How to Grow Chrysanthemum Flowers "Mums"

How to grow chrysanthemum plants. Hardy Mums Flower Plant.

About Growing Hardy Mums Plants in Your Home Flower Garden

A little frost last night, or perhaps even a dusting of snow? What are those brightly colored flowers shining through such a cold environment….and unharmed at that.!? Most likely it’s a hardy mum, or perennial Chrysanthemum flowers as they are formally called. Mums are indeed hardy, and usually among the last flowers in your garden. You hardly have to know much about growing Chrysanthemums. They do fine unassisted. Use this guide on “How to Grow Chrysanthemum Plants” and you’ll have bright and beautiful flowers blooming in your yard well into Fall.

Chrysanthemums are native to China and Northeastern Europe. Early explorers discovered this colorful bloomer and brought it back to Europe and other parts of the world. Mums are popular in both the spring and the fall. They are “forced” into blooming in the spring inside greenhouses and sold at garden stores for Easter and Mother’s Day gifts. These same plants are then placed in flower gardens, cut back, and bloom again in the fall.  

There are hundreds of varieties of mums. Mums are a member of the daisy family.

Mums look great anywhere that you plant them, indoors or out. They will look beautiful in a flowerpot on your balcony or deck, too. Until they begin to bloom, they are simply an attractive green-leaved plant. In the fall, they bloom into a wonderous splendor of color.

Did You Know? On November 11, 1790, Chrysanthemums were introduced to England from China.

How to Grow Chrysanthemum Plants

Flower Colors: Mums come in a wide range of colors, including lavender, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow, and white. Also, there is a wide variety of bicolors. 

Flowers Bloom: Late summer through Fall.

Plant Height: Two to three feet tall.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0.

Hardiness Zone: 3 – 9. This versatile plant grows well in most hardiness zones.

Toxicity: The leaves and petals are edible But, one has to ask why consume these beautiful flowers?

Native To: Asia, Europe.

Plant Type: Perennial

Botanical Name: Chrysanthemum Morifolium

Other Names: Garden mum, garden chrysanthemum, hardy chrysanthemum, hardy mum, mum.

Are Mums Edible?

YES!! The leaves and petals are edible. They have a somewhat bitter taste.

The petals can be eaten raw or cooked. Add color to salads. Try the mixed with vegetables or mashed potatoes. Ort, add them to stir-fry recipes.

Sauté the leaves before eating Then, add them to soups or stews. 

Medicinal Uses for Chrysanthemum Plants

There are a wide variety of medicinal uses for mums. Here are some of them:

  • Treat chest pain.
  • It is used with other herbs to fight prostate cancer.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties. Helps to lower blood pressure.
  • Use it as a treatment for colds, fever, and headaches.
  • Lowers blood sugar for Type 2 diabetes.
  • It even helps to reduce swelling in feet.
  • Treats symptoms of dizziness.
Chrysanthemum Flowers Yellow

Light Requirements

Mums grow their best in full sun. Select a location where they get six to eight huts of full sunlight.  They will also grow well in light shade. But, this Fall bloomer sees less and less sunlight as we progress through Fall. So, if at all possible, grow them in a sunny location.

The shorter daylight hours signal the plant to set buds.

Chrysanthemum Plant Propagation

Perennial Chrysanthemum plants are grown from seeds. Sow seeds directly seeded into your flower garden or start indoors for transplanting later.  For outdoor starts, plant Chrysanthemum seeds after the soil has begun to warm in the spring.

Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil. Space seeds or seedlings 12-18″ apart.

Once your plants have been established, they can be propagated by separation in the fall. Also, you can propagate mums plants through cuttings.

About Seed Germination

Chrysanthemum Flower Pink

How to Grow Chrysanthemum Flower Plants

As stated above, you can grow Chrysanthemum flowers from seeds, division of roots, or cuttings. However, almost everyone buys young plants from their local garden store.

Garden tip for buying plants for Fall blooms on a porch or patios: When purchasing from August to early September, select plants with buds that have not yet opened.  Later in the season, select plants that are almost in full bloom. Blooms last two to three weeks. 

Hardy mums get their name because they are easy to grow. Like other plants, they reward you if placed in the best location of your garden. But, they also thrive well in less-than-ideal conditions.

While mums will grow well in most parts of your garden, they prefer full to partial sun and good, well-drained soil. If you are short on space, place them in almost any area and they will grow.

Occasionally, pinch back the growth to promote a bushy appearance. In mid-August, stop pinching them back and allow buds to form. As fall arrives allow the growth to develop.

Chrysanthemum plants have shallow roots. So, keep them well-watered near the surface. Allow the top of the soil to dry out a little between waterings.

Apply a fertilizer high in Nitrogen every 3-4 weeks from the start of the season until the first week of July. Switch to a fertilizer higher in phosphorus to promote blooming, and you will be rewarded with a dense, tightly packed cluster of big and colorful blooms. They will shine in your garden long after your other plants have succumbed to frost and age.

Chrysanthemums make excellent cuttings for indoor vases. Just check for bugs that like to harbor in the leaves.

Chrysanthemum Plants

Pruning Mums

During the course of the growing season, remove any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves and stems. This will make the plant more attractive and improve plant health.

Pinch back the growing tips of the plant two or three times until mid-August. This promotes new stem and leaf growth, resulting in a bushier appearance. 

As the flowers die off, deadhead the spent blooms. If the season is long enough in your area, new buds will appear.  

More on deadheading spent flower blooms.

Overwintering Chrysanthemum Plants

Mums will survive winter in most zones. If you are in a more northerly climate, apply a thick, four-to-six-inch layer of mulch over the plant after the leaves have died off. Do not cut the plant to the ground until spring.

You can overwinter plants in containers in a garage or shed. 

Also, provide a wind break for the plants.

Insects and Plant Disease

Disease problems are few, one of the reasons why these plants are easy to grow.

Insects like to nest in the leaves in the fall, especially aphids. If it is a problem, spray or dust lightly with insecticide or insecticidal soap.

Yellowing leaves is usually a sign of overwatering the plant.

Also see: Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures.

Related Articles

Also, people who read this article on growing Mums will like:

How to Grow Chrysanthemum Plants – by Garden Hobbies

How to Grow Just about any Flower

Seedling Care

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    Please support our site. Shop for:

    Scroll to top