Why are my MUMS Turning Brown? (SOLVED)

Reviving Mums

Mums, also known as Chrysanthemums, are synonymous with the Autumn season.

Their blooms in hues of orange, yellow, rust, and purple are the perfect companion to the vibrant color of the fall leaves.

So it’s only natural to get at least a little disheartened when they start to turn brown. The good news is that there are ways you can rivive mums.

Why do mums turn brown?

There are several reasons why mums turn brown, but the most common culprit is not enough water. Under-watering the plant leads to all sorts of issues, with brown leaves and blooms being a tell-tale sign. However, underwatering isn’t the only thing to blame for browning mums. Improper lighting, over-watering, poor soil, and diseases can all cause your mums to turn brown.

Key Takeaways:

  • Not providing mums with enough water is the most common cause of your plants turning brown.
  • Improper watering, too much sun, poor soil, and diseases can also cause your mums to brown.
  • Keeping your mums strong and healthy will help prevent problems.


The number one cause of mums turning brown is lack of water. Without the proper hydration, mums will become dry, wilted, and start to die off.

Thankfully, giving the plant a good soaking helps to revive the mums.

Water the roots deeply while you try to avoid getting the leaves or blooms wet.

Fill a bucket large enough to hold the mum’s pot with water. Submerge the pot into the water, making sure the pot, or most of it, is under the water. Allow the mums to soak for 20 to 30 minutes before removing them from the bucket.

Fall Colors MUMS

Too Much Sun

Another cause of a mums turning brown is too much sun. Mums need about 6 hours of sunlight every day. If they get too much sun, or if the sun is too hot or bright, it can start to turn the mums brown. The good news is that you can quickly fix the problem by simply moving the mums out of direct sun.

Keep in mind that any brown, damaged, or discolored leaves won’t return to their once stunning glory. However, the new leaves and blooms that emerge won’t be discolored.


If under-watering can cause problems with your mum, then the same could be said about over-watering. Over-watering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them, and despite liking moist soil, mums can and will turn brown if they are watered too much.

On average, mums need about an inch of water a week, although this amount and frequency can change depending on the age and size of the plant, as well as the temperature and humidity level.

Poor Soil Drainage

Poor soil drainage can cause your mums to become under-watered or over-watered even if you are giving the plant the correct amount of water. Mums need soil that drains well while also holding on to just the right amount of moisture. After all, if the soil doesn’t drain properly, then you are left with soggy roots.

Additionally, if the soil doesn’t retain any moisture, then all the water will immediately run out of the dirt before the mums have a chance to get a drink. High quality potting soil is a good start, but you can improve the overall performance of the soil by incorporating peat moss, perlite, or compost.


The best defense against diseases that can harm your mums is prevention. This includes keeping the plant healthy and strong, and avoiding overwatering them.

Root rot, fusarium wilt, botrytis blight, bacterial leaf spot, and chlorotic mottle are just a few of the diseases that can attack and damage mums.


Insects are another issue that can leave your mums looking worse for wear. Mealybugs, spidermites, aphids, scale, and other sap-sucking insects can drain the vital plant juices from your mums.

This can cause the plant’s leaves to become discolored and potentially even brown.

Sap-sucking insects are usually not a serious problem unless the plant is already weak or the infestation is excessive. They can also be treated by using insecticidal soap, which is a relatively safe pesticide that doesn’t harm humans, animals, or beneficial insects.