FAQ: Mums (also known as Chrysanthemums)

We’re always happy to answer questions about mums. If you don’t see answers to your questions listed here, please contact us.

Q: Do you grow hardy mums?

A: We do grow hardy mums. Hardy mums, also known as garden mums, are the types of mums you see for sale in the fall. These fall mums differ from florist mums. Florist mums are grown in greenhouses and are used indoors.

Q: Are mums perennials?

A: Yes, our mums are perennials. Many people choose to purchase new mums each year rather than plant them. 

Q: When should I plant mums?

A: Planting fall mums early in the fall season increases the chances of survival. The roots must have time to establish themselves before the cold frosty weather sets in. 

Q: When will my mums bloom?

A: Mums are photoperiodic. This means that they’re stimulated to bloom when the number of daylight hours decrease. Do not plant mums near artificial light sources like night lights.

Q: Can I wait to plant my mums in the spring?

A: Yes, you can overwinter your plants in the pots until the weather warms in the spring. Once the plant stems turn brown, place the mum in a sheltered and cool area during the winter. Remember to water occasionally so the mum is only slightly moist. Do not soak the plant.

To prepare the plant for the outdoor planting, begin taking the plant outside for set periods of time about a week before the last expected frost. Start with two or three hours and gradually increase the time the plant is outside. Remember to bring the mum inside at night. After the last frost, mums can be planted.

Q: Where should I plant my mums?

A: Choose a spot with well-drained soil that receives sun six hours per day. If you have heavy soils, add some organic compost to your planting area, working in about 8-12”. 

Q: How deep should I plant my mums?

A: Plant the mum in the ground at about the same depth as it was grown in the pot. Space mums 18-36” apart.

Q: How do I water my mums?

A: Water at the base of the plant. The soil needs to be moist, not soaking wet. Watering mums from the top will degrade the blooms and increase the chance of disease.

Q: What do I need to do to prepare for frost and increase the chances of survival for next year?

A: Insulate the roots with about 2 inches of mulch (not grass clippings). Mulch the root area of the plant but try to keep the mulch from touching the plant stems. Straw can be placed on top of the plants. You can purchase straw from us for this purpose. If you’re using straw in your fall display, put it to good use around your mums!

I recommend leaving the dead (brown) stems in place until spring for added protection against the cold. You can also try pruning the dead stems off to a height of 2-3”. 

Q: What do I need to do to care for my mum year-round once it is planted?

A: Be sure to pinch off blooms during the spring and early summer months if you want fall blooms. Removing the blooms will allow the plant to redirect its energy into growing larger. Fertilize with 5-10-10 fertilizer once or twice a month in the spring and hot summer months.