Overwintering Fall Mums

Many people have a difficult time overwintering fall mums. There are two basic reasons for this:

  • Planting too late and not allowing the plant to establish itself in the ground.
  • Not mulching the plant to protect against temperature extremes.

If you have had trouble over-wintering fall mums, try this method:

  • Keep mums in their pots. Once they have been frosted and turn all brown, cut them back to within one inch of the soil. Be sure the soil is moist, if not, water.
  • Next, place the pot in a protected area, whether it is in an unheated shed, garage, cold frame, against a building or under the protective branches of an evergreen tree. The idea is to protect the plant from getting as cold as the regular outside temperature.
  • If placing the plant outdoors, cover it with 6-10 inches of mulch or 12- 18 inches of leaves.
  • If keeping the plant in an unheated building, place it on top of some newspapers or magazines to help insulate the roots, then surround the plant with more papers just to protect them from any drafts and keep them a little warmer.
  • If keeping the plant inside, check it once a month to see if it needs to be watered. If dry, water. When the weather turns mild in March, bring the pots outside and place them where they will be watered and fertilized throughout the summer, or plant them in the ground. See our fact sheet on how to grow and care for fall mums.