How To Plant Mums In Pot [ Full Guide ]

Mums, also known as chrysanthemums, are beautiful and vibrant flowering plants that are perfect for adding a pop of color to your outdoor space. These hardy perennial plants are versatile and can thrive in different growing conditions, including pots and containers. Planting mums in a pot allows you to enjoy their gorgeous blooms even if you have limited garden space. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the detailed steps and considerations for planting mums in a pot, ensuring that you can successfully cultivate these charming flowers in a container setting.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Mums In Pot

If you’re looking for a quick overview of how to plant mums in a pot, here are the essential steps:

  1. Select a pot: Choose a pot with good drainage and sufficient size for the mums to grow.

  2. Prepare the potting soil: Use a well-draining potting mix with added organic matter for nutrients.

  3. Select mum variety: Choose a mum variety suitable for container gardening.

  4. Plant the mums: Gently place the mum plant in the pot and cover the roots with soil.

  5. Water and maintain: Keep the soil evenly moist, and provide adequate sunlight and care for healthy growth and blooming.

Selecting The Perfect Pot For Your Mums

The first step to successfully plant mums in a pot is selecting the right container. Choosing a suitable pot for your mums is crucial as it directly impacts the plant’s growth and health. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting a pot for your mums:

Size And Depth

Mums have a compact root system, but they still require sufficient space to grow and thrive. When selecting a pot, opt for one that is at least 12-18 inches in diameter. The depth of the pot is equally important – aim for a depth of 12 inches to accommodate the root system and provide stability to the plant as it grows. A larger pot will also help in preventing the plant from drying out too quickly, especially during hot weather.

Drainage Holes

Proper drainage is essential for mums as they are susceptible to root rot if their roots sit in waterlogged soil. Ensure that the pot has multiple drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape. If you find a pot without drainage holes that you particularly like, consider drilling holes to facilitate proper drainage.


Pots come in various materials, including plastic, clay, ceramic, and wood. Each material has its own advantages and considerations. Clay pots are porous and allow for better air circulation and moisture evaporation, but they can dry out faster. Plastic pots are lightweight and retain moisture better, but they may not provide as much aeration to the roots. Choose a material that suits your local climate and the specific needs of your mums.

Aesthetic Appeal

While the functionality of the pot is essential, considering its aesthetic appeal is also important, especially if you intend to display the potted mums in a visible area. Choose a pot that complements the color and style of your mums while also blending with the overall design of your outdoor space.

Preparing Your Potting Soil For Mums

The next crucial step in planting mums in a pot is preparing the potting soil. Mums require well-draining, nutrient-rich soil to support their growth and blooming. Here’s how you can prepare the ideal potting soil for your mums:

Well-Draining Potting Mix

Use a high-quality, well-draining potting mix for your mums. A mix that contains a combination of peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand is ideal for ensuring good drainage and preventing waterlogging. Avoid using regular garden soil, as it may compact in the pot and hinder proper drainage.

Organic Matter

Incorporating organic matter into the potting mix provides essential nutrients to the mums. Mix in some compost or well-rotted manure to enrich the soil with organic matter. The addition of organic matter will also help in retaining moisture and promoting healthy root development.

Ph Level

Mums prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 6.5 and 6.8. You can test the pH of the potting mix using a simple soil pH testing kit available at garden centers. If the pH is too high or too low, you can adjust it by adding amendments such as sulfur for lowering pH or lime for raising pH.


While it is important to incorporate organic matter into the potting mix, mums also benefit from periodic fertilization. Choose a balanced, slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for flowering plants. Follow the application instructions on the fertilizer packaging, and avoid overfertilization, which can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flower production.

Choosing The Right Mum Variety For Container Gardening

Selecting the appropriate mum variety is essential for successful container gardening. Some mum cultivars are better suited for pots due to their compact growth habits and adaptability to container environments. Consider the following factors when choosing a mum variety for planting in a pot:

Compact Growth Habit

Look for mum varieties that exhibit a compact and bushy growth habit. These varieties are better suited for containers as they won’t become overly leggy or sprawling. Compact mums not only fit well within the confines of a pot but also provide a fuller and more vibrant display of blooms.

Flowering Time

Mum varieties exhibit different flowering times, ranging from early to late blooming. When selecting a mum variety for container gardening, consider the flowering time that aligns with your climate and the specific season in which you intend to display the potted mums. This allows you to enjoy an extended period of colorful blooms.

