How long do potted mums last?


Colorful mounds of chrysanthemums are a beloved feature of fall gardens. These cheerful perennials start flowering in late summer, and by autumn, their distinctive yellow, red, orange, and pink blooms often blanket the plant entirely. They fill containers with vibrant fall colors, perfectly complementing front porches adorned with pumpkins and gourds.


How Long Do Mums Last?

Mums typically last for four to eight weeks once they start blooming. Proper care can help them reach the higher end of that range. The best way to ensure your mums bloom when you want them to is to choose a variety that starts its bloom season right when you’re ready for fall color. Some varieties begin blooming as early as late July, while others don’t start until the end of September. Decide when you want your four to eight weeks of blooms and choose your variety wisely.

4 Ways to Make Mums Last Longer

While mums are generally low-maintenance plants, proper care is essential to keep them blooming throughout the fall season. By following these simple tips, you can keep your mums looking colorful and vibrant from Labor Day through Halloween.

Buy Mums With Lots of Buds

It’s tempting to choose mums already overflowing with colorful blooms when visiting the nursery, but this isn’t the best way to ensure your porch stays colorful all season. Instead, select a plant with many tight buds that haven’t yet opened. By catching a plant at the start of its bloom cycle, you’ll get to enjoy every moment of its brilliant show.

Provide Adequate Water

Mums need consistent moisture to thrive, especially when they are in full bloom. Water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot, which can quickly kill the plant.

Deadhead Spent Blooms

Removing faded or dead flowers encourages the plant to produce more blooms. This simple practice not only keeps your mums looking tidy but also extends the blooming period.

Protect From Frost

While mums are hardy, early frosts can shorten their bloom time. Covering them on nights when frost is expected can help prolong their vibrant display. Alternatively, move potted mums to a sheltered location during cold snaps.

By following these tips, you can maximize the blooming period of your mums, ensuring a vibrant and colorful display that lasts throughout the fall season.

Give Mums Full Sunlight

Mums will produce the most blooms when they’re given full sunlight or at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. However, if you live in a particularly warm climate, you may want to opt for indirect sunlight to keep your mums from getting scorched and dried out.

Water Mums Frequently

Once established, mums should be given one to two inches of water per week. Be careful not to overwater your mums, as this can lead to disease. CMO at Ferry-Morse. Mums should be watered every other day to keep their soil moist. She advises looking out for limp or brown leaves, which are signs that the plant needs more water.

Deadhead Mums Regularly

By getting rid of old blooms, you’ll let your mums channel their energy towards producing new blooms. Regularly deadhead your mums by removing wilted blooms, clearing out brown leaves, and cutting off dead stems.

How to Care for Mums in Pots

Help your potted mums last as long as possible with these tips:

1. Choose the Best Mums

Success starts with selecting the healthiest chrysanthemums for your fall containers. Here’s how to find the best ones:

– Shop Smart: Supermarkets and big box stores often offer mums, but these plants can be under or overwatered, causing stress and poor performance.
– Timing Matters: Ask when a store receives new shipments and shop early to get the best selection.
– Garden Centers and Nurseries: These places usually have better-cared-for and healthier plants.
– Healthy Plants: Avoid wilted plants. Choose ones with more buds than open flowers for a longer bloom time and better survival after repotting.

2. Pay Attention to the Types of Mums

Check the plant’s label to identify the type of mum and its bloom time:

– Florist Mums: Ideal for short-term decoration, these annuals don’t survive winter outdoors. They lack the underground runners needed to endure cold weather.
– Garden Mums: These hardy perennials can withstand light fall frost and are suitable for pots. For best results, plant them in the spring after the last frost date to establish their roots.

Repot Right Away

Repot your mums immediately after bringing them home. Here’s how:

– Choose a Larger Pot: Mums are often root-bound, so select a larger container to allow roots to spread.
– Loosen the Roots: Gently untangle the roots before repotting to encourage outward growth.
– Use Well-Draining Soil: Mums thrive in well-draining soil. Use a quality potting mix when planting mums in pots.

Additional Tips

– Mixing with Other Plants: If growing mums for a single season, they can be mixed with other plants in a large container.
– Overwintering: For mums you want to keep through the winter, plant them alone in a container that’s easy to move indoors when freezing temperatures hit.

By following these steps, you can ensure your potted mums stay vibrant and healthy throughout the fall season and potentially beyond.

Give Potted Mums Enough Sunlight

Mums need at least six hours of sunlight each day. If you live in a warmer gardening zone, plant your potted mums in a shaded area to prevent the sun from scorching the plants. Protect your plants from the harsh afternoon sun if your daytime temperatures are still in the 80s and beyond to help the flowers last longer.

Water Potted Mums Well

Chrysanthemums won’t last long without water, so whenever the soil feels dry, water your plants. Never let your potted mums wilt. If you notice that the bottom leaves look limp or start to turn brown, water more often. When watering your mums, try not to splash the foliage to avoid plant diseases.