Chrysanthemums have a long and interesting history that starts back in China thousands of years ago. These stunning flowers have come a long way since then, now coming in dozens of shades and 13 different cultivator types overall.
I love these bright, happy flowers and think they’re some of the most unique and fun plants to grow. The hardy varieties are easy to maintain, which is a big bonus for a busy gal like me. Typically, they grow between 12 and 36-inches tall, making them a great “full garden” flower.
If you’re not sure how to grow these lovely plants, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve created a general rundown on what you’ll need and how to grow and care for chrysanthemums for planting in early spring and late summer.
What You Need to Grow and Care for a Chrysanthemum Flower
To grow and care for your chrysanthemums, you’ll need a few tools and supplies.
- Chrysanthemum plants or seeds
- Soil with organic matter
- A plot of sunny land or pots in which to plant the flowers
- Hand cultivator
- Watering can or hose
- Organic pesticides (as needed)
- Organic fungicides (as needed)
How to Grow Those Mums
Successfully growing mums in your garden will, of course, depend on which varieties you grow and in which climate you live. There are both hardy and florist mums varieties to choose from, but the florist mums varieties have limited root systems. Because of that, they won’t do as well as hardy varieties.
Once you’ve selected your mum varieties, you’re ready to plant.
Plant your garden mums in the correct season for the variety you’ve selected. If you live in cooler climates, plant your mums in early spring. For this living in warmer temperatures year-round, plant your mums in late summer or early autumn. If you’re going with potted plants, they still do best in these seasons, you can be a bit more flexible with them if they’ll be growing indoors. Be sure to plant after the last spring frost.
Make sure to plant mums in well-drained soil to avoid root rot. Ideally, use organic souls with plenty of compost materials that will naturally feed the mums without the extra attention.
Chrysanthemums prefer a sunny spot, so find sunny to partial shade locations only for the best possible health of your flowers.
Once you’ve planted the mums, water them thoroughly. Keep the soil moist all season to help the shallow root systems stay hydrated and healthy.
Be sure to avoid overwatering to prevent issues with the plant’s health and the attraction of certain pests.
Ideally, use organic pesticides only if you find aphids, spider mites, or Chrysanthemum leafminers on the scene. Powdery mildew can also cause issues for these plants and should be treated by removing affected parts of the plant and a healthy dose of fungicide, as directed on the packaging.
Best Mums to Grow
With well over 100 types of chrysanthemums out there, many varieties would likely fit your definition of “best” for your flower bed setting and can be a perennial plant depending on the variety. Make sure the variety(s) you choose work well in the climate, soil type, and sun/shade ratio in which you’re planning to plant.
You can also consider the flower shapes, range of colors, and other aesthetic components of the mums and choose those unique traits that best suit your location and taste.
Some of the best varieties for cooler climates include:
- Classic Garden Mums
- Firecracker mums
- Mammoth mums
- Igloo series mums
- Morden mums
- Weyrich chrysanthemum flower
- Minnesota or Minn series
- Arctic chrysanthemums
- Rubellum mums
Some of the best varieties for warm weather climates include:
- Single mum bolero
- Single mum Clara Curtis
- Yoko Ono pompon mums
- Moonbeam pompon mums
- Ruby mound cushion mums
- Chiffon cushion mums
- Anemone mums
- Symphony spider chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums: The Flower for All Seasons
Depending on where in the world you live, chrysanthemums could well be your all-season flower. They love bright light, warm weather and bloom anywhere from spring into early winter. If you keep their soil well-drained and keep them fed, they’ll stay bright and inviting for months at the least.