Get the Most Out of Potted Mums

Table of Contents

Chrysanthemums, also known as “mums” for short, herald the beginning of the fall season, and provide instant color indoors or out. They bloom for several weeks in the autumn, when the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Flowers are available in hundreds of colors and forms – you’re sure to find a shade that matches your garden scheme or indoor décor!

Selecting Mums

When selecting plants, choose mums with deep green foliage that is not wilted. The soil in the container should be moist, not dry. Look for plants with tightly closed buds, because you will be able to enjoy the blooms longer in your home.

Care of Mums in Pots

Potted chrysanthemum

  • To increase the length of the mum’s display, repot it from the nursery container into a larger pot. Mums tend to get root bound, making it difficult for the soil to retain water, so repotting will provide more soil and room for the roots to spread.
  • Gently remove the mum from the nursery container, spread out the root ball, and place the plant in the new pot, maintaining the depth of soil that the plant was originally grown in. Allow an inch at the top of the container to hold water until it can soak into the soil.
  • While your plant is in its container, keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet. Mums are thirsty plants, so check them for moisture often. Water them during the morning, so that the leaves have time to dry during the day. Never allow them to wilt.
  • Place the pot in an area that receives full sun in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon.
  • Removing fading flowers allows the plant to put more energy into producing more blooms.

Care of Potted Mums Indoors

Potted chrysanthemums on a windowsill

Mums are a great accent plant for indoors. They make a colorful centerpiece for a special occasion and are perfect for keeping the summer feeling going indoors, when the weather outside says, “winter is on the way”. You can repot the plant into a decorative container or, easier yet, disguise the nursery pot by setting it into a slightly larger ornamental container. So easy and pretty!

Place your mums near a bright window for best results. They can be temporarily moved to other locations around the house, but will last longest with four or more hours of sunlight each day. After the flowers fade, the plant and soil are a great addition to your compost bin. Just remove the plant and soil from the pot and the nursery pot can be rinsed and placed with your plastics recycling.

Transplanting Mums into the Garden

Colorful garden chrysanthemums

Mums can be planted in your landscape. They provide the most impact when planted in masses, so consider a monochromatic bed, or perhaps a rainbow of colors.

Select an area of your garden that receives at least six hours of full sun, and has well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy with clay, it should be amended with organic material. Dig a hole wide enough to accommodate the existing roots, and maintain the depth that the mum was grown in the nursery container. Thoroughly water-in the plant, and check it daily, watering freely in dry weather.

Pro-tip: Group potted mums with pumpkins, cornstalks, or decorative gourds to create a beautiful autumn accent for an entryway or in the landscape.

Autumn doorway displays with chrysanthemums, gourds, pumpkins, cornstalks


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