How to Buy Potted Mums to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

2 Materials
30 Minutes

Have you ever purchased a chrysanthemum (better known as mum) to decorate for fall, just because they're beautiful, they scream fall to you and you couldn't resist, just to get it home and have it looking pathetic in a couple of weeks? I'm cheap and that just feels like money down the drain to me. Join me and let's go shopping together, so I can show you how to pick out mums to get the biggest bang for your buck.

First - don't buy your mums too early! I know you folks are from all over the country, so it's important to know when too early is. Look at an extended weather forecast. Mums really like temps in the 60s. I live in Minnesota - Zone 4b and it's best here to wait until mid to late September or early October before purchasing mums. If you purchase potted mums too early and the temps heat up, your mums will not last.

When I walk up to a gardening center and see this, it's pure sensory overload! BUT, wait we don't want to buy these mums.

Oh my, these are GORGEOUS! But, wait, be strong, we definitely do not want to buy these.

Second - pick out mums that have tight closed buds, like the picture above. I realize it's not instant gratification, but in the long run it will be a better purchase. Now, these are the mums we want to buy. Why, you ask, because these beauties will last for weeks.

Third - Be sure your new plants have sufficient water. Once you get your mums home, don't just plop them down and forget about them. Mums like to be moist, so don't let them dry out.

I like to put my pot of mums in a 1/2 bushel basket or some other festive container to add some character to my fall displays. In the bottom of the container, I add a saucer to catch water runoff and to help keep the mums moist.

Fourth - Deadhead your mums. For you non-gardeners, deadhead simply means to pinch off the flowers that are spent and turning brown. This will keep your mum looking good and will also encourage new buds to form.

Do you like to add mums to your outdoor fall decor? There are more tips in this post to keep your mums looking great. If they are taken care of, potted mums will last several weeks. Happy Fall!

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Joanna - Gingham Gardens
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Linda Linda on Aug 31, 2019

    I live in the South and have mums that are planted in a bed. However, over the summer, these plants have become very leggy. When is the best time to cut them back to be more compact and still have blooms in the fall?

  • Alita Alita on Sep 07, 2019

    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between garden mums and hardy mums? Which one is better to get if you want them to come back yearly?

  • Mae strutt Mae strutt on Aug 13, 2020

    I live in south Florida I need to plant something out my front door Flowering

    or not but for year around low ground

    cover any suggestions

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