How To Plant Potted Mums [ Full Guide ]

Potted mums, or chrysanthemums, are a colorful and vibrant addition to any garden or outdoor space. These versatile plants are often available at garden centers and nurseries as potted specimens, making them a popular choice for those looking to add a pop of fall color to their outdoor spaces. Planting potted mums is a relatively straightforward process, and with the right care, these plants can thrive beautifully. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the steps to effectively plant potted mums, ensuring that they grow and flourish in your garden.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Potted Mums

Planting potted mums involves selecting the right pot, choosing the best soil, preparing the pot and plants for planting, and providing proper care after planting. In the following sections, we will delve into each of these steps in detail, guiding you through the process to ensure successful growth and stunning blooms.

Choosing The Right Pot For Your Mums

Selecting the appropriate pot for your potted mums is essential for their successful growth. When choosing a pot, consider the size of the mum plant and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in your outdoor space. Here are some key points to keep in mind when selecting a pot for your mums:


Choose a pot that provides ample space for the mum’s root system to grow. Opt for a pot that is at least 12-16 inches in diameter, as this will allow the roots to spread out comfortably, promoting healthy growth.


Ensure that the pot has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Proper drainage is crucial for the health of the mum plant, as it prevents the roots from sitting in water, which can lead to root rot and other issues.


Select a pot made from a durable material such as clay, ceramic, or plastic. These materials provide insulation for the roots and help regulate soil moisture. Additionally, choose a pot that complements the color and style of your outdoor space.

Selecting The Best Soil For Your Potted Mums

The type of soil you use for your potted mums plays a significant role in their overall health and growth. It’s essential to choose a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil that provides a stable foundation for the mum plants to thrive. Here are some factors to consider when selecting soil for your potted mums:


Opt for a well-draining potting mix that allows excess water to flow through easily. Avoid heavy clay soils, as they can compact and hinder proper drainage. Look for potting mixes specifically formulated for outdoor container plants, as they often contain ingredients such as perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage.

Nutrient Content

Choose a potting mix that is rich in organic matter and contains essential nutrients. A high-quality potting soil will provide the necessary support for the mum plants’ growth and help them establish strong roots.

Ph Level

Check the pH level of the soil, aiming for a slightly acidic to neutral range (around 6.0-7.0). Most commercial potting mixes are designed to meet this pH range, but it’s always beneficial to confirm the soil’s acidity before planting.

Preparing The Pot For Planting

Before planting your potted mums, it’s crucial to prepare the pot to create an optimal environment for the plants. Follow these steps to ensure that the pot is ready for the mum plants:

Clean The Pot

If you are reusing a pot from a previous planting, make sure to clean it thoroughly to remove any debris, pests, or disease pathogens. Wash the pot with mild soap and water, and disinfect it with a diluted bleach solution if necessary. This helps prevent the spread of diseases and ensures a fresh start for your mum plants.

Add Drainage Material

Place a layer of small rocks or gravel at the bottom of the pot to enhance drainage. This layer prevents the potting soil from becoming waterlogged and promotes proper aeration for the roots.

Fill With Potting Mix

Fill the pot with the selected potting mix, leaving enough space at the top to accommodate the root ball of the mum plant. Gently tap the pot on a solid surface to settle the soil and remove any air pockets.

Preparing The Mum Plants For Planting

Before placing the mum plants in the prepared pot, it’s essential to ensure that they are in optimal condition for planting. Follow these steps to prepare the mum plants for successful transplantation:

Inspect The Plants

Carefully examine the potted mum plants for any signs of pests, disease, or stress. Look for yellowing leaves, wilting, or evidence of insect infestation. It’s crucial to address any issues before planting to prevent the spread of problems to the garden.


If the soil in the potted mum plants is dry, water them thoroughly a few hours before planting. Properly hydrated plants have a higher chance of acclimating to their new environment and experiencing less transplant shock.

Loosen The Roots

Gently loosen the roots of the mum plants before planting. If the roots are tightly packed, carefully tease them apart to encourage outward growth once planted in the pot.

Planting The Potted Mums

Now that the pot and mum plants are prepared, it’s time to plant the potted mums. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful planting process:


Carefully place the prepared mum plants in the center of the pot, ensuring that they are positioned at the same depth as they were in their original containers.