Cold Hardiness

If you live in a region with cold winters, it’s important to choose mum varieties that are cold-hardy. Look for cultivars that can withstand frost, as they will be more likely to survive the winter in containers if provided with adequate protection.

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Color And Form

Mums are available in a wide array of colors and flower forms, including daisy-like, pompom, and anemone types. Consider the visual impact you want to achieve and select mum varieties that offer the desired colors and flower forms to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your potted display.

Recommended Varieties For Containers

Some popular mum varieties that are well-suited for container gardening include “Autumn Fire”, “Minngopher”, “Venus”, and “Sangria”. These varieties exhibit compact growth, vibrant blooms, and are adaptable to container environments.

Planting mums in a pot allows you to enjoy the beauty of these colorful flowers in a confined space, whether on a patio, balcony, or doorstep. By carefully selecting the right pot, preparing suitable potting soil, and choosing the perfect mum variety for container gardening, you can create a stunning display of potted mums that thrive and bloom abundantly. With proper care, including regular watering, adequate sunlight, and occasional fertilization, your potted mums will reward you with a long-lasting and delightful floral showcase, enhancing the charm of your outdoor living space. Follow the detailed steps and considerations outlined in this guide to ensure successful and gratifying results when planting mums in a pot.

When To Plant Mums In Pots

Mums, or chrysanthemums, are popular flowers known for their vibrant colors and long-lasting blooms. They are a great addition to any garden or patio, and one way to display these beautiful flowers is by planting them in pots. Planting mums in pots allows for greater flexibility in terms of placement and makes it easier to care for these plants.

It’s crucial to choose the right time to plant mums in pots to ensure their successful growth and blooming. In most regions, it is best to plant mums in late spring or early summer. This timing allows the plants to establish their root systems before the arrival of frost in the fall. If you’re in an area with a short growing season, consider starting your mums indoors from seeds or purchase young mums from a nursery. By doing so, you can enjoy a longer blooming period. Additionally, mums bought in pots during the fall season can also be transferred into larger pots for overwintering.

How To Plant Mums In Pots: Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these step-by-step instructions to successfully plant mums in pots and provide optimal growing conditions for them:

Step 1: Selecting The Right Pot

Choosing the right size and type of pot is crucial to ensure the healthy growth of mums. Select a pot that is at least 12-14 inches in diameter and has proper drainage holes at the bottom. It is essential to allow excess water to drain out, preventing the roots from becoming waterlogged. Ceramic, plastic, or clay pots are all suitable options for planting mums.

Step 2: Preparing The Pot

Before planting the mums, prepare the pot by placing a layer of gravel or broken pottery shards at the bottom. This layer will aid in improving drainage while preventing the soil from escaping through the drainage holes.

Step 3: Choosing The Right Soil

Mums prefer well-draining soil that is fertile and rich in organic matter. Use a potting mix specifically designed for container gardening or create your own by combining equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and compost. This mixture will offer good drainage and adequate nutrition to the mums.

Step 4: Preparing The Mums For Planting

If you have bought mums in pots, they are usually growing in containers that are too small. Ensure you transplant them into larger pots to give their roots room to spread and grow. Gently remove the mums from their current pots, being careful not to damage the roots. Loosen the root ball with your fingers and remove any excess soil.

Step 5: Planting The Mums

Place the mums in the prepared pot, ensuring they are centered and at the same level as they were in their original pots. Fill the pot with the prepared potting mix, gently tamping it down around the roots to remove any air pockets. Leave about an inch of space between the soil surface and the rim of the pot to allow for watering without overflow.

Step 6: Watering

After planting, thoroughly water the mums until water flows out of the drainage holes. This will help settle the soil around the roots and promote healthy growth. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Watering deeply when the top inch of soil becomes dry is generally sufficient. Be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.

Step 7: Mulching

Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of the mums can help conserve moisture, suppress weed growth, and regulate soil temperature. Spread a 2-3 inch layer of mulch, such as wood chips or straw, over the soil surface, taking care to keep it from touching the stems of the mums.

Step 8: Staking And Support

Mums may require staking, especially if they have large and heavy blooms that could cause the plants to tip over. To provide support, insert stakes into the soil near the mums and gently tie the stems to the stakes using soft twine or plant ties. This will prevent damage to the stems and ensure an upright growth habit.

