How to care for potted mum plants

mums the word image by James Lemmon from

Potted mum plants make colourful decorations in the late summer and throughout the fall, even providing a bright backdrop for Thanksgiving festivities. With proper care, potted mum plants can last through the winter or be winterised in a garden for regrowth the next year.

You can even take mum cuttings and propagate your plants until you have as many new plants as you need. Whether indoor or out, potted mums need water, sun and care to look their best.

Water the mums regularly. Soak the mums until water runs out through the holes in the pot bottom. After the initial soaking, water daily or until soil is moist. Don't allow the potted soil to dry out, as this will harm the plant.

Keep mums in natural light or in the direct sun, whether indoors or out. Mum plants need plenty of sun for proper growth. Keep them away from night lighting, as this disturbs their flowering cycle.

Deadhead spent blooms. After flowers begin to wilt and die, pluck them from the plant at the base of the flower. Leave on any buds, blooming flowers and leaves.

Allow the mum plants to go dormant over the winter. Keep them outside once the blooms die, and mound the pots with dried leaves or garden refuse to prevent premature freezing.

Prune the mum plants in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Cut back stems to about 12 to 18 inches or shorter for bushier plants.

Water mum plants in the spring as new growth begins and colour returns to the plants. Keep them well watered throughout the spring, fertilising once a week for the first couple months and then ceasing fertilisation once blooms are present.