overwintering florist mums in containers...???

Asked November 17, 2016, 11:57 AM EST

I would like to know if florist mums (not hardy) can survive the winter if kept in a garage. If so, do I bring them inside before or after the first frost? And should I cut off all the green foliage or just leave it be?

Also, is there a way to tell if I have hardy mums or florist mums? The tag on them when I bought them just described caring for them as indoor decorative plants so I'm assuming they are not hardy. I live in zone 7 (I think.)

(I noticed another person asked a similar question but the answer was about geraniums instead of mums (chrysanthemums) and I just want to make it clear I am asking about chrysanthemums.)

Yavapai County Arizona

2 Responses

Dear Client,

I think it would be beneficial to know your location/elevation. I am not an expert in this area of plant science, however most references I've seen indicate that florist's mums should be treated as annuals because they are quite frost sensitive. The are typically discarded following the bloom. They would likely not survive in a dark cold location regardless of how they were preconditioned. Freezing temperatures will kill them. Mums do not have an energy storage structure (bulb, corm, tuber) that can go dormant and survive in a resting state. If you live where freezing temperatures do not regularly occur (i.e. Sonoran desert), then they may survive outdoors if given regular care (light and regular irrigation). I also think geraniums are a little bit tougher than florist mums. If you are interested in experimenting, I would cut them back to 3-4 inches, fertilize with an indoor plant food, and keep them in a bright location where no frost will occur. They may survive. If not, you have learned something and not wasted a lot of energy and resources.


thanks for the response/info