A little Q&A
Are Fall mums hardy?
To answer the question....it really just depends.
For mums to truly be hardy, they are best planted in the spring. The mums we enjoy in the fall are nursed to set their buds for September and October blooming and not growing their roots. They put all their energy into blooming. This results in not guaranteeing sufficient time to get their roots established before colder weather sets in.
This leads to the "it really just depends."
Every fall I get asked that question by several of our customers,
"Are fall mums hardy?"
"Will the mums come back next year?"
I always answer with it really just depends.
When are they planted into the ground? If you plant them right when they become available in Early to Mid September then they have more time for their roots to get established before winter as opposed to planting them at the end of the season.
What is the weather like? Is it warm out when you plant your mums. With the warmer weather, will also help the roots get established before winter.
Where are they planted? Mums planted against a building for example are more protected from the cold winter winds that we often get.
What kind of winter will there be? How cold of a winter are you expecting for your area.
All these factors are important to determine if your beautiful fall mums will come back and bloom next year. You can also mulch them good at the time of planting, leave foliage on them until the following spring, and plant them before the first hard frost to help protect them and increase the chances of them coming back.
Often times some mums come back the next Spring. When you start to see new growth sprouting from them mums, remove the old dead parts from the last season. This will look nicer for the new foliage growing.
With any luck, you will get to enjoy your mums the following year, usually larger and just as beautiful in blooming color. But if they don't come back, you will know why.