How To Water Mums In Pots – The Secret To Make Blooms Last Longer!

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Are you aware that the timing and method of watering your potted and container-grown mums can significantly influence the longevity of their blooms? This factor holds even more sway than you might have initially thought!

As autumn sweeps in with its full splendor, so do the captivating blossoms of mums that grace the season. Mums have long held the unofficial title of being the quintessential flower of autumn, and it’s not hard to understand why. With their exquisite blossoms spanning a diverse spectrum of autumnal hues, mums effortlessly illuminate the fall scenery, regardless of their placement. They seem perfectly at ease adorning containers on porches, patios, and decks — essentially anywhere you seek to infuse a vibrant burst of autumnal radiance.

Water plays a crucial role in determining the duration of a mum’s bloom. This extends beyond the frequency of watering to encompass the method employed for watering as well.

Apart from their striking beauty, what renders mums particularly appealing for fall decor is their remarkable bloom longevity. Unlike numerous other perennials that only grace us with their flowers for a brief period, a well-tended mum can bestow its blooms upon us for nearly an entire month. However, the pivotal phrase in that last statement is “when cared for properly.”

Surprisingly, one of the most vital facets of providing adequate care for mums involves precise watering techniques, particularly for potted varieties. It’s not solely a matter of ensuring your plants receive adequate hydration, but also about the manner in which you administer it.

How To Water Mums In Pots For Longer-Lasting Blooms!

#1 Water Your Mums Consistently

First and foremost, let’s address the obvious – mums require consistent watering. More than anything else, they thrive in soil that is slightly moist rather than overly dry. This necessitates regular hydration to sustain vibrant and robust blooming.

Allowing a mum’s roots to desiccate can lead to a weakened plant. This, in turn, adversely impacts the quality of its blooms. When roots dry out, they contract and lose vitality. Consequently, their ability to absorb essential nutrients and oxygen from the soil diminishes, hindering the plant’s vigor. Inadequate energy supply results in the plant’s leaves and blossoms wilting, losing their luster, and eventually fading away.

When the soil surrounding a mum dries out, both its blooms and foliage will rapidly wilt. While watering can revive the plant and its blooms, the strain induced by prolonged dryness ultimately diminishes the overall lifespan of the blooms.


If you’ve ever returned home to find a hanging basket or container plant thoroughly dried out, you’re likely familiar with how lackluster its foliage and blooms can appear. Granted, good watering usually restores vitality, but it’s important to recognize that some degree of damage may have already taken place.

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Regrettably, the cycle of drying out, wilting, and subsequent rehydration places a significant strain on flowering mums. The plant expends valuable energy in its recovery efforts, and this stress ultimately curtails the longevity of its blooms. If this scenario repeats itself frequently, it can abbreviate the bloom’s lifespan by several weeks.

Check Soil Moisture Daily – How To Water Potted Mums For Long-Lasting Blooms

It’s crucial to inspect the soil moisture around container-grown mums on a daily basis. However, it’s not just the surface layer that matters; you should check an inch or two below the surface, as this is where the roots draw their moisture. The ideal condition is for the soil to be sufficiently moist at this depth to adhere to your finger.

While the finger test for assessing soil moisture can be effective, the most precise method is to use a soil moisture probe. This tool provides an immediate and accurate reading of the soil’s moisture content. For mums, a minimum moisture reading of 35% is recommended. Anything lower indicates that the plant requires additional watering.

soil tester - moisture meter

Soil testers of this kind provide instantaneous readings for moisture levels, soil temperature, lighting conditions, and even the pH of the soil. They prove to be an invaluable tool for gardeners!


Instant probes truly excel in eliminating the uncertainty associated with watering. This holds true not only for mums but also for any annuals or perennials you cultivate in pots and containers. Relying solely on visual cues from the soil surface can be challenging when trying to gauge root moisture levels. Many of these probes are versatile, offering immediate assessments for soil temperature, pH levels, and sunlight exposure in addition to moisture content. Product Affiliate Link: Soil Moisture Meter & Tester

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Now that you understand the appropriate amount of water to give your mums, let’s delve into the optimal methods for supplying them with that water. It might come as a surprise, but the quality of your water can significantly impact the longevity of their blooms!

Never Water From The Top! How To Water Mums In Pots For Longer-Lasting Blooms

In addition to maintaining a consistent level of hydration for your mums, the manner in which you administer water is crucial for prolonging the longevity of their blooms. Surprisingly, while the roots of a mum require moisture, the same doesn’t hold true for its blooms.

In fact, mums’ blooms are not at all fond of water! To put it plainly, the more direct contact a bloom has with water, the shorter its lifespan becomes. Furthermore, an excess of water on the blooms leads to a reduction in their brightness. This includes exposure to rainfall.

When a mum’s bloom comes into contact with moisture, the vibrant color gradually seeps out of the flower. The more this occurs, the duller the flower becomes. Additionally, if the blooms get wet and are subsequently exposed to sunlight, their color will fade even further.

watering mums from above

Watering mums from above can significantly reduce the lifespan of their blooms. It’s recommended to water at the base of the plant or even from below for best results.


Precisely for these reasons, it’s crucial to avoid watering your mums from above. This means refraining from using a hose, a watering can – and especially avoiding a spray nozzle that could dislodge blooms from the plant. Instead, aim to water directly into the soil at the base of the plant – or even consider watering from underneath for optimal results.

Watering Under The Blooms – How To Water Mums In Pots For Longer-Lasting Blooms

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