There’s nothing like the splash of color that comes to my home with potted fall mums.

Red mums, yellow mums, orange mums and pink ones…and the sweetest tiny green buds.

All with deeply fragrant green leaves and a beauty that eases an otherwise awkward transition from lush green summer to dead twig winter.

So when I spotted an upcoming potted fall mums sale at Home Depot just before Labor Day Weekend (5 for $10), I decided to go for it!

(This was a planned event y’all!)

I didn’t know whether I’d end up doing a mix and match or sticking with a solid dazzling display of a single color but I was determined on one thing: to buy mums at the beginning of the fall season, not the end.

“Retail Fall” is always just a blip on my radar and I’m usually too late (because it starts around the 4th of July probably). And the potted fall mums are pushed aside as store clearance to make room for Christmas. Which is normally when I pounce…but they look silly in my cart, next to the candy canes, getting dirt crumbs on the gingerbread…and don’t make it to the car.

But last year I lucked out and got gorgeous mums on the cheap from an early fall Moving Sale (on the absolutely most bizarrely cold day of the year). And also had the sweetest yellow baby mum delivered to my doorstep in a mustard yellow pot. And now I’m spoiled.

I need mums. Early.

And I “need” them in pretty pots (which is not how they come for $2) and thriving (which is not how they get when left alone for four weeks).

So today was the day.

I have this urn on my porch. It used to be a sink but nobody really knows that (so mums the word, k?).

Flower Urn
The Receptacle of all Receptacles

And it sometimes holds greenery at Christmas, or candles in summer but sits dormant in fall.

And I have this little helper…

Potted Fall Mums

Who makes everything in life worthwhile.

And who sometimes helps me immensely by not throwing tools off the mothership.

Baby Helping Plant Mums

And I have this camera-phone that perfectly captures processes before the photo editor tempts me to be non-linear…

Potted Fall Mums

And now I have this potted fall mum in a big urn… that I like.

Fall Mums in a Flower Urn
Mums for Fall

And this one… that is reaching toward the light of another day… that I don’t like.

Watering Can Planter
Just a note, these may be “hardy” plants but I managed to break more than a few stems today…especially when I tried to get this mum to grow on both sides of the watering can handle, impossible. If I use this container again I’ll start with a smaller plant.

And this one, planted earlier this month… inhabiting the vacated home of my potted thyme… and thriving.

Planting Fall Mums

So, I’m happy… Potted fall mums, before Fall’s end! (And a couple more out back and on my kitchen table.)

Did you buy fall Chrysanthemums this year? What did you do with them?


This is project 3b of 5 of “A Fall Weather Project a Day (and a blog post) for a Week.” Read about Project 1 here and Project 2 here and Project 3a here.