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How to Split Mums

How to Split Mums

Mums (Chrysanthemums) are ideal fall flowers, as they can easily fill space within your yard with vivid, rich colors for an eye-catching landscape. These classic fall flowers come in a variety of hues - from yellows to reds to purples - and can be used as container plants or planted directly into garden beds.

Since mums grow and spread easily, they are often split or transplanted into other areas throughout the yard. As a general rule of thumb, mums should be divided every couple of years to help promote regrowth and ensure health.

Here are a few steps to take to split mums, so you can enjoy them for many fall seasons to come.

  • Mums' roots, called stolens, store energy needed for regrowth and should be closely monitored to determine when splitting needs to be done. When the stolen is plump or swollen, the plant is ready to be divided. At this point, carefully dig up the plant in one piece, using a small shovel or garden spade.
  • Next, separate outer sections of the mum from the center using your spade or large knife. Dispose of the center and focus on replanting or transplanting the sections you have split off. Each section must contain two to three shoots of the mum and a portion of the root system to have successful regrowth.
  • When mums are ready to transplant, cut 1" squares to house the mum sections. Plant each new section 1-2 feet apart. The type of soil and sunlight should be similar to the previous place it was planted. Keep in mind, mums need good sunlight and drainage to blossom all fall and regrow the next season. Position each section with its crown slightly below soil level. If transplanting the mum to a container, surround the inside of the pot with newspaper or fallen leaves to protect the roots. Even though fall brings cooler temperatures, don't forget to water on a regularly.