Chrysanthemum Flower Growing: How To Plant, Care, Plant Types of Mums

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 1, 2024

Woman looking at a blooming chrysanthemum flower after learning various types of mums to plant in your garden, how to grow chrysanthemum flowers and how to identify various types.

Many gardeners love growing the Chrysanthemum Flower because of its colorful petals and pleasant scent.8

As soon as fall starts, and the air cools down, garden centers start showing off full mounds of brilliant violet, yellow and red flowers.

In North America, Europe, and Asia, chrysanthemums, or “mums” as they are sometimes called, are usually a fall garden staple.

Most countries consider the Chrysanthemum flower a national symbol of abundance in the fall. This perennial, hardy, herbaceous plant is a great and easy addition to your garden landscape.

With a few simple tips and a little understanding, you can acquire a lush, beautiful mum garden display in the fall to indicate the changing seasons. The following guide explains how to plant, care, and grow chrysanthemums and highlights the many plant types available in the subspecies.


(Chrysanthemum spp)

Chrysanthemum Flower in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Genus: Chrysanthemum
  • Leaf: Simple flat, thin leaf with serrated edges
  • Blossoms: Composite flowers growing in varying petals and color arrangements depending on the variety
  • Native Habitat: Northeastern Europe and East Asia
  • Height: Between 1-3 feet
  • Canopy: Grow in erect woody-based structure. Does not form a canopy.
  • Type: Mostly perennial (but some are annual depending on subspecies)
  • Native Growing Zone: USDA Growing Zones 4-9

Image Credit: Aviavlad34

Chrysanthemum Care

There are a number of different Chrysanthemum varieties in the world and if you want to add it to your garden, you may want to learn how to grow mums to fill your garden landscape as fast as possible. You must know how to plant, grow, and care for the mums before you embark on this task.

Here are a few things you need to know about Chrysanthemum care.

When To Plant Chrysanthemum

The best time to plant chrysanthemums is during the spring because it gives the perennial plant time to establish itself and adapt to the new garden home. Mums are available in most nurseries and garden centers in both spring and fall but you should plan ahead for a successful season.

You may be tempted to buy those big beautiful fall mums that are often showcased during the autumn seasons. However, in terms of longevity, experts recommend the smaller spring mums because they are a better investment.

The root system will grow stronger during the summer and fall and this increases the ability of the plant to survive during winter. Planting in the spring will also lead to a bigger bloom in the following season.

Even so, some varieties of fall mums are able to survive winter if planted immediately, however you’ll get much better odds if you follow the best season when to plant chrysanthemums.

Chrysanthemum Flower Growing Zone: How Hardy Are Chrysanthemums?

If you are wondering, what is the chrysanthemum flower growing zone, the answer is it depends on the variety.

Garden center chrysanthemums are often called ‘hardy mums’ and with good reason.

Most mum varieties are winter hardy in zones 5 to 9.4 Other varieties such as the Mammoth Daisy are hardy in Zone 3.

When buying mums, make sure you look at the label to ensure you’ve purchased hardy garden varieties appropriate for your planting zone.

The mums that you find in local garden centers and nurseries are often grown specifically for that area. You should avoid purchasing the plant from floral shops as they contain less hardy floral varieties.

Best Soil for Growing Mums

A Chrysanthemum Flower can survive in most soil varieties. However, they thrive in soil that is well-drained and has consistent moisture.5

You should not try to grow mums in hard dry soil because it prevents the roots from getting well established and the roots will drown in wet, boggy soil. The key to having a successful season is finding a middle ground between these two harsh conditions.

If you have experience planting other perennials, then growing mums should not be a problem for you.

For example, you can apply Lavender Tree care techniques to your mum. To create good soil for your chrysanthemums, work the soil to an 8 to 12-inch depth.

Mix it with 2 to 4 inches of organic material such as peat moss or compost.

You can test for the perfect soil texture by taking and hand-squeezing some of the soil.

The soil should not clump or quickly fall apart the moment you open your hand. Rather, it should simply crumble.

