Chrysanthemums: When to Plant Mums

January 29, 2019
When to Plant Mums

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Every year in the fall, I suffer a bout of mum madness when garden centers and big boxes brim with chrysanthemums. They produce lovely fall colors, but when is the best time to plant mums?

When to Plant Mums

In autumn, mums and asters are everywhere, from six-inch pots to bushel baskets of orange, yellow, pink, and copper mounded behemoths. I want to buy everything and plant!

Then I slap myself on the forehead, take a deep breath and cry “You should have planted these in May!”

People start pointing at me and make avoid-the-crazy-woman sounds to their children and spouses. I slink off to the refuge of my car or the plumbing department to avoid further embarrassment.


Why Mums Don’t Last Through Winter

Mums are hardy perennial plant best planted in the spring. Mums that are sold in garden centers in the autumn are really being treated as annuals. They are already in full bloom with beautiful autumn jewel-hued colors to decorate your house, along with autumn wreaths and gourds. Once a flower is in full bloom, it’s actually past its peak and declining. (Be sure to buy mums with lots of unopened buds so that they last longer into the fall season.)

If these plants are put in the ground from August on, most won’t make it through the winter in areas where temperatures dip into the single digits. The reason is that mums planted late in the season are near or at the flowering stage, and they don’t grow roots to sustain plants through the winter. All the energy is put into blooming. That is why mums are best planted in the spring. 

Gardeners in northern states where temperatures regularly dip below zero can lose even spring-planted hardy mums to winter. You can changes the odds in your favor by leaving the dead foliage on mums and asters instead of shearing for neatness. An Iowa State University study found that unpruned plants survive at much lower temperatures than those that were pruned. Be sure to add 4 to 6 inches of mulch after the ground has frozen for more protection.


Also, potted mums from the florist or grocery store and exotics like huge football chrysanthemums, delicate spiders, and spoons don’t survive cold winters either and are not good choices for landscapes. They are not bred to be hardy; it’s their form, color and size that are prized. Think of them as disposable holiday decor, along with the pumpkins you buy.

How to Overwinter a Mum

For your fall mums to have the best chance at survival in cold areas, overwinter them in the basement or a dark, cold closet. Pot up plants after the first frost if they are in the ground; include as much root system as possible. Leave the foliage on the plants until spring. Water well and place in a protected area where it is totally dark and 32ºF to 50ºF. The plants will hibernate for the winter if you keep their roots damp. Check pots weekly. In the spring, acclimate plants to light gradually and set them out in the garden after the last killing frost.

With a bit of forethought and care, you can keep your mums blooming year after year!

See our Autumnal Equinox page for more fall-themed advice, folklore, and fun!

About This Blog

A lifelong gardener shares the endless lessons she’s learned from her garden over the years, in hopes of making your own gardening just that much easier! Read along for advice, photos, and more.

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Funny I live in Iowa and my mum's were on the north side of the house.They over wintered just fine no special care for winter.fertilized in spring and they grew into huge bushes! Still were growing when we sold the house.

Long-lived Mums

Well over 40 years ago, my husband was given a pot of mums while in the hospital. We planted it on the south side of the house and it thrived. A few years later when we moved to our little farm, the mums, now spread out into many plants, came with us, again to be planted on the south side of the house and other places in the yard. I am writing this on September 19, 2018, and these mums are still hardy and getting ready to bloom. They bloom only once in the fall and later than my other mums(and,yes, I do have other mums that are years old) which bloom throughout the summer. I do nothing special to these mums except basic care of watering and mulching...have no idea why they have lived so long other than they know they are loved! By the way, I'm in northeast Mississippi.

Your flowers

Good to know about your flower plants .Now I will ask my aunt (ms Ramla Bahadur) to grow these flowers as she has a beautiful house in Greenwood miss .

Potted Mums, 3 Years Reblooming

Buffalo, New York, so yes, it gets cold. I never attempted mums in the ground for the reasons stated in the article. But I've been keeping potted mums alive for 3 years, which is at least a full year longer than they should ever live. Some only make it one more season, some make it 2, but some actually bloom a third time. I currently have 2 pots that are blooming, probably for their last year. I buy some unopened mums in early October and put them in terra cotta or a quality, heavy duty plastic pot, using decent potting soil. After they open and the flowers fade near the end of the month, I leave them outside until the first big frost. As I put my garden to bed for the winter, I chop the mums down, then put the pots in the unheated garage. In April, I bring them out into the sun and water. Usually it takes about 2 weeks to see new green. If there is no green in 3 weeks, that particular mum is done. Mums grow slowly over the summer. You won't get flowers until about September, at least in northern latitudes. Every few years, I need new mums to replace the old. People just throw out the mums after autumn. Don't waste them if you want them next year! I don't know why some of mine last 3 seasons. 2 is expected. 3 is just cool!


