Q: My father passed away recently and we have two lovely pots of chrysanthemums. Should I keep them indoors for the winter?
A: In my experience they will do fine if planted outdoors now. The plants will do much better there rather than keeping them inside. Your biggest challenge is watering properly. It’s mighty easy to relax and stop watering when it’s cold outside. However, remember that roots don’t explore cold soil. That means water has to be applied from the top so it soaks the current root ball, not the surroundings. One suggestion is to plant the mums close to your front door so you can keep an eye on them and water when they look a bit droopy. Another is to wash off an inch of the potting soil around the root balls so that when you plant and pack garden soil around them, the roots will immediately be growing into their new surroundings. Don’t forget to shear them back to four inches tall in late May and shear again to eight inches tall in mid-July.
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