Chrysanthemums, often purchased as potted plants in the fall, can be overwintered for enjoyment in future seasons. In this expert guide, we will provide you with a comprehensive approach to overwintering store-bought chrysanthemums, with references from government sources, horticultural organizations, and academic experts.
Introduction to Overwintering Chrysanthemums
Overwintering chrysanthemums involves protecting these plants from harsh winter conditions, ensuring their survival and potential reblooming in the following spring or fall.
Choose Healthy Chrysanthemums
Select healthy chrysanthemums with robust foliage and vibrant blooms when purchasing them in the fall. Healthy plants are more likely to survive the winter.
Repot or Transplant
After purchasing, consider repotting the chrysanthemums into larger containers or transplanting them into your garden. This allows for better root development and winter hardiness.
Prune and Deadhead
Prune your chrysanthemums back to about 6 inches in height after they finish blooming. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage new growth.
Cease fertilization in late summer or early fall to discourage new growth, as tender new shoots are vulnerable to winter cold.
Select a Suitable Location
Plant chrysanthemums in a location with well-drained soil and good air circulation. Avoid areas prone to waterlogging, as this can cause root rot during the winter.
Protect with Mulch
Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants to help insulate the soil and protect the roots from extreme temperatures.
Ensure the chrysanthemums are well-hydrated before the ground freezes. Continue watering throughout the fall, but reduce watering as winter approaches.
Use Winter Covers
Cover your chrysanthemums with frost blankets or burlap to protect them from harsh winter winds and frost. Ensure the covers reach the ground to trap heat.
Maintain Good Air Circulation
Avoid overcrowding plants during the growing season to prevent mold and mildew issues that can be exacerbated during the winter.
Regularly check your overwintering chrysanthemums for signs of stress, disease, or pests. Early intervention is crucial to their survival.
In the spring, once the danger of frost has passed, remove the covers and mulch from your chrysanthemums. Prune away any dead or damaged growth.
New Growth Care
As your chrysanthemums begin to grow in the spring, resume regular watering and a balanced fertilization schedule.
With proper care, your overwintered chrysanthemums should be ready to bloom in the following fall, continuing the cycle.
Overwintering store-bought chrysanthemums allows you to enjoy these vibrant fall flowers in subsequent seasons. By following these steps and considering local horticultural organizations’ and experts’ advice, you can successfully protect and nurture your chrysanthemums through the winter months.