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5 Clever Ways to Get Your Mums to Last All Fall

Gardening experts share their best tips to keep these popular flowers looking fresh longer.

Scroll through TikTok, read a home and garden magazine, or turn on HGTV, and there's a pretty good chance you'll come across something related to mums. These fall flowers are inexpensive, ultra-colorful, and look great with a seasonal display of pumpkins or gourds. But another reason you're likely inundated with chrysanthemum content is that it's a short window, as most of us buy them for the autumn months and then toss them when it starts to get cold. But according to gardening experts, there are several clever ways to get your mums to last all fall. Keep reading for their best advice.

RELATED: Gardening Influencer Reveals the #1 Plant to Give Your Yard Beautiful Color.

Don't buy fully bloomed mums.

Close up of partially bloomed red and orange mums
yakonstant / Shutterstock

Yes, it's tempting to pick up the densest mums with the most vibrant flowers. But according to TikToker @ncmodernfarmhouse, who shares budget-friendly design ideas, you actually want to purchase the plants that haven't yet bloomed.

She explains that the fully bloomed mums won't last the whole season because "they've already started their blooming process." If you pick up a plant with closed buds, you'll have a flowering plant for longer.

Soak your mums when you bring them home.

Close up of a metal bucket filled with water outside
Grigorenko / iStock

Before you get your mums potted in your favorite planter, soak them in a bucket of water (while still in their original plastic container) for 20 to 30 minutes, recommends decor and DIY influencer Chelsea Zutavern.

"This helps hydrate the soil and will help them last longer," she explains in a video on her Instagram page.

Jodie Kammerer, another design and decor influencer, adds on her Instagram page that "mums soak up water from their roots so this will ensure they are hydrated."

RELATED: 18 Mistakes That Are Destroying Your Garden.

Choose a planter with drainage holes.

display of terra cotta pots facing up and upside down
ocean1881 / Shutterstock

Next, be sure the pot you choose has drainage holes at the bottom. "This will give them room to grow and they won't get soggy," notes Rosalynn Daniels, a TikTok lifestyle influencer.

This is especially important since soggy roots often lead to root rot, which can kill a plant.

Water your mums at soil level.

Close up shot of two gardeners in aprons watering a pot of mums.
monstArrr_ / iStock

When it comes to regularly watering your mums, Kammerer says you can continue with the soaking method: "Check your mums regularly by picking them up. If they are light to the touch this means that they don't have much water left in the pot. It's time to soak again."

Similarly, Laurie Hise, who goes by "Passionate Penny Pincher" on TikTok, says to place your mums on top of a plastic saucer filled with water so the plant can absorb it from the bottom up.

"The mums will drink when they're thirsty, replenishing their roots," she explains.

If you're not able to do this—because you've re-planted your mums in a pot without drainage holes—Zutavern says you should be mindful of only watering underneath the flowers. This prevents disease in the flowers, which can happen when you water them directly. Therefore, it's also advisable to move your mums to a covered location when it rains if possible.

RELATED: 8 Easy Outdoor Plants That Don't Need Sunlight.

Deadhead your mums.

A yellow mum plant with dead flowers
AYImages / iStock

"Deadheading your mums will keep them healthy and blooming all season long," says Zutavern.

Though this term might sound intimidating to novice gardeners, Daniels demonstrates in her video that all you have to do is regularly pick off the dead flowers.

"This will give the flowers under them room to bloom," she explains.

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Dana Schulz
Dana Schulz is the Deputy Lifestyle Editor at Best Life. She was previously the managing editor of 6sqft, where she oversaw all content related to real estate, apartment living, and the best local things to do. Read more
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