Watering And Fertilizing Your Potted Mums

Proper watering and fertilizing are essential for the healthy growth and long-lasting blooms of potted mums. Follow these guidelines to ensure your mums receive the necessary nutrients and moisture:


Watering is crucial during the establishment period, but be careful not to overwater. Overly wet soil can lead to root rot and other issues. Monitor the soil moisture by gently inserting your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If it feels dry at that depth, it’s time to water. Water thoroughly until water flows out of the drainage holes, and allow the soil to dry slightly before the next watering. Avoid watering the foliage, as this can encourage disease.

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Mums benefit from regular fertilization throughout the growing season. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, you can use a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength every two weeks. Begin fertilizing once the plants have become established, typically two to four weeks after planting. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of blooming.

Providing Adequate Sunlight To Your Mums

Mums require adequate sunlight to develop strong stems and produce abundant blooms. Follow these recommendations to ensure your potted mums receive the right amount of sunlight:

Sun Exposure

Place your potted mums in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Mums thrive in full sun, where they receive consistent and uninterrupted sunlight. If full sun exposure is not possible, a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight is necessary for satisfactory growth and flowering. Be sure to monitor the sunlight patterns in your chosen location throughout the day to ensure your mums receive the right amount of sunlight.

Light Intensity

In addition to the duration of sunlight, the light intensity is also important for mums. Ensure that the mums receive bright, intense light rather than shaded or filtered light. Shaded areas may lead to weak, leggy growth and reduced flower production. Consider placing the pots in an unobstructed area, away from tall plants or structures that may cast shade during part of the day.

Planting mums in pots allows you to enjoy their beautiful blooms in any outdoor space, be it a garden, patio, or balcony. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can successfully plant mums in pots and provide optimal conditions for their growth. Remember to choose the right pot, prepare the soil adequately, and provide sufficient watering, fertilizing, and sunlight. With proper care, your potted mums will flourish and reward you with stunning displays of color throughout the growing season.

Pruning And Pinching Back Your Mums

Mums, scientifically known as Chrysanthemums, are vibrant and long-lasting flowers that bring a burst of color to any garden or patio. Planting mums in pots is a great way to enjoy their beauty and versatility in small spaces or for those who don’t have access to a garden.

Before you start planting your mums in pots, it is essential to understand the importance of pruning and pinching back. Pruning involves cutting away dead or damaged foliage to encourage new growth, while pinching back helps promote bushiness and more abundant blooms.

  1. Pruning: Begin by inspecting the mums’ foliage for any signs of disease or damage. Use a pair of clean and sterilized pruning shears to snip off any dead or discolored leaves. It is crucial to remove any infected leaves to prevent the spread of disease. Additionally, if you notice any stems that are crossing or crowded, trim them back to maintain an evenly spaced and aesthetically pleasing plant.

  2. Pinching Back: The key to lush and bushy mums is to pinch back the plants regularly. Pinching back involves using your fingers or shears to remove the top one to two inches of new growth when the plants reach four to six inches tall. By doing so, you encourage the plant to grow more branches, resulting in a fuller and more robust plant. Make sure to pinch back your mums every two to four weeks until mid-summer to ensure optimal growth.

Dealing With Common Pests And Diseases For Potted Mums

Like any other plant, mums in pots are susceptible to pests and diseases. However, with proper care and attention, you can prevent and manage these issues effectively.

  1. Pests: Common pests that can attack potted mums include aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. To deter aphids and spider mites, you can use a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. If the infestation is severe, consider using an organic insecticide specifically formulated to target these pests. For whiteflies, sticky traps placed near your mums can help catch them. Alternatively, you can use insecticidal soap or Neem oil to control whiteflies.

  2. Diseases: Mums in pots can be prone to fungal diseases like powdery mildew and root rot. To prevent powdery mildew, ensure adequate airflow around the plants by spacing them properly and avoid overhead watering. If powdery mildew develops, remove infected plant parts and apply a fungicide labeled for use on mums. To prevent root rot, make sure your pots have drainage holes and avoid overwatering. If root rot is suspected, remove the affected plant from the pot, trim away the damaged roots, and repot it in fresh soil.

It is important to regularly inspect your mums for any signs of pest or disease infestation. Early detection and prompt action will help ensure the health and longevity of your potted mums.

