Planning on decorating the fall front porch with mums? Here are my best tips on how to make those mums last longer.

You can make mums last all the way through the fall season with these step-by-step tips and advice.

How To Make Mums Last Longer

Hello fall front porch.

It’s so nice to meet you.

My porch this year is a random assortment of faux plants and faux pumpkins mixed in with real mums and real pumpkins. Last year I bought all real pumpkins and real mums and they only lasted a hot Texas minute (literally) and I was left with an empty porch until Christmas showed up.

But this year?

This year is different.

I researched mums and planned it out so it would last from now until my tummy is full of turkey and green bean casserole.

And I have the BEST tip to share with you today if you are planning on mums for your front porch. It’s kept my mums blooming and blooming this season.

Here’s how to make your mums last longer.

How To Make Mums Last Longer pumpkin

faux fuchsia mums//faux eucalyptus garland//white pumpkins

First, let’s discuss mums.


They are a little fussy. They can go south quickly. You bring them home and they are all happy and blooming and you turn your back for ONE MINUTE and they are on their last mum legs.

I live in Texas, so keep in mind the weather here is hot and dry, so feel free to adjust this mum advice for your own climate and location.

How To Make Mums Last Longer with pumpkins

In my humble mum advice, it comes down to TWO main pieces of advice (and a few other pieces of advice I picked up along the way.

Water and sun.

And I have a hack for both of them.

How To Make Mums Last Longer monogrammed planter

How To Make Mums Last Longer

How to water mums

Let’s start with water.

The challenge with mums is that so many times the water with mums doesn’t get down to the roots. When you water the plant, the water can run off the side and stick to the stems and the leaves of the plant. It doesn’t actually get down to the roots, so the soil around the roots can get dry very quickly—especially in a place like Texas

The solution?

How To Make Mums Last Longer tub of water

Root soak the mum.

I know, right?

It’s such a simple tip, but it makes SUCH A DIFFERENCE.

When we brought these mums home from the garden center, they were already dry. It’s hard to tell how dry the plant actually is when you stick your finger into the dirt. I wanted to get all that water where it matters to the mum the most—the roots.

These tubs were filled with a couple of inches of water and I let the mums soak for 1-2 hours until the roots were watered.

 soak mums

Make SURE that you don’t overwater and leave the mums in the water too long.

Remember—mums are fussy. They need just the right amount of water to live a good long mum life.

Throughout the season, constantly check to make sure they have enough CONSISTENT water. I can always tell it’s time to water when I lift them up and they feel light. It’s time to water again. I always water deep into the roots to make sure there’s a good water foundation.

faux fuchsia mums//faux eucalyptus garland//white pumpkins

The right amount of sunlight

Every time I buy mums, the tags always say the mums want full sun.

Except I decided that those tag writers didn’t live in Texas. When I put the mums in full sun, they actually shrivel up. It’s like the full Texas sun is too much for them.

So instead, I’ve found that dappled sunlight is best.

A little bit of sun and a little bit of shade. I actually moved several of the plants so they were more in the shade when the temperature got up into the high 90s recently.

faux fuchsia mums//faux eucalyptus garland//white pumpkins

Repot the mums

When you bring your mums home, check the roots. So many times, mums can be root bound with big clusters of roots at the base of the plant, making it so hard for the poor plant to grow and to distribute water throughout the plant.

Lift the plant out of the pot and gently break up the roots. You will almost see the plant smiling.

Add soil to the base of the new pot and place the mum inside. Fill the pot with soil and then WATER like you’ve never watered before. Check to see if the plant needs more soil after you water.

faux fuchsia mums//faux eucalyptus garland//white pumpkins

Remove old blooms

Just between us?

This is kind of a pain. Mum flowers are small, and there are a zillion of them. But deadheading the plant will make your mum last SO MUCH longer.

Pick off those older blooms and your mum will continue to bloom.

Let me know if you try the root soak solution.

I’m telling you.

It’s gold.

I’m so happy the porch is decorated and ready for cooler days ahead.

Here’s to making mums (and fall) last a WHOLE lot longer. 🙂


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  1. Image for Suzan Suzan

    Fall is HERE! Your porch is so lovely! Once mum season is over, did you know that if you remove ALL of the flowers, the plant can be planted in the ground? Mums are perennials and will come back every year.

    1. Image for Lori H Lori H

      Here in Indiana or zones 5 mums will only grow back yearly (perennial) if you plant them in the ground early in the season like May. They don't get the chance to get rooted before our cold weather sets in so they will not make it for another season here. In Texas...probably:0) Mums are so pretty but they are sooooo finicky! I agree Kari Anne!!!

  2. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Thank you for the info regarding the mums. I have held off purchasing any because it is still in the 90's here in Georgia. Although we do have a cool front coming through today, YAY! Your porch is lovely. Happy Fall!

  3. Image for Kathy M. Kathy M.

    I bought some inexpensive in bud mums at the grocery store, took them home and repotted them in some larger containers and watered from the bottom like you suggested. They look great and the buds are opening as planned. I use them as annuals and toss them on the compost pile when past their prime.