I live in southeastern Louisiana. Mums aren't even out in any garden centers here yet. It is mid-July. Is it safe to say that when I see them in the garden centers, I can buy the mature, flowering mums and plant them? I think your article was only meant for northern states, right?


I think some of the advice was for Northern residents. But if you're in Louisiana they would probably survive Winter . I'd be sure they get some moisture. I found this site helpful. Google LSU AG Center. (I couldn't post the link. Not allowed.) It had some good advice.


This year for the first time I began to grow chrysanthemums wintering in the ground, I bought 22 varieties. I live in Poland and I am very curious how they wintered at my house .... by accident I found your blog, and read with bated breath :-) pity that he lives Lady so far, we would exchange :-) Best regards, and all good Monika

Southern California

Hello! I'm seeking advice on how to keep my hardy mums for next year. I live in an apartment in San Diego and recently purchased mums and have them in pots. It doesn't get very cold here. I deadhead them as often as I can. Should I transfer them to bigger pots? Thank you!

Keep your plants well-watered

Keep your plants well-watered and deadheaded. If the roots are crowding the pot, feel free to move the plants up to the next size pot. They will keep on growing in a sunny spot. Fertilize them in the spring when they start to produce new growth.

How to prune 1 yr old white mum plant

I planted (what I believe to be) a white mammoth mum plant that I was given in a small 10" pot last Spring. It was blooming when given to me and I had let the plant dry out quite a bit, by accident. I didn't think it would survive, but I put it in the ground. To my surprise it came back in full force, spread and bloomed huge blossoms in the Summer/Fall. The blossoms were so heavy they pulled the long stems down. I didn't do anything to it in the Fall. It survived our mild Indiana winter and is growing tall, again. Am I supposed to prune it back? It's about 2-1/2 ft tall, already and looks as though it's forming some buds. Now, I've read these plants can get 3ft tall the second year and I've planted it in the front of my flower bed where it's hiding other plants. Is it easily re-planted in a better location? Should I just cut it back?

Mammoth or Maxi...they're big

We enjoy learning new things; thanks for this question. Apparently, Mammoth [TM] Mums were developed at the University of Minnesota. (Noted here, if you’re interested: )

From there, we went to their growing advice page (, where they describe care for “giant shrub-like Maxi-mums [TM].”  To your questions, we glean from this page that “pinching” is preferred to “cutting back” (pinching being less than a haircut), and re transplanting… see the recommended soil and sunlight conditions.

If by chance you do not believe this to describe your plant, you could contact the folks at those pages—see “About”—and they may have more information. We hope this helps!


Would it be okay to store my potted mum's in my unheated garage? I live in Canada, Montreal. It gets pretty cold in the winter. Basement is never dark. Also garage has 3 little round windows so I thought maybe I could just put a blanket over top?

Question: I live in

Question: I live in Southwest MI by the lake buff and have only a outdoor shed or a extra bedroom to winterize the mums I just purchased. Which place would be best? Would I take the mums out of their pots if stored in the shed? The backdraw of the shed is that the snow drifts against the door blocking from being able to get into for watering plants.

Plan to leave them in the

The Editors's picture

Plan to leave them in the pots. Cut the mums back and add a heavy layer of mulch to the pots, then put them in the shed. You shouldn’t water plants that need to go dormant during the winter, like mums so don’t worry about getting to them when the snow starts to fly!

Where to find mums in the spring

Good article, makes sense. Are mums generally available at garden centers in the spring?

spring mums

The Editors's picture

Mums are becoming more available in spring at garden centers, large home centers, etc. Also check the spring mail-order catalogs - sometimes you can find a greater selection.

Pots vs planting in the ground

I just purchased 5 mums in pots from home depot can I leave them in their pots in direct sunlight? What do I do when the buds are all gone? Do I need to put the dead plants in the basement until the Spring? I've planted them in the ground before and they all died.

overwintering mums in pots

The Editors's picture

If you live in a cold climate, you may have trouble overwintering fall mums outside because they do not have time to establish themselves. You could try keeping your mums in their pots until it frosts and they turn brown. Then, cut the plants back to 1 inch.  Water the soil. Put the pot in your basement or unheated shed on top of some magazines or newspapers. Surround the plant with more newspaper to keep it insulated from drafts. Every month, check the dormant plant. If the soil, is dry, water it.. In the spring bring your pots back outside or plan them in the ground.


HOw to do mums in winter

Should I buy...

I have the opportunity to buy fall mums from a neighbor, but know nothing about mums. Everything I'm reading says mums should have been planted in spring. If I buy these mums, do I plant right away or keep them potted thru spring and keep them in the house? I'm in Indianapolis and our winters can be brutally cold. I really don't want to waste money if these are going to die.

