Whose Mum? My Mum

Whose Mum? My Mum

October 4, 2017

Everything you need to know about garden mums.

Mums are a fall front porch favorite that start popping up everywhere at the end of August or beginning of September. Mums begin to bloom once our days get shorter late in the summer and they offer a large pop of color that can be placed right on the porch, deck or planted into the landscape. One of the most convenient things about mums is that they do not require re-potting into a larger container. They can last the entire fall in the pot you purchase them in.

“Are mums annual or perennial?”

The best answer we can offer is “yes and no.” While most mums are technically hardy in our zone, it is really hit or miss if they will emerge the next year. If left in a container, it is highly unlikely that they will survive the winter. If planted in the ground, it may depend on the type of winter we have. Mums are most likely to return when they are planted in the spring because it allows them to spend the entire spring and summer establishing roots. When mums are in bloom in the fall, most of their energy is being used to produce those colorful masses of flowers, so it is likely that roots won’t be established before a killing frost. A plus side to this, however, is that you’re able to choose a new color each year and don’t have to worry about pinching them back throughout the year.

What to consider when selecting your garden mum

You will notice on signage and tags that each mum is labeled with a time period such as “early, mid-season, or late.” This refers to how early or late in the fall the mum will bloom.

Garden Mums at Colonial Gardens located in Blue Springs Missouri

Early mums begin blooming in early August

Garden Mums at Colonial Gardens located in Blue Springs Missouri

Late season mums bloom may not show color until late September or early October.

To enjoy longer mum blooms at home, check out these tips:

  • Choose mums with tight buds that are just beginning to open.
  • Once open, most mums will be full of color for a month or longer.
  • Look at the foliage as well to ensure it is healthy, green and free of holes.
  • Holes may indicate insects damage.

Garden mum plant care

  • All mums will perform best and bloom longest when they get plenty of sunlight.
  • They may stop blooming if they are placed indoors or in full shade.
  • When in bloom they will likely need water every day.
  • It is best to water thoroughly letting water seep out of the bottom of the container, but allow to dry between.
  • Watering early in the day also gives them a chance to dry out before evening, which can help prevent fungal diseases.

Garden mum compatibility

Mums work great in combination containers. Pair them with fall annuals such as:

Ornamental Cabbage



Pair Ornamental Cabbage with Garden Mums Located in Blue Springs Missouri Pair Kale with Garden Mums Located in Blue Springs Missouri Pair Pansies with Garden Mums Located in Blue Springs Missouri



Ornamental Grasses

Pair Celosia with Garden Mums Located in Blue Springs Missouri Pair Snap Dragons with Garden Mums Located in Blue Springs Missouri Pair Ornamental Grasses with Garden Mums Located in Blue Springs Missouri

It’s just not fall without a mum and some pumpkins on the porch. Color choices are endless and Colonial offers several different sizes to choose from. We hope to see you in our patch of mums this fall.

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