds around our home. What time of year should we plant mums? And what else can we do to guarantees they come back every year? Thank you.” — Alyssa
When to Plant Mums
It's getting late in the season to plant mums but as long as the ground is not frozen you should be able to still get them in. Make sure they, and the soil you are planting them in, is well-watered before you add the plants. Once in, add mulch to keep their soil temperature from fluctuating. A nice blanket of wet dried leaves will work if you don't have anything else handy.
The key to pulling mums through winter is to keep them regularly watered. I take 2 old milk jugs full of water out to my garden twice a month and water my mums if we haven't had rain and/snow. You are basically keeping the roots hydrated so they can establish themselves.
Don't cut off the dry flowers, those will protect the new growth that will start at the bottom in the center.
If you want to add more mums, spring is a good time to get starts, that way the plant has all growing season to establish itself and grow. To maximize blooms, pinch off the starts every week until July 4, that will keep their shape rounded and bushy.
If you have any other questions, please let me know. Good luck!