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Why Are My Mums Turning Brown & How To Fix It?

Mums are available in a wide range of colors, ranging from yellow, lavender, red, to white. Given their attractive appearances and ease of cultivation, it is no wonder why many households use mums as a perennial addition to the garden. 

However, mums are still prone to typical problems such as discolorations and wilting. If you ever find yourself asking, “Why are my mums turning brown?” make sure to read the guidelines for more information.

Why Are My Mums Turning Brown
Why Are My Mums Turning Brown? via Reddit

Why Are My Mums Turning Brown?

Browning mums are largely due to unfavorable weather conditions, especially when it comes to humidity and temperature. 

Extremely heavy rain, complete lack of water, an extended period of coldness, and early frost are all responsible for unhealthy shrubs. 

In fact, any unexpected change in external factors such as light exposure, moisture, and the climate can contribute to the downfall of mums.

Though less popular, fungal and bacterial diseases are also a culprit for browning mums. Sometimes, uncontrolled pests chime in and worsen the situation. 

What To Do When Mums Are Turning Brown

If your mums have already turned to this unwanted shade, chances are you will not be able to revive them. What you need to do is to prune the dead, brown stems to save the entire plant. 

Rest assured that mums will grow back vigorously as soon as possible, providing that you take good care of them. 

How To Plant Mums Properly

Planting mums is not a big challenge for professional landscapers. However, if you do not have green fingers, try to follow these suggestions.

  • Dig a hole big enough to host the plant: Mums tend to be root bound upon purchase, which requires a big-sized pot for the roots to grow comfortably. 

Next up, the pot should be placed somewhere twice as wide as its original size, with a depth equivalent to the longest root of the plant.

  • Use the right type of soil: Nutrient-poor, soggy ground will not be enough for mums to produce gorgeous blooms. 

If you want them to be as strong as possible, look for well-draining, organic soil. Feel free to add a bit of fertilizer to give mums a push.

How To Take Care Of Mums

Letting mums take root in your garden is just the first step of nourishing these delicate plants. Now, let’s have a look at what needs to be done so that your mums can thrive. 

  • Sunlight: Mums require lots of direct exposure to the sun to remain sturdy. If you place your mums indoors, find the sunniest place and let them be there for at least 4 hours. 

Staying in the shade for a long time can be problematic, as it prevents mums from having more branches and flowers.

  • Water: Both overwatering and dryness can cause mums to be brown and squishy. It is best that you water these plants once every two days, letting the moisture seep through the soil. 

And, of course, remember to spray the water on top of the ground instead of right over the flowers. 

  • Pruning: Whenever you spot a dead branch, wilted blooms, or a brown stem, do not hesitate to remove them immediately. If left unchecked, these rotten pieces may consume the much-needed nutrients and water reserved for healthy ones. 

Not only does getting rid of dying mums keep your bushes in good shape, but it also encourages newer spurts to come out for the next season. 

  • Space: Mums are best known for their extensive root system. In an ideal environment, the roots can expand up to 18 to 20 inches. 

Therefore, leave enough space between your mums and other plants so they do not compete for soil.

  • Weed control: Weeds are the most dangerous enemy of mums. Within a vicinity, weeds are more likely to extract water, sunlight, and nutrients otherwise used for mums. 

You should take the initiative and kill off the weeds before they pose a threat. Try using mulch, compost, weed barriers, or even chemical weed killers!


1. What do overwatered mums look like?

If the water intake of mums is too much, the leaves will turn black. Upon direct contact, you will feel a soft, smushy feeling instead of firmness. Should the overwatering last for too long, the leaves will fall off eventually.

2. What does fungus look like on mums?

Spotting fungus is relatively easy, as it comes in brown, water-soaked stains. You can find these marks on the leaves and petals. 

During the early stage, the fungus can only be found on peripheral blooms. But when you fail to kill the fungus, it can infect the inner, budding florets.

3. What happens if mums do not get enough sunlight?

Without 4 hours of sunlight exposure, your mums will end up leggy and gangling. This is because all branches compete with each other for the limited source of daylight. 

As a result, nutrients and water travel to the stems and nurture the branches, extending their lengths significantly. Another side effect is having fewer, smaller, less colorful blooms when the season comes.

4. What temperature can mums handle?

Mums are rather flexible regarding the temperature. They can survive from 20 degrees Fahrenheit to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the weather gets too hot, do not forget to water the plants regularly and offer them a quick escape in the shade.

5. Why are my mums turning yellow?

Having yellow leaves is a telling sign about poorly-draining soil. When the ground is not porous enough, mums have a difficult time reaching for water and nutrients. 


Having brown mums is a common problem encountered by all gardeners. Now that you have read this article, the question, “Why are my mums turning brown?” will no longer bother you. Make sure to apply the aforementioned knowledge and rescue your plants from dying!