How Much Sunlight Does Chrysanthemum Flower Need Each Day? (How Much Sun Do Mums Need?)

When you are planning to include Chrysanthemum Flowers in your garden, you might ask questions like, How much sun do mums need or how much sunlight does Chrysanthemum Flower need each day?

All chrysanthemum plants love the sun.

Though they require only 6 hours of sun each day, having more light will make them grow, and bloom better. It will also increase their hardiness.

They require a slight shed in hot, summer afternoons or in warmer planting zones. This shade helps prevent the mums from getting scorched.

Chrysanthemums are photoperiodic in nature which means they are sensitive to light.14 When the plant senses a change in darkness length in late summer, it starts to set its buds.

Therefore, you should not plant mums near artificial lights such as porch lights and security lights because they can alter their blooming period.

Should You Space Your Mums?

You should not be tempted to plant mums together.

At first, smaller, spring mums may not seem to fill out the space in your garden as well. However, you should keep in mind that by fall, mums that are properly planted will grow 3 feet in width and height.

Therefore, even if your flower bed looks a bit bare when you plant them, they will fill in with time.

So, should you space your mums? Definitely, properly spacing your mums is essential for the health of the plants.

Plants that are too crowded have root system issues, suffer from disease, attract pests, and usually compete for nutrients.

You should follow the plant spacing direction for the variety of chrysanthemums to increase your garden’s health and protect your investment and money.

Growing Chrysanthemum: How To Grow Chrysanthemums

Most gardeners and arborists agree that chrysanthemums are low-maintenance plants. Knowing how to grow chrysanthemums simply needs basic gardening techniques.

Additionally, growing chrysanthemums require very little care, and come fall, your garden will be filled with a number of beautiful blooms.

Planting Mums From Chrysanthemum Seeds: Growing a Chrysanthemum Flower From a Seed

Most gardeners prefer purchasing already established plants from a garden center or propagating from cuttings and divisions.15 However, you can also grow chrysanthemums from seeds.

Keep in mind that growing a Chrysanthemum Flower from a seed is a bit of a gamble because many mum seeds do not stay true to their parent plant.6 Therefore, you may end up with a wide variety of flowers with different sizes and colors.

Usually, mums have long growing seasons but planting mums from chrysanthemum seeds needs planning in areas that have short growing seasons.

You should start by germinating the seeds indoors for six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Once the mums grow to 6 to 8 inches tall, you can transfer them to the garden and you will be able to see them bloom within the first year of planting.

Can You Grow Mums Flowers in Pots?

If you are living in an apartment or have a small garden, you might have wondered, can you grow Mums Flowers in pots?

Growing mums in pots is a great alternative. Most garden chrysanthemums grow up to 2 to 3 feet and you can easily accommodate them in a 12-inch container.

You also need well-drained and rich potting soil.

Wide shot of yellow Chrysanthemums in large concrete pots at a front porch.

(Image: Angela32)

To encourage the growth of the root for mums in pots, consider watering them from the bottom of the container. Then add a fertilizer that is soluble in water every week. Since mums need proper sunlight for them to bloom, you should place the pot on a window facing sound away from any artificial sources of light.

Additionally, you can store the plant in a protected garage during winter to help the plant rest before its regrowth in spring.

How Long It Takes To Grow Chrysanthemum Flower, When Do Mums Bloom, and How Long Do Mums Last?

How long it takes to grow Chrysanthemum Flower? Well, the growing rate is affected by many variables.

The many mum varieties have different mature sizes and growth rates. If you grow the plant from seed, it may take a year or several years for the plant to reach its full growth potential.

If you decide to get plants that are already established from the garden center, or you decide to divide and propagate, then you may get a head start on the growing season.

Mums should be fertilized and watered regularly to increase the plant’s fullness and growth capabilities.

When it comes to when do mums bloom? In most cases, mums bloom during fall when it’s much cooler, but there’s still enough sun to facilitate growth.

