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A Guide to Planting Mums in Fall

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

Colorful Mums

Fee-fi-fo-fum, we think it’s time to plant some mums! Whatever your dream garden looks like, we’re sure mums can be a part of your vision. Our guide can help you choose, plant, and protect your mums.

Mums for Everyone

Chrysanthemums, or mums for short, have decorated our gardens for generations. There are hundreds of varieties with an incredible array of colors and shapes. When you’re planting mums, you’ll have to choose between annual and more hardy varieties. From there, you’ll get to decide between a rainbow of colors, and plan where you’ll be showcasing their amazing fall color. Plant them in your garden or containers—or both!

How Long Do Mums Last in Pennsylvania?

If you’re planting mums in Allentown, you can expect them to bloom continuously for 4-8 weeks—and with deadheading you can encourage even more beautiful blooms.

Warm Toned Mums

Tips for Planting and Caring for Mums

Caring for your mums is fairly easy, but there are a few key tips to keep them beautiful and healthy year after year.

Plant in Full Sun: When it comes to planting mums, sunlight is essential. Plant them in an area where they will get at least six hours of sunlight (ideally plant the hardy varieties in the spring and summer to ensure root establishment). It’s a good idea to make sure they will have a bit of shade during the late afternoon heat because when they bloom, the flowers do best with a bit of protection during the scorching hot days of late summer.

Space Them Out: Mums can be susceptible to fungus and mildew, so they need plenty of air circulation to prevent disease. Space them out to allow for proper airflow.

Get Set With Soil: Healthy soil leads to healthy plants. If you’re planting mums in your garden, make sure you dig as deep as the root ball and an extra half-width wide. The soil should be rich in nutrients and well-drained.

Mums in planter pots, on front steps

Adding Mums to Your Landscape

There’s no end to how you can incorporate mums into your landscape. Here are some of our favorite ways to design your mum-filled garden.

  • Line paths and walkways with bursts of their colorful blooms

  • Plant them in porch pots or hanging baskets

  • Add them to create a colorful grid in your fall vegetable garden

How Do You Take Care of Fall Mums?

It’s not too late to plant and enjoy mums before winter. While spring-planting is ideal, planting your mums in fall and taking proper care of them over winter will likely lead to beautiful blooms next spring and summer. While there are no guarantees that your hardy mums can survive winter, there are some steps you can take to care for them and increase their chance of survival.

Overwintering Your Mums

The process of protecting a perennial plant over the coldest months is called overwintering. For mums, you’ll need to make sure their root system is well insulated so it stays frozen and doesn’t get a chance to thaw and then refreeze. Your instincts may be cold = bad, but that’s not the case. The damage over winter actually happens when the roots have a chance to freeze, thaw, and then refreeze. When the roots start to thaw, it kicks the plant into “grow mode” which leaves it vulnerable to damage.

Mums in pumpkin pot

Preparing Mums in Fall

Preparing these beauties for fall actually starts in summer. Don’t fertilize them in August; fertilizing boosts the growth of the plants, which is great early in the season, but August is the time for mums to start winding down their growth. Then, around late October or early November, you can start mulching your mums to start insulating them. Keep the mulch on until the end of March or the beginning of April.

If you’re looking for fall mums for sale in Allentown, we can help! We’ll help you prepare for winter and plan for next spring.


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