Mums need good drainage. Wind chill, poor drainage and extreme cold temperatures will prevent a fall mum from coming back. Try to create a micro climate to protect them from these elements by doing the following:
1. If you leave them in their pots, put them against the house or in an unsheathed garage.
2. If you plant them, be sure to put them in a full sun area with great drainage.
3. Make sure the soil doesn’t completely dry out over the winter.
4. Cut back the dead branches to within 1″ of the soil.
5. Top planted ones with mulch or leaves
6. Surround potted ones with newspaper or leaves to protect the roots
Then talk really, really nice to it….