Though mums are generally associated with the fall season, there are three different types of blooming chrysanthemums. These are the Late Fall bloomers, Early Fall bloomers, and Early bloomers.

Early bloomers usually produce flowers in late July, early fall bloomers bloom in September, and late fall bloomers start in October.

Graphics of Chrysanthemum Flower growth rate showing the height and age of Chrysanthemum Plant from seedling to full bloom.

Most mums usually bloom for 4 to 8 weeks. You can extend the flowering period of mums by avoiding overcrowding, adding fertilizer in spring, and deadheading blooms that have been spent.

Knowing how long do mums last will tell you that if you find that your mum has no leaves during it’s season then this means that your plant is dead.

Companion Plants For Growing Chrysanthemum Flower

You can choose to plant chrysanthemums alone in containers and borders, or you can grow them in the garden. They suit any garden style including city gardens, exotic gardens, and cottage gardens.

Companion plants for growing Chrysanthemum Flower include:

Chrysanthemum Flower Growing: Best Growing Conditions for Chrysanthemum Flower

The best-growing conditions for Chrysanthemum Flowers are easy to get and maintain because they are low-maintenance plants. All you need is a little special care for your garden to be vibrant during the fall.

Here are a few tips for Chrysanthemum Flower growing:

How Often Should You Water Your Mums?

To get the best growth, you need to maintain even moisture for your mums. It’s essential to water your mums consistently throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

Once the ground freezes for winter, you can suspend the watering until spring warms the soil.

Expert gardeners recommend watering your mums early in the morning to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.7

The most ideal method of watering chrysanthemums is applying moisture directly to the plants’ depth. This prevents the thick foliage from trapping moisture.

You should use a soaker hose which provides even and consistent moisture to the ground. A water timer is an even better tool because it saves you the hassle of having to remember to water your plants regularly.

Should You Prune Chrysanthemums?

You shouldn’t worry about pruning your mums as they aren’t exactly pruned.18

Instead, they are pinched throughout the growing season. Pinching offers more blooms and helps the plant become fuller and branch out.

In the spring, when the plant reaches 6 inches you should pinch off 1 inch of the shoots. This process should be repeated every 2 to 3 weeks until the beginning of summer.

If you want an extended bloom time, you should deadhead spent bloom throughout the fall.

As soon as the plant dies in winter, avoid cutting it back.

You should allow the plant to die back naturally over the winter to produce stronger plants. All you have to do is clean up the dead stems and foliage in the spring.

Do Mums Need Fertilizer?

All plants need nutrients. Adding fertilizer to your mums gives them the essential nutrients and an added boost for best growth.

The chrysanthemum plant’s primary growth usually takes place in spring and early summer.

Additionally, mums are heavy feeders when they grow therefore, you will need to apply quality fertilizers for larger plants and more blooms.

The fertilizer used should be balanced and water-soluble. It should be applied monthly from early spring and all through July.

If you have fall mums, fertilization should begin in spring. You should not fertilize them in the fall because it reduces the hardiness of the mums to survive in cold winters.

13 Types of Chrysanthemums and a Picture of Chrysanthemums

In the United States alone, there are 100 different cultivars of chrysanthemum.

Graphics of types of chrysanthemums showing Irregular Incurve Chrysanthemum, Reflex Chrysanthemum, Regular Incurve Chrysanthemums, Decorative Chrysanthemums, Intermediate Incurve Chrysanthemum, Pom Pom Chrysanthemum, Single and Semi-Double Chrysanthemums, Anemone Chrysanthemum, Spoon Chrysanthemums, Quill Chrysanthemums, Spider Chrysanthemums, Thistle or Brush Chrysanthemum, and Unclassified or Exotic Chrysanthemum images.

(Intermediate Incurve Chrysanthemum Image: Buntysmum35)

The image above shows the classification system from the National Chrysanthemum Society. Through the categorization, Chrysanthemums are divided into 13 different classes based on the shape of their flowers. These classes or types of chrysanthemums include:

Class 1: Irregular Incurve Chrysanthemum

They have top florets which curve loosely into the middle part of the plant. The lower outer florets fall outside in an irregular pattern like a skirt.

