The epitome of fall, the mum is one of the few plants that will stay alive and well in your garden for the cooler months after summer. Indoors, you can keep a mum plant alive for a few weeks, maybe longer, as long as you care for it well.
It’s a beautiful addition to your home, filling it with all the classic autumn colors. Thus, if yours is dying, you are understandably distressed.
Worry not. I’ve got plenty of tips and tricks to help you get your mum back in lovely shape.
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A Mum Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office
The chrysanthemum is a subtropical plant that can withstand colder temperatures, so as the weather turns in autumn, you can rest assured that the mums in your home, with enough love and attention, will brighten the entire space.
Their greenery will clean the toxins from your environment and breathe out oxygen to contribute to a fresh, open space.
You can set these flowers in neutral pots or in colorful planters as your primary fall decorations.
Signs of a Dying Mum Plant
The most obvious signs of a dying mum plant are:
- Brown leaves
- Browning flowers
- Wilting leaves or flowers
Common Causes of a Dying Mum Plant
The most common causes of a dying mum plant include:
- Too much sun
- Not enough sun
- Too much water
- Not enough water
Watering Needs of a Mum Plant
The mum plant, as a subtropical plant, wants plenty of water but does not want to sit in soggy soil. You’ll need to get used to checking the soil for too much moisture or drying out.
To do these checks, stick your finger in the soil and see if you feel moisture. If you do, you can wait to water the plant.
If you don’t feel any moisture, be sure to water the plant so the water runs all the way through the soil. Also make sure you water the plant at the soil, not from above the leaves.
To read more about watering your plant, take a look at this article on watering mistakes that might be killing your plant.
Am I Underwatering My Mum Plant?
If you are underwatering your mum plant, you will notice the soil begin to pack tightly, and the leaves and flower petals will crisp up, dry out, and even fall off.
Restoring Water to Your Underwatered Mum Plant
To get your dried-out plant back on track, water it so the water runs through the bottom of the pot, fully soaking it at the soil level. If the soil has become so hard packed that it won’t hold water, you will need to remove the root ball from the soil entirely, water it, and add it to fresh indoor soil. Then water the plant all the way through.
Am I Overwatering My Mum Plant?
In the event you are overwatering your mum plant, you will notice soggy soil and wilted leaves. You may also notice mushy stems.
Restoring Balance to Your Overwatered Mum Plant
If you have overwatered your mum plant, you can start by setting the plant closer to the sun, maybe in a windowsill where it can get direct rays.
If the soil has become infested with bugs and your stems are mushy, you should remove the root ball from the soil, cut away any mushy roots, and allow the root ball to dry out on a screen in the sun. Then plant the root ball in fresh indoor soil.
Soil Needs of a Mum Plant
The mum plant enjoys well-draining soil in a pot with plenty of drainage holes.
Soil Drainage Needs for a Mum Plant
If you notice your plant is not draining well, you can line the bottom of the pot with pebbles, so the water drains through.
Resolving Soil Drainage Issues for a Mum Plant
If you still think the water is not draining well and the plant is sitting in water, you can go to your local nursery and choose a soil that holds less water. Then repot your plant.
Lighting Needs of a Mum Plant
The chrysanthemum loves bright, indirect light for a limited time each day. Try to ensure your plant gets fewer than 10 hours of sunlight each day.
Resolving Lighting Issues for a Mum Plant
If you notice the plant is crisping up and drying out, move it away from the sun, perhaps onto a table instead of the windowsill. If you notice the flowers are not blooming, be sure to move it closer to the light.
Pests or Diseases that Can Cause Issues with a Mum Plant
While you shouldn’t have to deal with too many pests on a mum plant, you should watch for aphids. One of the easiest ways to get rid of aphids is to release ladybugs into the plants, which is a great nontoxic way to get rid of those pests.
However, if you can’t get ladybugs, or you don’t want still more bugs in your house, you can invest in some neem oil, which you can spray liberally on your plant a few times a week.
Fake Mum Plants May Be an Additional Consideration
Finally, if you find you can’t keep a mum plant alive, or you simply don’t have the time to care for plants, you can always go with a fake mum plant. They can look just as lively and beautiful as the real thing.
If you’re wondering if a fake plant is going to be trendy, check out my article on whether artificial plants and flowers are tacky.
What do you think? Have you had success reviving a mum plant? What worked for you? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.