How to Care for Mums in Winter Season?

How to Care for Mums in Winter
12 min reading time

Winter may seem like a harsh season for plants, but with the right care and attention, your beloved mums can survive and even thrive during this time. As the winter season approaches, it’s essential to start thinking about how to care for your mums during the colder months.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with practical tips on how to care for mums in winter season. Learn the best techniques for winter care and maintenance to ensure your mums stay healthy and vibrant even in cold weather conditions. From winterizing your mums to protecting them from frost and pests, we’ve got you covered.

So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, read on to discover the best practices for winter care for mums. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to keep your mums alive and thriving throughout the winter.

Understanding Winterizing Mums

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of caring for mums in winter, it’s important to understand the process of winterizing mums.

Winterizing mums involves taking precautions to safeguard your plants against the harsh cold weather. Here are some crucial mums’ care tips to help protect your plants:

Protecting Mums in Cold Weather

Mums are hardy plants that can withstand colder temperatures compared to other flowers. However, if the temperature drops below freezing, mums will need extra protection. One option is to cover them with frost cloth or burlap.

Ensure that the material you use isn’t touching the plant, as that can cause damage. You can use stakes to keep the material off the plant, making a tent-like structure.

Winterizing Mums with Compost

Compost is an excellent way to provide nutrients to your mums throughout the winter. It can also protect the roots from the cold weather and help retain moisture.

Before winter, add a layer of compost around the plant, being careful not to cover the stem. You can also mix compost into the soil around the plant for added protection.

Trimming and Cutting Back Mums

Trimming and cutting back your mums before winter is essential to promote healthy growth in the spring. Cut back the stems to around four inches above the ground. This process helps to prevent snow and ice buildup from weighing down the plant, which can cause structural damage.

Mulching Mums for the Winter

Mulching the soil around the plant helps to protect the roots from cold weather and keep the soil moist. A layer of two to three inches of mulch is enough to provide adequate protection.

You can use materials such as leaves, straw, or pine needles for mulch. Ensure that the mulch is spread evenly around the plant, avoiding direct contact with the stem.

Preparing Mums for Winter

Proper winterization is essential to keep your mums alive and healthy throughout the colder months. When preparing your mums for winter, it’s crucial to keep them well-watered, mulched, and pruned.

Now that you understand how to winterize your mums, let’s explore pruning and mulching techniques in the next section.

Pruning and Mulching Mums for Winter

Proper care and maintenance are crucial for the survival of mums during winter. In this section, we will discuss the essential techniques for pruning and mulching your mums to ensure they stay healthy and alive in colder weather conditions.

Pruning Techniques

Pruning is necessary for the winter maintenance of chrysanthemums. Late summer pruning, around mid-July, is ideal, as this encourages new growth and helps mums develop thick stems that can withstand harsh winter winds. Here are the steps to follow for successful pruning:

  • Use sharp and sterile pruning shears to cut off spent blooms and dead stems. This helps to maintain the plant’s shape and keeps it tidy.
  • Cut back stems to approximately 1 inch above the ground level once the mums have finished blooming. This allows the plant to store energy for the following season.
  • Remove any yellow or diseased foliage to prevent the spread of disease.

Remember to dispose of the pruned foliage, as it can harbor pests and diseases.

Mulching Techniques

Mulching helps to protect the roots of mums from the cold while retaining moisture in the soil. Follow these steps for effective mulching:

  • Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as pine needles or leaves, around the base of the plant.
  • Be sure not to cover the center of the plant, as this can cause it to rot.
  • Remove any excess mulch in the spring once the threat of frost has passed.

Winterizing Mums

Pruning and mulching are essential techniques for winterizing mums, which involves taking measures to protect the plant from the frost and cold. These two techniques prevent damage to the roots and keep the plant healthy.

By following these winter maintenance tips for chrysanthemums, you can keep your mums alive in winter and enjoy their vibrant blooms year after year.

Watering Mums in Winter

Proper watering is crucial for preparing mums for winter.

During the colder months, it’s essential to strike a balance between providing enough water to keep the roots hydrated without overwatering and saturating the soil.

As a general rule, water your mums when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. When temperatures drop below freezing, it’s best to avoid watering altogether to prevent the soil from becoming too wet and freezing, which can damage the roots.

When you do water your mums, use a watering can or hose with a gentle flow to avoid disturbing the soil and roots. Water the soil directly and avoid splashing water onto the leaves or blooms.

If you have mums planted in containers, remember that they typically require more frequent watering than those planted in the ground. Check the soil moisture level regularly and water as needed to maintain adequate levels.

Providing Adequate Sunlight

Mums require sunlight to grow and develop, even during winter. While the days are shorter, you can still maximize the sunlight exposure your mums receive by following some simple tips.

Choose the Right Location

Choose a spot that receives the most sunlight during the day. Make sure there are no obstructions such as walls or trees that can block the sunlight. Eastern-facing areas tend to receive the most sunlight in the morning, while western-facing areas get more sunlight in the afternoon.

Keep the Area Clear

Keep the area around your mums clear of debris or fallen leaves, which can block the sunlight and prevent it from reaching the plant. It’s also important to make sure the surrounding soil is free of weeds that can compete with the mums for nutrients and sunlight.

Use Reflective Mulch

Consider using reflective mulch, such as white or silver plastic, to reflect light back onto the mums. This can increase the amount of sunlight the mums receive and help them maintain their vibrant blooms.