Mum's the word

Hi, Joe, As the blog post above explains, mum—er, chysanthemums—purchased in the fall season are not suitable for planting. If you want ‘mum plants in the ground, plant them in the spring. If you want mums for decoration, buy them in pots in the autumn. Read above and, if you really feel strongly about buying now, consider overwintering the plants in pots as explained above.

Or better, maybe: Ask your neighbor if he’ll make you the same deal for plants after the last spring frost next year. THEN you can plant in the ground with little worry. (How little? See above again, especially the advice for super-cold regions.)


Planting Mums

I actually planted 4 or 5 mums at the end of the season last year and they all survived the cold Ohio winter. In fact, one is already starting to bloom.

Mum's in bloom

Hi, Pat, It sounds like you got lucky. Very lucky—and that’s not to take anything away from your gardening skills. Not everybody has it as good as you do! Thanks for sharing!

Replanting in spring

We live in Connecticut and dug our mums up for the winter. We replanted them in the spring but they all still look dead. They were kept in the basement and we could not find a grow light so we settled for fluorescent lighting for 6-8 hours per day. Is fluorescent lighting not enough? We thought since plants do so well in most offices that it would work for our mums. Should new growth have shown up by now? Should we trim them back? There's still some dead growth from last year.


Hi Debbie,

Hi Debbie,

In colder climates you need to store the mums in a dark cool place over the winter months. They need to go dormant. About once a month give them some water to keep the soil moist. In the spring plant them outside and you should see new growth starting. Your mums should have started to grow by now. You can dig them up and see if there is any growth showing from the roots. If not you need to replace them with new mums.


I was given a potted mum as a hostess gift. I live in Victoria, BC (rainforest) I have no sheltered areas to put it into the ground or pot-it rains too much and will kill it. Can I move my houseplant outdoors for sun (on good days) for 5-6 hours in the morning and bring it in after that to keep it blooming and growing?

That sounds like a good plan.

That sounds like a good plan. If the mum gets pot-bound, you should switch it to another container.

Re-blooming Mums

I bought some potted mums from Home Depot in early October here in middle TN. I kept deadheading them every other day, watered them, and kept them in full sun. After cutting my last bloom, they are all now blooming again. I was going to cut them down to about 6 inches, put them on newspaper in my garage, and cover them with newspapers on top in a dark area while keeping them watered about once a week until I can plant them in the ground come spring. But now that they are blooming again, should I wait to put them away in the garage when frost first appears on the ground? ~Thank you.

overwintering mums

The Editors's picture

There are lots of opinions, based on experience, on overwintering because often something works once, but conditions—weather, plant environment, plant health, etc.—at another time or place may never exactly match the original. So, here’s our advice: The risk of plants in pots is that their roots freeze. So you have to protect them from cold but also avoid rotting the roots or crown by trapped excess moisture. If you overwinter them in an unheated garage, insulate them with mulch heaped around (put newspaper under, as palnned), keep the soil barely moist (this si one of those variables noted above), watch for fungal problems. If heat builds up in the garage, vent it. DO NOT cut back the foliage.

Be aware, too, that if the plants are a cold variety, you may have the best luck overwintering the plants in the ground (with or without the pots). Planting them, then heavily mulcing, will help to protect the roots. Do it as soon as you can.


I live in the hamilton, ontario area and for the last 2 years l planted mums in my front yard in octobers. They came back both times and grew bigger. Beautiful

I live in Southern Alabama,

I live in Southern Alabama, near Pensacola, Florida. And I'm REALLY CONFUSED! I'm getting and finding such conflicting information. Just yesterday we planned 20 mum's purchased at a big box store in a full-sun location. Did we just make a huge mistake? We put a layer of mulch down after planting. But what do we do about frost if it comes? We are very South so it doesn't get all that cold here, no snow. Do we cover them for a light frost? A hard frost? Do we need to fertilize? How often do we water? Should we prune? Should we add more mulch at some point? We have about 1-2 inches now. PLEASE HELP!! This is a project in a small park around a flag for our church boy's Rangers Program. I don't want to disappoint them if they all die right away! Thank you!!

Mums grow best with full

The Editors's picture

Mums grow best with full morning sun, at least 5-6 hours daily. Water when the soil feels dry and add more mulch before your average first fall frost date. You can prune the mums in the late fall or in the spring. It's also adviced to pinch off the tops of stems in the spring to ecourage bushier growth and more flowers. Add some compost and/or aged manure to the soil in the spring.

I live in Trenton, SC and I

I live in Trenton, SC and I bought some mums on yesterday in pots from grocery store. My question is can I plant them in the ground or should I replant them in pots a littler larger that the pots they are in
September 14, 2015

You can plant the mums in the

The Editors's picture

You can plant the mums in the ground or you can repot them if they seem potbound. Depending of where you live the mums may not survive the winter if planted outdoors.