Overwintering Your Mums In Pots

In regions with cold winters, mums planted in pots will not survive harsh temperatures unless they are properly protected. Follow these steps to overwinter your mums and ensure their survival for the following year:

  1. Preparing for Overwintering: Around mid-fall, when the temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to prepare your mums for overwintering. Stop pinching back your plants to allow them to focus on building up energy for the winter. Mulch the pots with a layer of straw or shredded leaves to provide insulation and protect the roots from freezing.

  2. Choosing a Suitable Location: Find a suitable location for overwintering your mums in pots. This can be a garage or basement where the temperature remains consistently cool but above freezing. Ensure that the location has sufficient natural or artificial light to prevent the mums from becoming leggy.

  3. Watering and Monitoring: During the winter, check the moisture levels in the pots and water sparingly to prevent the roots from drying out completely. It is important to strike a balance between keeping the soil moist and avoiding excessive waterlogging. Monitor the mums closely for signs of stress or disease and take appropriate action if necessary.

  4. Spring Care: When the danger of frost has passed and temperatures begin to rise in the spring, it’s time to prepare your mums for the outdoor growing season. Gradually acclimate the plants to outdoor conditions by placing them in a sheltered spot for a few hours a day. Increase the exposure over a week or two until the plants are acclimated to the outdoor environment.

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Following these steps will give your mums the best chance of surviving the winter and flourishing in the following growing season.

Decorating With Potted Mums: Creative Ideas

In addition to their beauty, potted mums are incredibly versatile in terms of decorating your outdoor space. Here are a few creative ideas to incorporate potted mums and make your garden or patio visually appealing:

  1. Container Selection: Choose pots or containers that complement your overall garden aesthetics. Consider different sizes, shapes, and colors to add variation and interest. Terracotta, ceramic, or colorful plastic pots can all work well for potted mums.

  2. Grouping and Layering: Arrange different sizes and colors of potted mums in groups to create visual impact. You can also think about layering them by placing taller mums at the back and shorter ones at the front for a dimensional look.

  3. Mixing with Other Plants: Combine potted mums with other fall-blooming plants like ornamental grasses, asters, or pansies. The combination of different textures, heights, and colors will create a vibrant display.

  4. Elevate with Stands or Pedestals: Place potted mums on stands or pedestals to elevate them and add height to your outdoor space. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also makes it easier to view and appreciate the plants.

  5. Hanging Baskets: Consider planting trailing mums in hanging baskets to create a cascading effect. This works particularly well on porches, balconies, or any elevated areas.

  6. Seasonal Themes: Incorporate potted mums into seasonal themes by adding other fall elements such as pumpkins, cornstalks, or hay bales. This will create a cohesive and festive look for any autumn celebration.

Remember to choose the appropriate potting soil for your mums and provide them with adequate sunlight and water to ensure their healthy growth and long-lasting blooms.


Planting mums in pots is a rewarding and straightforward way to bring vibrant fall colors to your garden or patio. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully plant and care for your mums. Remember to regularly prune and pinch back your mums to promote bushiness and more abundant blooms. Stay vigilant against pests and diseases and take proper measures to prevent and manage any issues that arise. If you live in a region with cold winters, ensure proper overwintering techniques to protect your mums for the following year. Lastly, unleash your creativity and incorporate potted mums into your outdoor space with various decorative ideas. With a little effort and care, you can enjoy the beauty of mums in pots for seasons to come.


What Kind Of Pot Should I Use When Planting Mums?

Mums can be planted in any type of pot, as long as it has good drainage holes at the bottom. However, it is recommended to use a clay or terracotta pot as they provide better drainage and aeration for the roots.

When Is The Best Time To Plant Mums In A Pot?

The best time to plant mums in a pot is in early spring or late summer, when the weather is cool and the plants can establish their roots before extreme temperatures arrive.

How Much Sunlight Do Mums Need When Grown In A Pot?

Mums prefer full sun to partial shade, so it is important to place them in an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. If you live in a hot climate, it is best to provide some afternoon shade to prevent the plants from wilting.

What Type Of Soil Should I Use For Planting Mums In A Pot?

Mums grow best in well-draining, fertile soil. A good option is a potting mix that is specifically designed for container gardening. Add some organic matter such as compost or peat moss to further improve the soil’s drainage and moisture retention.

How Often Should I Water My Potted Mums?

Mums need to be watered regularly, but not excessively. Check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. During hot weather, you may need to water every day, but during cooler weather, every 2-3 days may be sufficient. Always water at the base of the plant, avoiding the foliage to prevent fungal diseases.