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Creative Ways to Decorate With Mums

Go beyond a single potted mum beside your front door. Get creative with plump pumpkins, bumpy gourds, other flowers and seasonal accents.

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Photo: Southern Living Plant Collections

Mums for a Tailgate Party

Go mad for mums and use them to dress up your porch, yard, entrance or deck. They'll bloom for weeks in shades of yellow, orange, pink, red and white. A potted mum makes a charming accent for your front door, but browse our collection for more creative ways to decorate with mums.

If you're a football fan, kick off the season with a tailgate party and place chrysanthemums on the back of your pickup. This display scores with a small sign, potted evergreens, colorful ornamental pepper and yellow mums, or you can substitute your favorite team colors. Toss in a couple of footballs and add a basket of apples and unshelled peanuts so guests can grab a snack as they arrive.

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Photo: Royal Van Zanten

Hang Mums in Baskets

Choose mums with a spreading or trailing habit to show off in hanging baskets. This 'Skyfall' chrysanthemum series, from Ball Horticultural Company, has strong, flexible stems that cascade nicely. Hang them around an outdoor table or seating area or from a porch. Keep them watered; hanging flowers dry out faster in the wind and sun, but use them where drips won’t be an issue. Use sturdy baskets made of fabric, plastic or other materials, making sure your hooks and supports can handle the weight. If you opt for open-wire baskets with coco liners, look for liners with plastic sheets to slow the drainage.

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Decorate With Mums and Companion Plants

Foliage plants that can survive the winter or until a killing frost make great companions for mums in raised beds. These dark purple plants are perennial heucheras, also called coral bells. The red foliage plants in the back are coleuses, hardy only in Zone 11. A taller variety edged in bright green grows at the back of the bed. Variegated ivy between the heucheras will start to trail as it grows. Choose plants that have the same basic needs for water and sun.

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Photo: Dean Van Dis

Float Mum Blooms

For an easy way to decorate with mums, snip the stems of fresh blooms to one inch long and float them in water. Place them in an outdoor water feature or enjoy them indoors in a pretty bowl or saucer. Cut mums will last longer — typically from a few days to a week — if you keep them out of the sun. Replace the flowers and water as needed. Experiment with blooms from a mixed bouquet from a grocery store if you want flowers in other colors and shapes; some blooms float better than others.

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