I live in Monroe,Louisiana I

I live in Monroe,Louisiana I just bought 9 mums all 1 gallon. When should I plant them and how much shade can they stand????

Thank you for this

Thank you for this enlightening post! I find myself doing the same thing, wanting the feeling of fall flowers, but honestly, I also dislike the big box store varieties so I went online today, September, looking for mail order. Found out mail order are 3 inch pots and after having an inkling they wouldn't have time to puts roots down for winter, realized I should have planted them earlier too!!

Thanks for confirming that doubt. I want to invest and not lose pretty mail order varieties as the ones in the store re just blah and a round bush. Also, thanks for posting this picture of landscaping with mums. I don't often see landscaping with mums in residential areas, I mostly see pots straddling a porch and then in compost piles. I'll plan them in for spring and give them my yard to grow in year after year! Thanks!

I am from el paso texas and I

I am from el paso texas and I just bought a big autumn mum can I leave it in its own pot ? I am putting it in my front porch when should I transplant it into bigger pot? Our winter aren't that bad when would it start drying up? Can I prevent it? Thank you

The mum will grow and bloom

The Editors's picture

The mum will grow and bloom for a long time if you just give it enough water and don't let the soil dry out. After it has bloomed cut off the spent flowers to encourage more buds. There is no need to repot the plant this fall.

I just planted some MUMS in

I just planted some MUMS in the ground for a fall landscape and party that I am having in Oct . My friends are informing me that they will not last though till Oct 17th and that I will need to buy and replant some more in Oct. Is there any way that I can still salvage the ones I have now unitl Oct? Thye are abotu 2 weeks old since in the ground and ihave fertilized them?

Mums generally bloom for a

Mums generally bloom for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. If you pinch them, they may last longer. Whenever you see buds, pinch half of the new growth at the top of the shoot. Every 2 to 4 weeks, pinch again.

I live in Ontario Canada,

I live in Ontario Canada, gardening zone 5a. Last yr I bought 20- 4" potted fall mums from our hardware store for $20 , the store wanted rid of them, and they were still quite pretty , yes I got carried away lol. I planted them and within a week started to die. I left them, due to laziness and they've come back this yr with a vengeance,. The plants are about 5 times bigger and have hundreds of tiny buds, much smaller buds than the original ones. From what I have read , the smaller bud size may be because I didn't fertilize them in the spring. I'm hoping they will develop and open up into flowers. Is it too late to feed them now, will it do any good? If so, what should I use? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

Hi Paula, The buds may grow

Hi Paula,
The buds may grow bigger and you'll have a nice display of blooms come fall. Soluble fertilizers (20-20-20 or 15-15-15) can be mixed into water and fed to the mums about twice a month.

What causes white blooming

What causes white blooming mums to turn into purple/pink blooming mums. Is it the ph level in the soil? What do I need to do to make them become white again? Thanks so much.

This is normal and happens

This is normal and happens when the mum is aging. They are white in bloom and then move into pink and then purple. Perhaps you could slow down the process by pinching? Otherwise, enjoy the show.

I am a beginner gardner,

I am a beginner gardner, living in western maryland, and is it possible being beginning of June to plant mum seeds in the near future and expect fall blooms? or at this point get an established plant? thank you in advance.

Good question, Genie! Garden

Good question, Genie! Garden mums are almost always propagated by cuttings, not seed. You can order rooted cuttings from catalogs. For example: 
Here's an article on how to take chrysanthemum cuttings:
We have to admit. When it comes to mums, we buy fresh starter plants from the local nurseries each year.

I had a beautiful, yellow,

I had a beautiful, yellow, potted mum. Just yesterday I planted them in my garden. By 12pm today, ALL the flowers look sad and are looking at the ground! Am I supposed to cut these down to 4 inches? Trim continuously starting now but not beyond July 4th? I've read so many conflicting things.


I live in Northern Florida. I

I live in Northern Florida. I planned my mums in the ground right after fall. They have been growing like crazy. I've cut them back once already, but I've noticed it looks like I may have buds coming on... it's May 12th! Should I cut them back again or wait and see what happens. I really want them to bloom in the fall like they're suppose to. Not sure what to do

In your area, it's best to

In your area, it's best to wait until October or November to set Mums out in the garden so they last. Plant mums with tight flower buds so they last longer. I'm afraid you need to think of mums as a short-term investment, similar to cut flowers.
You can usually get a second bloom though it won't be as full as the first. After the bloom fades, cut the stems back into the fuller portion of the plant.

Last September/October, I

Last September/October, I spent about $75 on mums to fill in spaces in my garden and decorate my front porch for fall. Now spring is almost here and I want to start mums from seeds indoors and then transplant into bigger pots so I'll have plenty of blooming mums when September and October roll around. I live in New Hampshire, Zone 5A. When should I sow seeds indoors, when should I transplant into larger pots and put outside so they will be in full bloom from September through November?

