Mum's the Word: Helping These Fall Blooms Thrive

Follow these tips for planting and keeping mums healthy.
Closeup of chrysanthemum flower

Closeup of chrysanthemum flower

Closeup of chrysanthemum flower

Chrysanthemums, nicknamed “mums,” rate as one of fall’s quintessential flowers. Available in a dizzying array of colors, shapes and sizes, showy mums can bring plenty of autumn flavor to your garden or home and coordinate with any color scheme.

Here’s how to choose the right mum plant and keep it healthy:

  • First, decide when you want to plant. If you’re reading this now and haven’t already gotten started,  you’ll probably need to go with a fall planting! Keep in mind that fall-planted mums may not survive the winter since their roots haven’t had a chance to get established, but since mums are relatively inexpensive, you can treat them as annuals and re-plant from year to year.
  • Next, choose your variety. Your two basic options are “florist” or “hardy” mums. While both types come from the same original parent mum, they’ve been extensively hybridized over centuries to create many offshoot varieties. Florist mums are meant for cutting blooms, while hardy mums are bred to flourish longer-term in the garden. If you plant a potted florist mum in spring it may thrive while the weather is warm, but won’t survive the winter.
  • Caring for your mum depends on whether you want to keep it for a season or for more seasons to come: If you are planting your mum as an annual, all you need to worry about is planting in well-draining soil in a partly-sunny area of your garden. Choose a container or bed that offers plenty of space for the formed root ball. Water well, and continue to water every other day or so, or as much as needed to maintain blooms. If you’re planting mums as perennials, it’s best to start in spring in full sun to give roots a chance to get established. Plant the mums in well-draining soil, making sure to leave 6-12 inches between each plant and water frequently. Before winter, protect the mums by covering plants with several inches of mulch. Wait until the following spring to cut back stems, and fertilize well to encourage blooms. If the mums produce spring blooms, pinch them back before late summer to encourage fall flowering.

When given time and attention, mums can be easy and rewarding to grow. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Mum's the Word

Classy and so flashy, mums could be the answer to a drab garden.

The Queen Mum

Chrysanthemums make great container plants and landscaping focal points.

Mums vs. Asters and How To Use Them in Your Landscape

Don't toss those potted mums and asters after they bloom, plant them in your yard.

Overwintering and Planting Fall Bloomers

Summer and spring aren't the only seasons for spectacular blooms.

Hardy Mums

Accent your garden with the perennial presence of hardy fall mums.

Fall-Blooming Bulbs

The down side of planting bulbs in the fall: having to wait till the following spring to see the flowers. With these plants, though, you get flowers in just 3 weeks.

When to Plant Garden Mums

Want your garden mums to survive winter? Learn tips for planting fall garden mums to help them return next spring.

How to Design a Garden With Mums

Make your fall garden glow with jewel-colored mums.

Growing Mums

Learn tips for planting and growing beautiful, healthy garden mums.

Fall Planting Tips

When it comes to autumn, follow these tips for trees, shrubs, perennials and berries.

On TV

Tiny House Hunters

6:30am | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Good Bones

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Good Bones

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.