14 Creative Ideas for Decorating with Mums Outdoors

A few containers of brilliantly colored mums always set an autumnal tone on your front porch. But you can also go big with a more elaborate display. Whether you want a simple yet sophisticated look or something more flamboyant, these photos of mum-filled spaces are sure to inspire you to use these favorite fall flowers to their full potential.

01 of 14

Mix and Match Your Mums

mums assortment in black planter
Kritsada Panichgul

Mixing mums with other plants that offer different colors and textures in your fall container gardens will give you an appealing arrangement that keeps the eye moving. Cheryl Spicy Orange mums mingle nicely with the magenta spikes of 'Caracas' celosia, purple 'Viking' asters, trailing English ivy, and bittersweet for a fall display that's packed with vibrant color.

02 of 14

Set a Color Theme With Mums

planter of mum variety fall flower garden
Kritsada Panichgul

In this mixed fall arrangement, soft pink 'Calisto' mums look especially bright against the dark green and purplish leaves of 'Redbor' and 'Red Russian' flowering kales. Magenta-flowered 'Viking' asters and 'October Daphne' sedum spilling over the side echo the pink color theme. The combination of pinks and purples is also a refreshing change from the traditional red, yellow, and orange arrangements often seen in fall.

03 of 14

Plant Mums

mums planted in garden
Courtesy of Walmart

Add fall color to your existing planter boxes with colorful mums. Here white and yellow mums ($23, Walmart) add fresh blooms to a fall display. Accent them with ornamental plants and container gardens.

04 of 14

Contrast Colorful Mums with Rustic Metal

galvanized metal planters with pink mums front porch
Cameron Sadeghpour

Create this pretty front entry look for fall by making these simple metal pot covers for your mums. Measure the height of the pots your mums are in, then add one more inch to that. With gloves and safety glasses on, use a circular saw with a metal-cutting blade to cut a corrugated steel roof panel to that height. For the length, make sure your sheet is long enough to wrap completely around the container with 2 inches of overlap. Curl the metal into a cylinder and use a 1/8-inch metal/steel drill bit in a power drill to make pilot holes every few inches through the overlapping section. Then add a rivet to each hole with a rivet gun to secure the ends. If you want to achieve varying heights for an interesting grouping, place your potted mum on top of an empty, overturned pot before measuring and cutting the metal.

05 of 14

Go Monochromatic with Your Mums

front steps with white mums and pumpkins
Adam Albright

Cloud-like white mums in white containers line this front entry, contrasting nicely with the house's darker colors. Painted pumpkins help to reinforce the white color scheme. Plain orange pumpkins provide a splash of brighter color to the display.

06 of 14

Play with Different Sizes of Mums

decor on steps with mums, kale, grasses, gourds, and pumpkins
Jay Wilde

When displaying several single mums in pots, try using varying container types and sizes. This dynamic display uses a very large pink mum in a galvanized tub as a dramatic centerpiece, set off by smaller pink and white mums in terra-cotta containers and baskets. An assortment of ornamental kale, pumpkins, and gourds tucked among the mums helps to unify the whole grouping.

07 of 14

Pair Mums with Grasses

pink mums in terra cotta pot
André Baranowski

Because mums are so showy on their own, they work well with less flamboyant partners like ornamental grasses. Together, they make an even bigger visual impact. Here, the tasseled purple fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum') adds height, texture, and just enough color to contrast with vivid magenta chrysanthemums in a classic terra-cotta pot.

08 of 14

Use Mums as Both Accents and Centerpieces

mum and kale arrangements in galvanized buckets near door
Bob Stefko

Experiment by using mums in a supporting role instead of as the main attraction. A tub of Cheryl Spicy Orange mums helps unify and add bright color to this autumnal display of assorted plants such as purple heuchera, red-stemmed chard, orange strawflowers, pansies, and bittersweet.

09 of 14

Add Seasonal Color with Mums and Gourds

fall flower baskets green pumpkins
Rett Peek

A simple arrangement of mums and gourds by your front entry makes for a beautiful celebration of fall's colors. To make mums the star on your porch steps, pick pumpkins and gourds with paler hues because they'll add texture without competing for color.

10 of 14

Mix Plants in the Same Color Family

window box fall display mums and white pumpkins
Miki Duisterhof

Give your fall window boxes a burst of color with mums and other seasonal plants in similar hues. Multi-colored cabbages with dark leaves and pink centers harmoniously complement the mums in this window box. A bountiful harvest of white gourds and small pumpkins enhance the whole effect.

11 of 14

Make Casual Arrangements for Easy Fall Color

kale cabbage mums galvanized bucket
Peter Krumhardt

Sometimes simplicity is the way to go for showing off fall favorites like mums. This galvanized steel tub provides a low-key way to display individually potted cabbage, kale, and pink mums. Not only is it quick to assemble, it's easy to change up the look as you wish.

12 of 14

Place Potted Mums in Hollowed-Out Pumpkins

pumpkin planter with fall mums
Jacob Fox

For a fun fall display, drop potted mums into carved pumpkins and arrange in a row or in groups on ledges and steps to welcome guests to your next autumn get-together. You could even combine your pumpkin-potted mums with Halloween decor by placing them in painted pumpkins. If you need the display to last longer than a few days, opt for a faux craft pumpkin, shown here.

13 of 14

Display Mums in Vintage Finds

vintage bike with basket of mums
Dan Piassick

If you happen to have an old bicycle around or can pick one up cheap at a garage sale or thrift store, use it to show off a bunch of colorful fall mums. Attach baskets using hooks or wire to hold the plants. Try other vintage containers or finds to display plants for a truly unique, rustic look.

14 of 14

Celebrate the Harvest Season

orange fall window box with orange mums and mini pumpkins and gourds7f432ff8bddceba94343b2ab6a3b597dfe0e3f4c
Carson Downing

Mums with orange tones coordinate well with gourds and pumpkins for a classic harvest look. Complement this pairing with other plants in similar hues like ornamental peppers and grasses.

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