I bought garden mums in

I bought garden mums in November and have had them in the house until now (mid-December). They are still blooming. What do I do to keep them alive over the winter so that I can put them out in the spring?

Hi. I am curious... I live in

Hi. I am curious... I live in Nj. I ordered Mums a few months back and was told they would be sent out for planting season I figured I wouldn't get them until early spring. But low and behold, they sent them to me now. They are bare root plants, very little at this time. So much so, that there is three of them in an 11 x 16 envelope. What should I do with them for this winter? Plant them? Store them? And how...

Pot them up in 4-6-inch pots

Pot them up in 4-6-inch pots filled with good potting soil.  Place in a west or south-facing window for the winter.  Then plant outdoors in Spring.

I have some potted mums I

I have some potted mums I bought this fall .... Can I plant my mums in the ground now after they are pretty much done blooming? Or at what point should I plant them for best chance of blooming again next fall and not dying. I live in Kansas.

KS mum planting

I buy potted mums every year when they come out around end of September early October. I have planted them near end of October- fairly deep and I have left the potted plant out where it was placed and ignored it and planted in spring. Both ways have worked fine and year after year I have returning show of rainbows of mums. This year my hubby cut the plants to only about 3 inches sticking out of the ground - I freeked and was sure I would not see my mums again - but back they are pretty as ever tho a little leggier than they use to be before he did that. I would definitely call them hardy mums :) Now if the stores would please just get some new colors lol - always the same yellow, white, crimson, purple, or bronze - think i have some variables just from planting them all together - but still the same in color schemes.

My heart aches now that I

My heart aches now that I just planted 3 beautiful Mums. Mow that I have read all your blog posts I'm thinking all the hard work will have been for nothing. I guess the best thing to do now is heavily mulch these babies & Pray. I think i will also cover them with a frost protection wrap as well. I did plant them pretty in a well established flower bed. I live in Southeast Ohio. Love your blog!

Don't be discouraged. I

Don't be discouraged. I follow the advice from a trusted nursery in my town. I planted my mums bought from them in November and left them until they started to brown, cut them back to about 4" and mulched. They came back this spring with a vengeance! They are huge and I am excited to see how much bigger they will grow by this fall. I live in Texas and we have had 3 really bad freezes and ice this year.

I have 8 mums and I am seeing

I have 8 mums and I am seeing that it looks best to wait till spring to plant them. They will be in the garage over the winter. Should I Prune them now or. In the spring. How much do I Prune back and when

Prune in the spring and cut

Prune in the spring and cut back all brown or dead growth.

My birthday is today and my

My birthday is today and my grandson gave me a large ot of MUMS that are bloomed ihe did not know what they were how do i take cace of them i live in a apartment????

Cut back plants after they

Cut back plants after they are done blooming.  Treat them like a house plant, placing pots in or near east, west or south-facing winds.  Don't fertilize until early spring.

I live in new England state

I live in new England state rhode island to be exact zone 6A,im getting conflicting answers on what to do with my potted mums for the winter,,plant in ground now in October,or not to plant in ground ? I have planted in ground in the past but they either don't come up or come up very straggly the next sping,, although I have seen other peoples mums come up year after year thru our cold winters full and bigger and ive noticed that they are planted close to the house foundation im assuming the heat of the house and the sun hitting the cement foundation keeps the plant not as cold during the winter,,should I plant by the foundation,,keep in pots in the cool dark basement and plant in the spring,,or leave in the garage in pots that might only get to 10deg,on our coldest days???what are your thoughts Doreen?? :)

Hmm... What to do.  I'd put

Hmm... What to do.  I'd put the pots in the garage and water them monthly to keep roots hydrated.  If you plan outdoors, put plants in a sheltered spot and mulch heavily. Good luck Robert.

If I bought mums from the

If I bought mums from the store in end of Sept and put them in the
basement over the winter and I plant the in the spring ,will I be
able to leave them in the ground and not dig them up in the fall?
I am in the #5 zone

William, I live in Zone 5,

William, I live in Zone 5, too, and have had great success with mums planted in early spring.  They have pleny of time to establish robust root systems during the summer.



i live near to shevport LA.

i live near to shevport LA. IT IS OCT.4 WHEN CAN I PLANT THEM?

Don't wait much longer to

Don't wait much longer to plant.  Water well and mulch thickly.  You never know what surprises Mother Nature brinsg.  So plant now!

I live in Mi,,got a mum plant

I live in Mi,,got a mum plant as a gift. I have it on my deck now,,when should I put it in the garage for the winter? thank you.

Garage or basement.  Water

Garage or basement.  Water pots every 2-3 weeks to keep roots hydrated.

This site is super! I am 83

This site is super! I am 83 years old and been gardening most of my life and I can tell you I have learned a lot about mums and peonies here.