  4. Image for LORRI LORRI

    Yes Mums are a fussy little plant 😗 I have waited a bit before buying my Mums so they will last has been unseasonably hot here in Windsor Ontario Canada..across the Detriot River from Detroit. We are getting a cold front today so I'm thinking that I will be buying my Mums this weekend. I love your purple Mums.. your Porch is absolutely beautiful. Happy Fall.😁

  5. Image for Pam Lane Pam Lane

    Hi😊 when you are soaking them in your bucket, are you pulling them out of their Home Depot/ Lowes pot or just setting the whole pot and plant in the water and let them draw from the bottom?

  6. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Great tips...just bought mums and took them out of pot and they were terribly root bound and dry. re-potted into larger container and watered. will deadhead as suggested.

  7. Image for Wen Wen

    Oh yes you are speaking my language! I too am in TX & this year has been soo hot! I will be doing the watering from down under 😉 Thanks to you yet again! Wen

  8. Image for Becky Becky

    Cool weather has finally arrived in Indiana and I’m ready for mums and pumpkins! Thank you as always for your timely advice. Your upbeat attitude is contagious. The mums on our porch will thrive this year!

  9. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Yes, yes and YES!!!! You are spot on. Mums do well here in mid-Ohio - but whew has it been hot. But TODAY - the first day of Autumn - it is a breezy sunny cooler perfect autumn day. I just checked. My mums are smiling. Hope your mums smile the whole Fall through, too, KA.


    KariAnne, your porch is so beautiful with all the flowers and pumpkins! Thanks for all the info on caring for mums -- so helpful.

  11. Image for JC JC

    I love the pink in fall on your porch. It's been hotter here for fall too....86 degrees today. My mums have been planted for about a month now and are holding on. I need to go water deeply and deadhead though. I hope they last!

  12. Image for Leila Jane Leila Jane

    Well, everyone, I wish I could keep mums alive here in central Florida but alas, they are really not made for day after day of 95 degree weather in full sun conditions on my western facing front porch. Having moved from up North, I automatically bought some huge potted mums from Costco my first year here. They lasted ONE DAY and were completely burned to a crisp from the sun. It's possible that these watering techniques would help them out for a day or two or maybe a little longer with constant care but I don't have the ability to lift them in and out of containers for watering anymore. I've got a bad back now in my mid 70's! In fact, my front porch has killed A LOT of plants over the years. It's an automatic death sentence for them! I'm jealous of the hardy, beautiful mums I see in Northern climes. I miss their beauty for the Fall season! I will just have to use your faux pumpkin idea, Karianne, (as real ones rot here in Florida) with maybe some faux vines around them. I love your beautiful porch set for Fall. It looks just gorgeous and I hope the real pumpkins and your beautiful mums make it until it's turkey tasting time there in Texas!!!

  13. Image for Mary C Mary C

    Actually, I just learned from a Master Gardener that most varieties of mums do not rebloom so it's not worth your time to deadhead which I've done for years and it never worked anyways. They did say that you should buy mums with closed blooms that are just about to bloom and not the ones with the most open flowers because of the fact that they do not rebloom. I've waited this year because so much money has been wasted trying to keep those little suckers alive and I'm in MN, We are finally getting some cooler weather after a near 90 day earlier this week and I'm going this weekend to get some mums. The watering tip is gold though, I can never seem to give them enough.

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      I also buy mums that haven't bloomed yet. It's fun to watch the blooming process, and they last longer. I think where you live affects how well your mums do. I'm in Michigan and I tend to wait till late September/early October to buy them (about the time the summer begonias bite the dust, usually from a frost) and hope that they last into November. My front porch faces north, so the mums tend to be shaded early in the day and get some sun in the afternoon, and that works for me in my climate. My biggest problem is the wind--I have to find something to weigh down the potted mums or they blow over.

  14. Image for Lynne Lynne

    Your porch is beautiful! And yes, I too learned a long time ago 'full sun' does not always mean 'full Texas sun'. I find most plants do well being shaded from the hot afternoon sun. I love my front porch. It is covered and goes all the way across the front of our ranch house. But, it faces straight west and no plant will survive there unless it is moved a couple of times during the day. Even on a covered porch, the hot, late afternoon sun is very strong here and fries everything to a crisp. So any decorating that I intend to last longer than 2 days cannot include any kind of live fauna.

  15. Image for Diana Diana

    This is great and I love mums. They either do really good or die pretty quick. I'm doing this and I sure hope it works. Thank you. I'll let you know.

  16. Image for Karen Karen

    Please remind me of the Hallmark Movie you raved about a couple months ago. You mentioned your mom watched it three times.

  17. Image for Cindy Cindy

    You are so right. Our problem in NJ is the extreme highs and lows. One minute it's jot and then all of a sudden the nights are too cold. I think the poor mums get confused. Because of this I use flowering Kale. They will last until Christmas if I want.

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