Fill in the spaces around the mum plants with the prepared potting mix, gently pressing the soil to secure the plants in place. Leave a slight indentation around the plants to create a basin for watering.

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After planting, water the mum plants thoroughly to settle the soil and provide essential moisture for their initial growth. Ensure that the water reaches the roots and drains through the bottom of the pot.

Caring For Potted Mums After Planting

Proper care is crucial for the ongoing health and vitality of potted mums after planting. Follow these guidelines to ensure that your mum plants thrive in their new environment:


Place the potted mums in a location that receives ample sunlight, ideally around 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Adequate sunlight is essential for robust growth and abundant flowering.


Maintain consistent soil moisture by watering the potted mums when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot, and ensure that excess water drains freely from the pot.


Feed the potted mums with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer formulated for flowering plants. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application, and fertilize the mum plants every 2-3 weeks during their active growing season.


Remove spent flowers from the mum plants to encourage continuous blooming. Regular deadheading redirects the plant’s energy into producing new flowers, prolonging the flowering period.


If you live in a region with cold winters, consider overwintering your potted mums indoors or providing them with protection from harsh frost. Mulch around the base of the plants to insulate the roots during the winter months.

Planting potted mums is a rewarding experience that adds vibrant colors and textures to your garden or outdoor space. By choosing the right pot, selecting the best soil, preparing the pot and mum plants, and providing ongoing care, you can ensure that your potted mums thrive and flourish. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to plant your potted mums with confidence, and enjoy the beauty of these stunning plants throughout the growing season.

Adding Fertilizer To The Soil

Potted mums, also known as Chrysanthemums, are popular and vibrant fall flowers that can add beauty and color to any garden or patio. Planting potted mums is a relatively simple process, but it is important to follow a few steps to ensure their successful growth and blooming.

Before planting your potted mums, it is crucial to prepare the soil by adding fertilizer. This will provide the necessary nutrients for the plants to flourish. Start by choosing a high-quality, balanced fertilizer. Look for one with a balanced NPK ratio, which indicates the ratio of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the formula.

Follow these steps to add fertilizer to the soil:

  1. Fill the pot with a commercial potting mix that is well-draining. Avoid using garden soil, as it can be too heavy for potted plants.

  2. Mix the fertilizer with the potting mix according to the instructions on the package. Generally, a ratio of 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per gallon of potting mix is recommended.

  3. Thoroughly blend the fertilizer into the potting mix, ensuring it is evenly distributed.

Adding the correct amount of fertilizer will provide your potted mums with the necessary nutrients to thrive.

Planting Your Mums In The Pot

Once you have prepared the soil by adding fertilizer, you are ready to plant your potted mums. Follow these steps for successful planting:

  1. Select a pot with good drainage holes. The size of the pot will depend on the number of mums you want to plant. Ensure the pot is large enough to accommodate the root ball of the mums.

  2. Fill the pot with the fertilized potting mix, leaving enough space at the top for watering.

  3. Gently remove the mums from their nursery containers. You can do this by squeezing the sides of the pot and gently tapping the bottom.

  4. Place the mums into the pot, spacing them according to the guidelines provided on the plant tags. Remember to leave enough space for their root systems to expand.

  5. Backfill the pot with the potting mix, ensuring the mums are securely positioned.

  6. Gently press down the soil around the base of the plants to remove any air pockets.

By following these steps, you will have successfully planted your potted mums and prepared them to thrive in their new home.

Watering Your Newly Potted Mums

Watering is a critical aspect of growing potted mums, as they require consistent moisture. Follow these guidelines to ensure proper watering:

  1. Water the potted mums immediately after planting, giving them a thorough soak. This will help settle the soil and ensure good root-to-soil contact.

  2. Water the mums consistently, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Aim to water the plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

  3. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. Ensure that excess water can drain freely from the bottom holes of the pot.

  4. Be mindful of the weather conditions. During hot and dry spells, you may need to water your potted mums more frequently.

Proper watering will promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms in your potted mums.

Placing Your Potted Mums In The Ideal Location

To maximize the growth and blooming potential of your potted mums, it is important to place them in an ideal location. Consider the following factors:

  1. Sunlight: Mums thrive in full sun, so look for a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. If full sun is not available, they can tolerate partial shade.