Thank you for your kind

Thank you for your kind words. Glad that you are a reader of my blog.

I want to plant some mums in

I want to plant some mums in my flower beds. It is now sept.18 is it ok to plant them for the fall, and if so how long will the blooms keep before they turn brown. I will be purchasing them from the store in pots. So is it ok to take them out of the pot and plant them.I am on the east coast and the tempeture is nowc75-85 on the east coast.

Where can u get

Where can u get chrysanthemums in Oct n what care is needed

You may find mum plants on

You may find mum plants on the deep-discount table at garden centers and big boxes.  It's too late to plant them in the ground.  That's why they're cheap.  You can try overwintering the mums in pots indoors or in a cool garage.

My neighbor h as the most

My neighbor h as the most beautiful mums in the front of her house. I have dug out plants from a flower bed by one of my sheds. I don't know when to plant them,but wal mart just put them out,how to take care of them. I need help.It is October 21 here,so if I bring them home what do I do.I have a heated garage. Do I take them out of pot or leave them in the pot. Do I plant now or keep them in garage?

See my message to Bob. 

See my message to Bob.  Stores are dumping the mums, which are already stressed, to salvage any money thye can.  Wait until next April-May and buy smal plants at garden centesr, which carry them early in the season.

I would like to try to

I would like to try to overwinter my hardy mums but would like your advice as to the best place. I noticed in the article you said the best temperature range is 32-50F. The temperature in my garage dips down into the 20's but the basement usually stays in the 60's. Which would you think is better? Thanks.

The basement, most

The basement, most diffently!  That's where I overwinter most of my potted plants.

bought a pot of 9 inch mums

bought a pot of 9 inch mums can I keep them in the house ??

Place potted mums in a cool

Place potted mums in a cool area that gets sun.  East or west exposure is the best.

Hi. I was considering leaving

Hi. I was considering leaving mums in their pot and planting them in the ground to decorate my walkway. The pot seems root bound but if I keep water the mums as you have suggested , and keep them in garage over the winter,can I expect to be able to plant them in the spring?

Sounds like a good plan,

Sounds like a good plan, Betsy.  Let us know next spring if the mums made it throught winter.

Hi just bought 4 8' hardy

Hi just bought 4 8' hardy mums can i put them in my basment til spring or can i plant them now

Jim, it's too late to plant

Jim, it's too late to plant mums unless you live in Zone 9.  Put them in the garage and water about 3-4 weeks to keep the roots hydrated.

I have around 25 mums in the

I have around 25 mums in the ground, lots of blooms. Please tell me I dont have to dig them up and put in pots for the winter. I live in the deep south
east Georgia. First time with mums.

No, you don't have to dig

No, you don't have to dig them up.  But, when the blooms brown, heap lots of mulch around plants.  Don't cut back growth.  It acts as  insulation.  Cut it in the spring when you see new growth.

I live in Piedmont NC. I

I live in Piedmont NC. I planted 6 mums last fall per instructions on the container (just getting into gardening and not realizing they should he planted in spring). We had a very cold winter for this area (most days out of school anyone ever seems to remember) somehow 2 of these boogers survived and are now about triple the size they were last year. However, also being unaware of where they should be planted, they don't have enough room now where they are. They were perfect for the space last year but have outgrown the space this year. I know this should have been done in spring, but since they have no room anyway, will it hurt to move them over 20 feet to a more open area this time of year? I won't split them until next year but just don't want to kill them by moving them.

If you dig up the mums and

If you dig up the mums and replant in the next month, you are OK.


Awesome. Thank you so much! I

Awesome. Thank you so much! I will do that.

Hi, I live in Hawaii where

Hi, I live in Hawaii where the temperatures range in the 70's and 80's. I bought some mums about a week ago. I have them outside in their original plastic pots. The mums get the afternoon sun which is very hot. They were beautiful until my Maroon Mums started to fade. Could the sun have anything to do with the fading?
Also, should I re-pot them in bigger pots?

Thank you

Larger containers and

Larger containers and afternoon shade will solve your problem.

I replanted a mum from a pot

I replanted a mum from a pot into the ground in December. I live in South Carolina. Do you have any recommendations of how I can care for it, or is it beyond help?

Mulch the plants thickly with

Mulch the plants thickly with shredded leaves or straw.  It may make it.

I was told my mums would

I was told my mums would bloom again if I planted them in my yard late in October. I put the 9 very large mums where I was going to plant them but never got around to doing it. Therefore, these plants sat out in the weather, uncovered, not planted all winter thus far! Should I just throw them away or is there a chance I could still plant them in the Spring?
Thank You!

