Fall Mums: Your Secret Weapon for Outdoor Color and Charm

fall color palette with mums and pumpkins

It’s time to pick up some fall mums and add some bold, beautiful color to your happy space! My happy space would have to be the back porch)) And I am always impatient when it comes to fall weather not getting here quickly enough! We live in Mississippi which is hot and humid sometimes all the way into October. So when we see temperatures less than 80….it’s like a chill in the air and I’m ready to go mum shopping!

Fall Mums

What’s your favorite fall mum color? You can usually find mums in shades of red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, and white. This year I picked out a really pretty coral color, but it has changed somewhat after a few days….it’s still a pretty pinky orange.

coral fall mums with a white pumpkin in a container of flowers

I saw some mums that were rainbow-style with at least three different colors in the same pot. They were okay, but I still like the solid colors best. What do you think the most popular color is? Did you guess yellow? If you did…you’re right. Sorry, but I don’t have any prizes)))

mums on the back porch with pumpkins and hay


I usually like to get some really large mums and put them in a container by themselves. Now, I don’t re-pot them and I keep saying every year, that I’m going to plant them in the ground when they are spent, but I haven’t done it yet.

The smaller mums look pretty sandwiched down among other container plants. Some of the summer annuals are still blooming in my pots and when they die, I’ll pull them out. There is also hydrangeas in the pot, so as the blooms begin to die, I just trim them back pretty short and nestle in a small pot of mums.

deep reddish burgundy in a container with other flowering plants

You can’t see it in this image, but I tucked in a pretty little white pumpkin in the pot too.

Are you new to buying mums? Here are a few tips.

Buying Mums

  • Check for Freshness: Look for mums that recently arrived. Check the pot for moistness. Mums like moistness, but not sogginess.
  • Inspect the Foliage: Avoid mums that have yellowing or dead leaves.
  • Buds: Choose mums with lots of unopened buds. This ensures you’ll enjoy a longer period of blooming once you take them home.
  • Check for Pests: Avoid mums with signs of aphids or spider mites. I would probably just go to another place of business.
  • Overall Condition: Avoid mums with discolored blooms or distorted shapes. Branches are easy to break, however, so take care when moving them or on the ride home.

Caring for Fall Mums

Now you have your fall mums at home so what do you do next? Find a place to put them!

Mums need about six hours of sunlight, so find a place outside that will get that much bright sunlight. Some mums can take partial sun, but may have slightly fewer blooms. Check the tag on the pot before you buy.

Before you place your mums in their final destination, if it’s a larger container etc. you want to really water them well. One way to do this is to place the mum (in it’s plastic pot) over into a large bucket or container filled with water and just let it soak for an hour or so. This way the mums soaks up water from the bottom up. You can use a five-gallon bucket for instance. I use a dishpan. Be careful that you don’t break any branches off your mum if you use a five-gallon bucket. They are pretty deep!

Mums need moisture, but they don’t need to be overwatered. There should always be a hole(s) in the bottom of the pot for drainage even if you set your plastic pot of mums over into another container.

You might as well plan on watering every day. Sometimes depending on the weather you can get by watering every other day, but you need to check them. Stick your finger about an inch into the dirt and if it’s dry, it needs watering. Don’t let them dry out completely.

If it has dried out completely and looks wilted, you can try soaking it in a bucket of water again. You might save it, but chances are slim.

If your mum lasts until winter weather….it usually takes a hard freeze to kill them. This would be temps down to 26-28 degrees.

Making Fall Mums Last

Typically, mums only last about four to eight weeks. And it depends on whether you chose mums with lots of buds, or fully bloomed out. But there are a few things you can do to make them last as long as possible.

Long-Lasting Mums

  • Choose mums with lots of buds.
  • Keep the mums moist.
  • Make sure they have enough sunlight – 6 hours a day.
  • Deadhead blooms (pinch off the spent blooms and discard)
  • Remove wilted leaves and cut off dead stems.
  • Re-pot mums that are root-bound (roots are in a tangled mass and have no room for growth)
  • Place in areas where large pets (dogs) don’t walk by and damage branches. We have a BIG dog and he can destroy a shrub planted in the ground.
  • If there is danger of a frost, move to a protected area.

Until Next Time….

So leave me a note and tell me what your favorite colors for fall mums are. Do you like the rainbow style? Do you mix and match or stay with one color? And if you have any tricks that keep your mums looking lovely for a longer time, please share!

following on pinterest
assorted fall mums and pumpkins on mantel display

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