  2. Temperature: Mums are hardy plants, but extreme heat or cold can negatively impact their growth. Choose a location with moderate temperatures, avoiding areas with harsh winds.

  3. Shelter: Protect your potted mums from strong winds by placing them near a wall, fence, or other structures that provide some form of shelter.

  4. Outdoor vs. Indoor: If you prefer to keep your potted mums indoors, choose a location near a window that receives ample sunlight. Alternatively, you can use grow lights to provide sufficient light if natural sunlight is limited.

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By carefully selecting the location for your potted mums, you can ensure they receive the optimal conditions for healthy growth and abundant blooms.

Maintaining Your Potted Mums

To ensure the ongoing health and beauty of your potted mums, it is important to follow proper maintenance practices. Below are some guidelines to help you maintain your plants:

  1. Deadheading: Regularly remove faded or wilted flowers by pinching or cutting them off. This process, known as deadheading, encourages continued blooming by redirecting the plant’s energy to new blooms.

  2. Fertilizing: After the initial planting, it is beneficial to provide additional fertilizer to your potted mums. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every two to four weeks, following the instructions on the packaging.

  3. Monitoring Pests and Diseases: Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids and spider mites. If you notice any signs of infestation, treat your mums with an appropriate organic or chemical pesticide. Additionally, watch for signs of diseases such as powdery mildew or gray mold, and promptly address any issues to prevent spreading.

  4. Pruning: To maintain a compact and bushy shape, you can lightly prune your mums throughout the growing season. Pinch off the growing tips to encourage branching and fullness.

  5. Winter Protection: In colder climates, potted mums may need winter protection. Once the blooming season is over, you can move the potted mums to a sheltered location, such as a garage or basement. Reduce watering during this dormant period, but ensure the soil remains slightly moist.

By following these maintenance practices, you can keep your potted mums healthy and thriving year after year.

Planting potted mums can be a rewarding and enjoyable gardening experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, from preparing the soil to maintaining the plants, you can ensure the successful growth and blooming of your potted mums. Remember to provide the necessary nutrients, plant them correctly, water consistently, choose the right location, and properly maintain them. With a little care and attention, you will be able to enjoy the vibrant beauty of potted mums throughout the fall season.

Pinching Back The Buds For Bushier Growth

Potted mums, also known as chrysanthemums, are beautiful flowering plants that can add a burst of color to any home or garden. These plants are known for their vibrant blooms and ability to thrive in various climates.

Pinching back the buds of your potted mums is an essential step in encouraging bushier growth and more abundant blooms. This process involves removing the top inch or two of the plant’s stems, which helps stimulate new growth and prevents the plant from becoming leggy.

To pinch back the buds of your potted mums, simply use your thumb and forefinger to gently pinch off the top portion of each stem. Be sure to pinch just above a leaf node, which is the point where a leaf attaches to the stem. Repeat this process every two to three weeks in the spring and early summer.

By pinching back the buds, you’re redirecting the plant’s energy to the side shoots, resulting in a fuller, more compact plant. This technique helps ensure that your potted mums will have plenty of blooms and a more attractive overall appearance.

Pruning Your Mums

Pruning your potted mums is another important aspect of their care. Pruning not only helps maintain the plant’s shape and size, but it also promotes healthier growth and improves air circulation around the plant, reducing the risk of diseases.

The best time to prune your potted mums is in early spring or early summer. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to remove any dead or damaged stems. Also, prune back any overgrown branches to maintain a desired size and shape.

When pruning, make cuts just above a leaf node to encourage new growth. Additionally, if your potted mums have produced early blooms that are looking tired or faded, it’s best to deadhead them. Deadheading involves removing spent flowers to prevent the plant from putting energy into seed production. This will redirect the plant’s energy to producing new blooms and maintaining a longer flowering period.

Remember to always disinfect your pruning tools before and after use to prevent the spread of diseases. Dip your pruning shears into a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water and wipe them clean before moving on to the next plant.