It depends on where you live

It depends on where you live and how cold it has been so far this winter?

hi doreen & almanac staff-

hi doreen & almanac staff- this info is great! however, i was planning to overwinter my 4 mums my mom gave me this fall in our garage (zone 5 - joliet il)- can i keep them in the cheap-o thin plastic pots they were bought in or do they need a formal clay or other pot? can i just insulate with the newspapers and that will be good do you think? thanks so much in advance!!! ps: i was determined not to lose these this year after losing the 3 gorgeous ones i planted last fall - now i know why they didn't make it - agree with the other posters re:seeing them in spring but they're so pretty i am going to look for them in the six packs this coming spring to get a jump on next fall's crop! thanks again sorry for the ramble :)

The mums will be fine in the

The mums will be fine in the garage and in their orginial pots.  Be sure to water them about one a month to keep roots hydrated.


Hi again Doreen, I followed

Hi again Doreen,

I followed your instructions and now that it's spring - I am wondering when the green will start to come back? I am in zone 5 - joliet, IL - I have brought the pots out for some of the milder days and bring them back into the garage at night - I must be an impatient gardener - but i am just too excited to see if they survived or not :) the stumps look really dry and brown - so just wondering should I plant them in the ground after frost risk is over in this brown dry state - or should there be some green by then? we typically have frost sometimes into may - so i still have some weeks to go. I know these plants bloom in fall - but when should I start seeing signs of life in the plant if it survived?

Wait a bit.  I live about 120

Wait a bit.  I live about 120 miles north of you, and I have not seen any green growth on my mums, which are planted outdoors.  This was and is tough winter and plants are slow to break their dormancy.  We even had snow yesterday into this morning.  Just be patient and water the pots every two weeks to keep the roots hydrated.

I live in sw Florida. When

I live in sw Florida. When should I plant my bloomed mums? Winter is fairly warm here... but dry. Thanks

You can plant them after they

You can plant them after they finish blooming.  Remove the dead flowers and keep plants well-watered.  Fertilize monthly.  Don't be surprised if the mum plants bloom again in Spring.  It takes even days and nights to trigger flower bud formation, and in southern latitudes such as yours, plants will do so.  Remove the dead flowers again and wait for a second flower show in autumn!

Can you winter over other

Can you winter over other perennials in store bought pots? I didn't get around to preparing soil in new landscape area. Illinois Zone 5
Thank you

What about other perennial

What about other perennial plants in pots, like if you my from the garden center, and they never got planted BUT still alive. How or can I winter those over?? In Illinois Zone 5, supposed to be a harsh winter. Thank you!

I live in Zone 5-IL, too, and

I live in Zone 5-IL, too, and I overwinter many perennials in the garage, against a house wall, where it's warmer.  Again, I water plants monthly to keep roots healthy.

I bought an awesome mum in

I bought an awesome mum in late September that I want to plant and I see that you suggest to put it in a basement or cool closet until spring. I do not have either of those but was wondering if my garage is an ok place, or is it too cold.

Garage will work.  Keep it in

Garage will work.  Keep it in the darkest spot and water pot every month to keep roots alive.

I planted my little mum given

I planted my little mum given to me on Mother's day. It was tiny but now in early October, it is gigantic and has hundred of tiny buds on it. Some are now opening. It will be a madness of yellow if they all bloom before the frost. My question is this - Do Mum plants grow like a bush and very large and if so, how do I transplant some of it?

Yes, mum plants do grow

Yes, mum plants do grow huge!  Spring is when to divide plants.  Use a shovel to cut plant in half.  Dig up one part and replant it.  Replace lost soil around remaining plant and water both well.  Mums keep on giving!

Doreen- I live in zone 6 at a

Doreen- I live in zone 6 at a 750 elevation in the Blue Ridge Mts of VA. If I take care of my recently purchased potted mums in the basement as you suggest, and plant them in the spring, when will they bloom? I like having all these reds, oranges, and yellows in the fall, which is why I also get sucked into buying them. Thanks!

Mums are even-light bloomers,

Mums are even-light bloomers, meaning they bloom when the days and nights are even in length.  Usually, mums bloom in fall.  They start budding around Labor Day and bloom soon after.  If your spring is mild, and you plant the mums in early March, you may get a spring bloom.  If so, deadhead all flowers after they brown so that plants will bloom again in autumn.

I bought a beautiful Mum

I bought a beautiful Mum about two weeks back & yes I went mad when I saw the beautiful fuller looking plants. I bought a pot and left it the same way. I've been watering them everyday. recently some flowers started dying and I'm scared I'll lose it. I live in Memphis. winter is not that Cold here. Could you pls help me to Save this plant. Love your blog. It's great

You may be watering too

You may be watering too much.  Wait until the soil in the pot is dry 1/2 inch under the surface.  Or, it may be that the flowers have matured, are browning and falling off.  That's a natural cycle.  But, I'm betting it's too much water.  Glad you like the blog.

