My neighbor asked, “ how do I know my mum is still alive”? If a mum’s roots are white and look healthy, then the plant is alive, but it may need some tender loving care to revive it. Cut back the stems of the mums to 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm.) above the ground. Leaving a little bit of the stems will ensure that next year you will have a full plant, as the new stems will grow from these trimmed stems. If you cut the mums back to the ground, fewer stems will grow next year. When everyone else is at the nursery or garden center buying mums, you can buy a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks instead.