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How to Care For Mums and Keep Them Looking Great

Mums are a beautiful addition to any home, but they need proper care to stay healthy and happy. Here are some tips on how to care for mums so you can enjoy their cheerful blooms all season long.

how to care for mums

When to Buy Mums

If you’re looking for fully grown mums to use in fall planters on your front porch, purchase them in early September. When given the proper amount of sunlight and water, mums will flourish for months.

light purple mums

Where to Buy Mums

Chrysanthemums are available for purchase in a variety of colors and sizes at many different retailers. Fully grown, potted mums typically show up in stores in late August.

Grocery Stores

Many grocery stores that also sell seasonal plants sell outdoor mums and indoor mums beginning in late August.

Big Box Stores

Fall mums are available for purchase at most big box stores like Walmart, Lowe’s, and The Home Depot.

orange, purple, yellow mums and orange pumpkins for sale at Walmart


Costco is a favorite place to buy mums because you get a massive mum for quite the deal. Prices can vary by region, but it’s typically around $16.99 per 14″ mums container. Costco mums typically appear in-store at the end of August. You can usually find yellow, orange, red, and purple mums at Costco.

Costco mums displayed for sale on metal carts

Other Places to Find Mums

Support small businesses by purchasing mums at local garden centers, nurseries, and orchards.

Front porch decorated for fall with mums, pumpkins, ornamental grass, and dried wreath on the front door

How to Care for Mums Outdoors

How Much Sunlight Do Mums Need?

Mums thrive in full sun so they need at least 6 hours of full sun each day. Plants that don’t get adequate sunlight will produce fewer, smaller flowers.

Front porch decorated for fall with mums, pumpkins, and ornamental grass.

Water Requirements for Potted Mums

Mums love water and prefer their soil to be kept moist but not saturated. It’s best to water mums every other day. But if it’s particularly hot, watering each day may be necessary.

The best way to see if your mums need watering is to touch the soil. If the soil is moist, the mums probably don’t need water. But if the soil is dry, give it a watering. You can also purchase a plant moisture meter. Drooping leaves is another indicator that mums need water.

When watering, water at the base of the mum. Try not to get the foliage wet as this can lead to funguses.

white mum on a backyard deck

Re-Pot in a Larger Container

To get the most of our your potted mums, re-pot them in a larger container. Plastic nursery containers often constrict root growth. Give the mum roots more space to grow by increasing the size of its planter.

fall mums and pumpkins in a large blue outdoor planter

Do You Remove Netting From Mums?

No! If your mums come with a netting, do not remove the netting. The netting is there to support the mum, allowing them to hold their round shape.

large white potted mum with a planter of succulents and a cinderella pumpkin below

Deadheading Mums

Pinching wilted blooms, leave, and dead stems not only makes your mums look better, it helps your plant to bloom longer. Simply pull off dead blooms with your fingers.

purple pink mums

What to Do With Mums After Fall

Transplant Into the Garden

At the end of the autumn season, transplanting hardy mums in your flower beds is an option. Because they’re hardy, they overwinter very well.

Be sure to plant mums in a full sun to partial shade location with well-drained soil. Prune the old stems to about 6″ off the ground.

Transplant the mum at least 6 weeks before the first frost. Amend the soil with compost and surround the base of the plant was a coupe inches of mulch.

Keep in mind the mum may not come back the next spring as it builds up its root system. Use fertilizer in the spring.

Garden mums are perennials so they will sprout new growth in early spring.

pink mums

Throw Them Away

When throwing mums away, be sure to remove the netting and cut it so animals can’t get caught in the netting.

front porch with orange pumpkins and purple and orange mums in planters

Mums are beautiful flowers that can last for months with the right care. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy their beauty well into autumn.

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