I bought 2 huge mums because

I bought 2 huge mums because I too go nuts in the fall when I see them. I want to keep these though. I live in South Dakota and the Black Hills and of course we have cold winters. I think it is too late to plant right? Should I try and do what you suggest about keeping them in a dark closet and keep the roots damp till spring?

Don't try to plant the mums! 

Don't try to plant the mums!  They'll die, even with a mountain of mulch.  Store them in a cold basement or cool dark closet.  Be sure to water plants well before storage and then water every month to keep roots alive.  Good luck!

They are still blooming. Do

They are still blooming. Do I need to cut anything back before I put them away in the basement?

You can cut off the dead and

You can cut off the dead and dying flowers, but leave the foliage to insulation the roots.

When is a good time to

When is a good time to replant the pinched/pruned buds off mums if you want to grow new plants? Spring, summer?

Spring.  You can also divide

Spring.  You can also divide plants in half to get more plants.  Keep them well watered after dividing.

I live in zone 8. If I plant

I live in zone 8. If I plant mums now will they survive the winter? We never get extremely cold, but winters do vary.

You may have a chance of

You may have a chance of saving your mums.  Don't cut the foliage or even the dead flowers.  After the first hard freeze--a night in the high 20's, heap 4-6 inches of loose mulch such as shredded fall leaves or straw over the plants.  They probably will make it.

Hi, I just bought some

Hi, I just bought some beautiful mums yesterday and planted them today. now I am afraid they will die planting them this late after reading all the info on mums. Is their anything I can do to try to protect them so they won't die. I live in Va and it can get pretty cold here in the winter months.

Peggy, you can try to save

Peggy, you can try to save the mums by leaving all the foliage and flowers on plants after they die.  This helps to insulate roots. Then, heap six inches of shredded fall leaves or straw on top of plants.  Good luck!

I too agree about this "FALL

I too agree about this "FALL MUM" thing....Why don't we see more mums in the spring???????? Why do they sell them in the fall??? I just learned a lot from reading this info!!! THANKS!!!

Will mum like to be in a deep

Will mum like to be in a deep pot on the porch with the morning sun?

I planted my Mum plant on

I planted my Mum plant on mother's day and now it is late August and it has tripled in size. No flowers but lost of green. Do I cut it down for winter and cover it? Thanks for the help.

If you live in a cold

If you live in a cold climate, it is best to leave the foliage on the plant, even after it has browned and died, to increase the plant's chance of surviving the winter. (If you do decide to cut off the foliage, wait until it turns brown. If the leaves are still green, it means that they are making food for the plant, which helps the plant to survive the winter.) In either case, place a thick layer of mulch, such as straw, over the plants in late fall; remove in spring when growth starts. In spring, you can prune out the dead leaves before the new ones start to develop.

Thank you. Now all I need to

Thank you. Now all I need to find is straw in Toronto, Ontario. However, I will. Thanks a bunch.

Hi Betty, I bought some straw

Hi Betty, I bought some straw stacks at Lowe's at Major MacKenzie and Dufferin in Sept.

Thanks for the tip. I will

Thanks for the tip. I will drive up there and have a look.

If I bought the mums now but

If I bought the mums now but do not plant them, can they be left in the pot until next spring, then plant them?

You can try it. After the

You can try it. After the mums start to turn brown, cut them back to within 1 inch of the soil. Water and put the pot in a protected area (example: garage, cold frame). Surround the plant with newspapers and place newspapers below the pot. Check your mums once a month or so to see if it's getting dried out and water if so. In the early spring, you can plant the mums in the ground.


I have bought those $1.98 mums at Walmart, the grocery, etc. and planted them when they are just budding and even after they are spent, but not dead, in Aug., Sept. and Oct. Every single one of them has returned each spring and they are healthy and HUGE. I've divided them each spring for the past two years. I live in zone 5 (Morris, IL). I figured that if they didn't come back, I wasn't out that much money and it took very little time to plant them...well worth the try. Happy growing!

Thanks for info. I will too

Thanks for info. I will too bought some "cheap" mums and planted...hope they return next year. If not, not a big loss. By the way, my sister lives in Morris/Coal City.!


I agree. I love mums and have consistently lost them when planting in the fall. Thank you for this article. Why are they not available to be planted in the spring? I have planted asters instead but do not find the same color choices available.

Re: mums

Spring sources for mum plants include mail order catalogs, online mum specialty nurseries and large garden centers that cater to landscapers.  They often sell mum transplants in six-paks in May and early June.

planting mums

I have read that planting mums in the fall is not a wise thing to do. If this is the case, why are there very few mum plants available in the spring?

planting mums

this is new information to me and may explain why I have lost mums in the past. I plant them in August which now I know I should plant them in May. Maybe they should be named spring mums instead of fall mums--the name is deceiving! thank you for the valuable information.


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