Creative Ideas for Decorating with Mums Outdoors

galvanized tin wraps on around potted mums on front porch
Chrysanthemums epitomize fall. A couple of pots of brilliantly colored mums on a front porch are all you really need to set the tone, but mums are magnificent performers en masse. Whether your mum plans are limited to pots or you plan to go big, these photos of mum-filled spaces are sure to inspire.

Mix & Match Your Mums

Magenta ‘Caracas’ celosia stands guard over an urn filled with ‘Spicey Cheryl’ mums, splendid purple ‘Viking’ asters, and trailing ivy for a fall display that's packed with color. Mixing plants with different leaf shapes, colors and textures in your fall container gardens will give you an appealing arrangement that keeps the eye moving. Look for plants that flower in the fall so you have lots of color for the full season.

Pair Mums with Leafy Greens to Make them Pop

In this stunning fall container garden arrangement, splendid purple ‘Viking’ asters hold court with ornamental grasses, pink ‘Calisto’ mums, ‘Redbor’ and ‘Red Russian’ flowering kales, purple cabbage, and ‘October Daphne’ sedum. When pairing plants, look for ones that have similar water and sun needs so no one plant is being under or over fed or watered.

Contrast Colorful Mums with Rustic Metals

Combine the interesting textures of metal with pretty fall mums to quickly create a pretty front entry look for fall. Measure the height of your pot, then use a circular saw with a metal-cutting blade to cut a tin sheet (or two, depending on the size) to that height plus 1 inch and long enough to wrap around the container plus 2 inches. Curl metal into a cylinder, overlap the edges, and use a 1/8-inch metal/steel drill bit, drill, and a rivet gun to secure the ends, placing rivets every few inches. If you want to achieve varied heights for a pleasing grouping, place your potted plant on an overturned pot before measuring and cutting the metal.

Go Monochromatic With Your Mums

This homeowner really brought out the traditional golden oranges of fall with mums planted in stacked-stone raised beds as well as in containers around the paved patio. The color scheme is reinforced with chair cushions and other accessories in the golden tones of the season.

Transform colorful fall elements -- gourds, flowers, and baskets -- into a pretty fall front door display. Our three no-fail tips will make your outdoor decorations the neighborhood standout.

3 Tips for Your Fall Front-Door Display

There's more to outdoor autumn decor than Halloween decorations. Learn how to get a stunning harvest-inspired front-door display in three easy steps. We'll show you how to use natural elements to boost curb appeal and celebrate the season.

Build a Border with Pots

Use containers filled with colorful mums and other fall flowering plants to create a “bed” without soil. Mix small, medium, and large pots, then line them up like choir members by height. This presents a visual mass similar to an in-ground planting.

Play with Heights

Using mums in pots is the perfect way to create a stunning outdoor autumnal display anywhere. Here, tasseled purple fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) adds height, texture, and just enough color to contrast with vivid magenta chrysanthemums in a terra-cotta pot.

Create a Carpet of Fall Color

Who needs groundcovers? Planting mums in a large swath helps them turn into a sea of color come fall. Try interspersing different varieties throughout for a colorful, textured look. 

Mix Mums with Other Plants & Textures

Experiment with using mums in a supporting role instead of as the sole attraction. A tub of ‘Spicy Cheryl Orange’ mums, this photo, gets a lift from a tall planter stuffed with purple heuchera and red-stemmed chard and a smaller pot brimming with cabbage and bittersweet.

Add Seasonal Color with Mums & Gourds

The quaint little garden cottage got a low-cost seasonal update with the addition of mums in multiple places. The homeowner tucked mums into her garden beds between boxwoods and tall grasses, and added dense clusters of colorful mums in galvanized tin buckets, an old washtub, and a rusty metal wheelbarrow. Striped gourds and squatty pumpkins add to the fall vibe.

Mix Plants in the Same Color Family

Give your fall window boxes a sophisticated burst of color with seasonal greenery, gourds and color mums in similar hues. Multi-colored cabbages with dark leaves and pink centers are a great complement to the mums in this window box that is overflowing with its fall bounty. 

Make Casual Arrangements for Easy Impact

Putting out some fall color doesn't have to take a lot of time. This casual rock ledge display features individually potted plants like cabbage, kale, and mums tucked into a galvanized tin tub for a low-key display.

Place Potted Mums in Hollowed-Out Pumpkins

For a decidedly-fall display, dropped potted mums into carved pumpkins and arrange in a row or in groups on ledges and steps. Keeping them out of reach of most critters will help your pumpkins last longer.

Display Mums in Vintage Finds

If you happen to have an old bicycle around or can pick one up cheap at a garage sale or thrift store, they can make the perfect showcase for a bunch of colorful fall mums. Attach baskets using hooks or wire and enjoy! Try other vintage containers or finds to display plants for a truly unique look.

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