Jesse Tischauser’s Red Dirt Plants has been operating in Guthrie, Oklahoma, for over 130 years. The company utilizes over 13 acres of greenhouses and 5 acres of outdoor growing space to supply plants to large and small stores and contractors throughout Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. In all, Red Dirt Plants sells over 60,000 mums each year
In the video above, Tischauser shares with us professional tips for the right time to buy mums, the best ways to care for them and what you need to know to keep them as perennials.
When to Buy
Considering mums have just one flush of flowers, try to buy them for your garden in the bud or cracking stage. Any open flowers you see will only last a few weeks. So if you are trying to stretch the plant throughout the season, buy at the earliest stage possible.
Often the nursery will have a tag with what color the mum is because it is too hard to tell at the bud stage. However, he mentions if you want them for an event around the time of purchase, go ahead and buy them while the buds are displayed.
Read more: Add some new veggies to your fall garden!
How to Care for Mums
Mums thrive in the sun as long as they are watered well. Six hours is the least amount of light they need. Less will leave you with tall, leggy plants without many flower buds.
Make sure you water at the base of the plant, as this reduces the chances of plant diseases. Mums thrive in both the garden landscape and containers.
The best chance to have mums come back in the following years is to plant them in the ground, allowing the most amount of time to get rooted in your garden before the winter.
In the spring, pinch the buds for a fuller, bushier plant. Once the flowers have all bloomed and started losing color, deadhead them. You will want to keep your garden mums mulched during the winter.
Tischauser says his best advice for buying any plants for your garden is to buy from a greenhouse in your area. “Plants that are grown in a different climate need longer to acclimate to your environment, running the risk of transplant shock.”
Local also means less time in transport, which can create its own series of issues for plants. You will have the most success if you check out plant company tags in your local garden center and look for companies within your region.