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Why Are My Mums Dying and How To Save Them In 3 Easy Ways?

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Chrysanthemum plants – commonly known as mums, are one of the most exotic flowering houseplants wildly grown in Europe and Asia due to their crazy appeal.

But sometimes, they can get hard to manage. Due to our desertion and carelessness, these beautiful blooming plants shake off the “attractiveness” and leave us thinking: “Why are my mums dying?”

Before getting into the main topic – and listing some of the main reasons for a dying mums plant, let’s take a brief look at the genus Chrysanthemum.

Why Are My Mums Dying
“Why Are My Mums Dying?” via Reddit

Why Are My Mums Dying?

The Genus Chrysanthemum

Coming from the “daisy” family Asteraceae, these terrestrial plants are the center of attention in many household nurseries.

Chrysanthemums are native to Europe, Asia, America, and Canada. The origin of the diversity of mums plants is in China.

There are 38 accepted species of the genus, all being perennials that usually bloom during spring and summer.

So without further ado, let’s get straight into our topic.

Why Are My Mums Dying? – Causes

Causes for Dying Mums Plants

There are a lot of different reasons for dying mum plants. If we talk about the simple ones (environmental issues), the most common is underwatering.


Chrysanthemum plants can dry out in seconds! Yes, mums are the types of plants that usually require thorough watering daily. Especially if you are using a potting mix that dries out pretty quickly.

Therefore, you should make sure not to underwater your mums – mainly when the environmental conditions also speed up the drying process. And the plant requires energy to put into vibrant blooms.


At this point, you must be thinking: What! 🤨

But let me tell you, overwatering is the most common cause of dying plants. That’s because when the roots of your plants stay in soggy and wet conditions, they just rot!

Related Article: What Does Root Rot Look Like? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

So, you should give your mums plenty of water, but not so much that the roots can’t breathe and decay. Moreover, overwatering can become the cause of many fungal and bacterial diseases —including pest infestations — which could be the reason for dying mums.

Insufficient Lighting

Mums require 5 to 6 hours of daily sun to thrive at their peak level. Your mums will become sad if you are not providing them with adequate sunlight on a daily basis.

Providing these bloomers with sufficient light also encourages them to grow bright and healthy flowers.

Give them bright but indirect sunlight. Morning or evening direct sun is bearable but keep your mums away from the harsh rays of the midday sun.

These were the environmental issues and could be effortlessly treated by fixing up the conditions you are providing to your plants.

But, as it is very comfy to kill mums, there are a lot of fungal diseases that can destroy these beautiful blooming babies. They result in the browning of leaves and flowers, brown spots on leaves, and wilting of the plant.

Bacterial and Fungal Diseases

Above were a few conditions you physically provide to the plants and are generally regarded as plant care.

But if your mums are dying even with proper care and mulching (I’ll explain it further), your plant could be infected with some kind of disease.

Chrysanthemums are typically susceptible to a variety of bacterial and fungal diseases.

Caused by pathogens such as Alternaria or Stemphylium (Ray Speck), Botrytis cinerea (Botrytis Blight), Ascochyta (Ray Blight), Erwinia chrysanthemi (Bacterial Blight), Pseudomonas cichorii (Bacterial Leaf Spot), Verticillium (Verticillium Wilt), Puccinia horiana (White Rust Disease), and Pythium (Root and Stem Rot).

Winter Dormancy

Mums are those types that produce flowers in spring and carry on the hues till summer. However, most Chrysanthemum species become dormant during winter.

It is pretty natural, and if you find your mums being a little slow and dull during winter, there is no need to panic. The roots would still be working out, storing food and stuff for the next blooming season.

However, there are a few caring domains about which you should be careful. Please make sure you do not over-water or over-fertilize your mums during winter. That can lead to a complete disaster.

On that note, let’s head toward the fixes.

How do I revive my mums why are my mums dying
”Hardy garden mums” – Image by TieuBaoTruong.

Why are My Mums Dying? – Fixes

How to Fix Dying Mums Plant

I am going to list fixes of the above problems respectively.

1. Fixing Underwatering and Overwatering

To fix underwatering and overwatering, you have to make a perfect watering schedule for your mums.

Mums hate dry soil. If the leaves start drooping, it means the plant is going through drought stress.

You should not wait for that to water your plant again. In fact, you must keep your mums hydrated before they even reach that point.

On the other hand, most people overwater their mums without considering the soil drainage. If you have rooted your mums in pots or containers, you must place them in a good quality potting mix with good drainage.

Related Article: Best Potting Mix for Indoor Plants.

By skimming through the above article, you can make a perfect potting mix for your mums. In fact, not only for Chrysanthemums but also for various indoor and outdoor plants you are nurturing in your gardens.

You can never go wrong with watering your mums if you have a perfect potting mix.

Make sure to check the soil moisture levels using a moisture meter or a moisture probe. Only water your plant when the soil is dry.

You can feel the dampness of the soil by touching it directly with your fingers. Give your plant another shot of hydration only when the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil feels bone dry.

2. Fixing Bacterial and Fungal Diseases

To revive your precious mums from dying at the hands of nasty fungal and bacterial diseases, you have to apply fancy treatments.

For the fungal diseases infecting mums, apply proper fungicides to protect healthy plants. Fungicides kill the spores present in the plant’s foliage.

Always follow the instructions as labeled on the package. And discard all the infected parts of the plants.

If your plant is infected with some bacterial disease, it is always best to take and propagate healthy cuttings from your plants. And throw away the rest…

3. Apply Mulch to Your Mums

If you live in such areas where the temperature ranges below zero degrees during winter, your mums are susceptible to severe damage during winters.

Chrysanthemums have a shallow root system. So, if you are wondering why are my mums dying, it might be due to the cold stress.

A quick way to fix this issue is by applying a layer (of 2-3 inches) on your mulch.

Here’s a way how to properly mulch your plants.


With all that said, you know the answer to “why are my mums dying?” and how to revive them.

We need to take proper care and prune our mums during fall to make them grow in the form of perfect globes during spring and summer.

I hope today’s article was helpful for you. If so, please share it with your friends and family.

Regards, Mahad H.