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How to Care for Fall Mum Plants in Containers

Usher in the cool, crispness of autumn with a vibrant display of fall chrysanthemum plants in containers. Chrysanthemums (also known as mums) are a gardener’s way to celebrate fall. Add beauty and color to the outside of your home and yard with mums in hues of yellow, orange, red, lavender and pink. Mums are easy to maintain in pots and, with minimal care, they will continue to bloom throughout the entire autumn season.

Select mums with healthy, green leaves and unopened flower buds. Do not purchase mums that seem wilted or unhealthy.

Transplant mums into garden pots with adequate drainage holes in the bottom. If the garden pots held other flowers previously, wash the pots with antibacterial soap. Rinse the pots and then fill with new potting soil. Plant the mums at the same level as they were in the temporary pots.

Place the mums in a sunny location.

Water mums often to prevent the soil from drying out. After watering, ensure the soil drains completely and that the pots do not sit in standing water. Remove the spent blossoms as they wilt by cutting them off just under the blooms.

Plant mums into the ground in late fall if the temperature will dip below freezing. Cover the mums with a deep layer of mulch to protect them during the winter months. Or, bring the mums indoors during the winter and place them in a sunny window.

Care For Fall Mum Plants In Containers

Among the more than 160 species of mums (Chrysanthemum spp.) are varieties that bloom in spring and summer as well as in fall. Place them a few feet back from a south-facing window or anywhere in a bright location without direct sun. Pinching the tips of mums to encourage bushy growth and a profuse number of blossoms is only necessary if you have container mums during the summer before blooming begins. In that case, pinch off the tips of all new stems when they are 6 to 8 inches tall, but stop pinching by the end of June for fall blooming. During the growing season, feed your mums with a 5-10-5 fertilizer, diluted to half strength. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and frequency.


Mums purchased in late summer and early fall generally require no fertilization during the autumn months.

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