Consider Supplemental Lighting

If your mums are not getting enough sunlight, you can supplement their light with artificial lighting. LED grow lights are a great option and can be set up easily indoors or in a greenhouse, providing your mums with the necessary light they need to thrive.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your mums get the adequate sunlight they need during the winter season. These mums care tips will help them maintain their beautiful and vibrant blooms throughout the colder months.

Frost Protection for Mums

How to Care for Mums in Winter

Winter can be harsh for mums, especially when frost sets in. Frost can cause severe damage to the tender petals, leaves, and stems of the plant, making them turn discolored and wilted. It’s essential to protect your mums against frost to keep them healthy and maintain their vibrant blooms throughout the winter months.

How to Protect Your Mums from Frost?

CoveringCover your mums with frost covers or blankets. Ensure the coverings are loose enough to avoid crushing the plant’s foliage, yet tight enough to trap warm air around the plant.
SprayingSpray your mums with an anti-transpirant, such as Wilt-Pruf or Bonide Wilt Stop, to create a protective layer on the leaves, which helps to retain moisture and reduce water loss.
MulchingAdd a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to insulate the roots against the cold. The mulch will also help to retain moisture and prevent the soil from freezing.

By taking the necessary measures to protect your mums from frost, you can help them survive the harsh winter conditions and maintain their beauty for longer.

Overwintering Mums Indoors

If you live in an area with severe winters, overwintering your mums indoors is a great option to keep them alive and healthy. Here’s how to do it:

  • Prep your mums: Before bringing your mums indoors, trim them back to about 6 inches and remove any dead or diseased foliage. Water them thoroughly to ensure they are well hydrated.
  • Choose a location: Find an area in your home that receives bright, indirect light, and is at a temperature of around 60°F to 65°F. A cool basement, garage or an unheated spare room can be a good option.
  • Provide adequate lighting: If you don’t have a location with enough sunlight, use grow lights to provide your mums with the light they need to thrive.
  • Maintain humidity: To combat the dry air inside the house, use a humidifier or place the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Keep the water level below the top of the pebbles, ensuring the pot drainage holes don’t sit in water.
  • Water sparingly: Overwatering is a common mistake when overwintering mums indoors. Water them when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, but don’t let them sit in standing water.

By following these steps, you can ensure your mums continue to thrive during the winter season. Remember to keep an eye on them for any signs of pests or diseases and address any issues promptly.

Pests and Diseases to Watch Out For

Winter weather can bring a host of pests and diseases that can harm your mums. It’s essential to keep an eye out for these issues to prevent them from damaging your plants.

Common Pests

Some common pests that can affect mums during winter include:

Spider MitesSmall, white or yellow dots on leaves, visible webbingApply insecticidal soap or neem oil
MealybugsWhite, cottony masses on leaves and stemsApply rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap
Scale InsectsSmall, round bumps on stems and leavesRemove affected areas and apply neem oil or insecticidal soap

Common Diseases

Mums are also susceptible to diseases, especially during winter. Some common diseases to watch out for include:

  • Leaf Spot: Caused by fungi, identified by brown spots on leaves. Remove and dispose of infected leaves and apply fungicide.
  • Botrytis Blight: Caused by fungus, identified by grey, fuzzy growth on leaves and flowers. Remove and dispose of infected areas and apply fungicide.
  • Powdery Mildew: Caused by fungi, identified by powdery white spots on leaves. Apply fungicide and ensure good air circulation around plants.

Regularly inspecting your mums for pests and diseases and taking immediate action can prevent the spread of these issues and ensure your plants stay healthy.


Winter care for mums requires attention and effort, but the results are worth it. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your mums thrive during the colder months and continue to bring beauty to your garden. Remember to winterize your mums, prune and mulch them properly, water them adequately, and provide them with enough sunlight. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and take action immediately if you notice any issues.

If you live in an area with harsh winters, overwintering your mums indoors is a practical solution. Remember to bring them in before the temperature drops below freezing and provide them with the necessary care they need to survive indoors.

We hope this guide has been informative and helpful in your efforts to care for your mums during winter. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your mums will stay healthy and vibrant throughout the season and be ready to bloom again come springtime. Good luck with your winter gardening!


How often should I water my mums in winter?

It’s important to strike a balance with watering mums in winter. Water them when the soil feels dry to the touch, but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

Can I prune my mums in winter?

It’s best to prune mums in late summer or early fall before the winter season. Pruning in winter can damage the plant and affect its ability to withstand the cold weather.

How do I protect my mums from frost?

To protect your mums from frost, cover them with frost blankets or bring them indoors if possible. Avoid using plastic covers as they can trap moisture and cause rot.

Should I mulch my mums in winter?

Yes, mulching your mums in winter helps insulate the roots and retain moisture. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants, but be careful not to cover the stems.

Can I keep my mums indoors during winter?

Yes, you can overwinter mums indoors if you live in an area with extremely harsh winters. Place them in a cool, well-lit area and provide occasional watering.

How much sunlight do mums need in winter?

Mums still require several hours of sunlight each day in winter. Position them in a spot that receives the most sunlight, such as a south-facing window or a greenhouse.

What pests and diseases should I watch out for in winter?

Common pests and diseases that mums may face in winter include aphids, powdery mildew, and root rot. Monitor your plants regularly and take appropriate measures to prevent and treat these issues.

Is it necessary to fertilize mums in winter?

Fertilizing mums in winter is not necessary. They are dormant during this time, and fertilizing can stimulate new growth that is susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures.

How do I prepare my mums for winter?

To prepare your mums for winter, prune them in fall, apply mulch, provide adequate water, protect them from frost, and monitor for pests and diseases. Following these steps will help ensure their survival during the cold season.

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