Handling Problems With Pests Or Diseases

Just like any other plant, potted mums can sometimes be susceptible to pests and diseases. Here are some common problems you may encounter and how to deal with them effectively:

  1. Aphids: Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects that can cluster on the undersides of leaves and suck out plant sap. They can distort new growth and spread diseases. To control aphids, you can blast them off with a strong jet of water or use insecticidal soap. In severe infestations, a systemic insecticide may be necessary.

  2. Spider Mites: Spider mites are small, spider-like insects that feed on the undersides of leaves and cause visible yellowing and mottling. They thrive in dry conditions. To combat spider mites, regularly mist your potted mums to increase humidity or use insecticidal soap. Neem oil can also be effective in controlling spider mites.

  3. Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that appears as a white, powdery coating on the leaves. It can stunt plant growth and reduce flower production. Improve air circulation around your plants by spacing them properly, as crowded plants are more susceptible to this disease. If powdery mildew appears, treat with a fungicide recommended for use on mums.

  4. Root Rot: Root rot is caused by overwatering and poorly drained soil, leading to the decay of the plant’s roots. Symptoms include wilting leaves and a foul odor from the soil. To prevent root rot, ensure your potted mums are planted in well-draining soil and only water them when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

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Regularly inspect your potted mums for any signs of pests or diseases. Early detection and prompt action can help prevent these issues from spreading and causing significant damage to your plants.

Displaying Your Potted Mums In Your Home Or Garden

Once your potted mums are thriving, it’s time to think about how to display them in your home or garden to maximize their visual impact. Here are some tips to help you create an aesthetically pleasing arrangement:

  1. Grouping: Plant several potted mums together in a cluster or arrange them in a row to create a bold display of color. Mix different colors and varieties for a varied and eye-catching arrangement.

  2. Container Selection: Choose attractive containers that complement the colors of your potted mums. Terra-cotta pots, ceramic planters, or decorative baskets are all excellent choices. Ensure the containers have drainage holes to prevent overwatering.

  3. Height Variation: Add visual interest by varying the heights of your potted mums. Place taller varieties at the back and shorter ones in front to create a layered effect.

  4. Mix with Other Plants: Combine your potted mums with complementary plants to create a diverse and visually appealing display. Consider adding ornamental grasses or trailing ivy for additional texture and interest.

  5. Indoor Displays: If displaying your potted mums indoors, place them in well-lit areas where they can receive bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing them near drafts or heaters.

  6. Outdoor Displays: For outdoor displays, choose a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. Ensure the soil is well-draining and water your potted mums regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

  7. Seasonal Displays: Take advantage of the seasonal blooms of your potted mums by incorporating them into seasonal displays. For example, arrange them with pumpkins and gourds in the fall or pair them with evergreen branches and berries during the winter months.

Remember to regularly check the soil moisture and water your potted mums as needed. Fertilize them every two to four weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth and abundant blooms.


Planting potted mums can be a rewarding experience that brings vibrant colors and beauty to your home or garden. By following the tips in this guide, such as pinching back the buds, properly pruning your mums, handling pests or diseases, and creatively displaying them, you’ll be able to enjoy these stunning flowers to their fullest. With a little care and attention, your potted mums will thrive and provide you with a stunning display of color for years to come. So go ahead, get your hands dirty, and bring the beauty of potted mums into your life!


What Time Of Year Is Best For Planting Potted Mums?

The best time to plant potted mums is in the late summer or early fall when the temperatures are cool but not freezing. This will give the plants time to establish their root system before winter.

How Do I Choose The Right Pot For My Potted Mums?

It’s important to choose a pot that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant to ensure there is enough room for root growth. Make sure the pot has good drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating and causing root rot.

How Often Should Potted Mums Be Watered?

Potted mums should be watered consistently but not excessively. Check the soil’s moisture level and water when the top inch is dry. Avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot and other diseases.

Do Potted Mums Need Full Sun Or Partial Shade?

Potted mums need at least 6 hours of full sun each day for the best blooming. However, in warmer climates, they may benefit from some afternoon shade to prevent wilting. In cooler climates, they can tolerate partial shade.

How Do I Care For Potted Mums During The Winter?

Potted mums are not winter hardy, so they will need to be protected from freezing temperatures. You can either bring them indoors to a cool, well-lit area or cover them with straw, mulch, or another insulating material. Water them sparingly during the winter months.