Eye-level shot of a variety of Irregular Incurve Chrysanthemum showing pink flowers and green leaves.

(Image: lanlan19)

These mums can grow as large as 10 inches and as high as 4 feet. Some popular varieties are River City, Blushing Bride, and Luxor.

Closeup of a variety of Reflex Chrysanthemum showing yellow petals in the center and bright red petals around it.

(Image: David (daledbet)20)

Class 2: Reflex Chrysanthemum

The petals of the reflex mums curve downwards and overlap giving this flower its name.

The blooms are slightly flat as the florets curve downwards. They usually resemble the plumage of birds and have charming mop heads.

Popular varieties include the Samson, Apricot Courtier, Paint Box, White City, and Champion.

Class 3: Regular Incurve Chrysanthemums

These are the most recognized mums and you can find them in traditional football corsages. They are tall plants that form blossoms that resemble a ball with incurving petals.

Closeup of a variety of Regular Incurve Chrysanthemums showing orange and reddish-orange petals and green leaves.

(Image: Anrita170522)

The bloom is usually 4 to 6 inches in diameter. They include Primrose Tennis, Rosedew, Gillete, Heather James and Moira.

Closeup of a bunch of Decorative Chrysanthemums showing short yellowish-orange petals.

(Image: Teodor Buhl29)

Class 4: Decorative Chrysanthemums

These are the most common chrysanthemums in American gardens. They have a much flatter shape than other chrysanthemums

Their florets are short and incurved and there are some down-bending lower petals. They have been bred to be hardy.

The decorative mums bloom from summer to fall. Gardeners like to use the plant as an annual rather than perennial to fill the borders and beds.13

The blooms usually have petals that are 5 inches long. The petals gradually elongate from the center out.

Some common varieties include Honey Glow, Coral Charm, and Fireflash.

Class 5: Intermediate Incurve Chrysanthemum

These mums are small and usually fall between regular and irregular incurves in size and shape. The only difference is that they have florets that are shorter and less densely packed.

Closeup of a variety of an Intermediate Incurve Chrysanthemum showing purplish-pink petals.

(Image: Ray Shrewsberry24)

The florets do not cover the center of the bloom but they curve inwards. Some common examples include Pat Lawson, Candid, and Apricot Alexis.

Top shot of a variety of Pom Pom Chrysanthemum flower showing yellow petals.

(Image: Gitti Lohr23)

Class 6: Pom Pom Chrysanthemum

This adorable mum variety resembles a pompom. They have small flat blooms that look like globes.

They are either reflected or incurved in a regular pattern. They are usually 1 to 4 inches in diameter.

Some popular varieties include Kermit, Feeling Green, Rocky, Lavender Pixie, and Yoko Ono.

Class 7: Single and Semi-Double Chrysanthemums

This mum has a daisy shape and is similar to other composite plants such as sunflowers, daisies, and asters.

The central disk is round with one to seven-ray floret rows. They usually have a happy rustic look.

Closeup of a variety of a Single and Semi-Double Chrysanthemum showing yellow center and vibrant red petals.

(Image: hartono subagio30)

The plant grows between 1 to 3 feet and as a result, they are very ideal for borders and small spaces. Some varieties include the Crimson Glory, Icy Island, and Rage.

Top shot of Anemone Chrysanthemum showing purplish-pink center surrounded with white petals.

(Image: hartono subagio21)

Class 8: Anemone Chrysanthemum

They get their name from sea anemones. They have a raised center that is similar to a pincushion.

They can have either small or large flowers and their petal pattern is similar to semi-double mums.

They usually bloom from the middle of fall and you can use them as a color burst in the late season for your garden.

Some common varieties are the Angel, Purple Light, and Dorothy Mechum.

Class 9: Spoon Chrysanthemums

This plant has petals that look like spoons. They have a button center which is surrounded by spoon-like ray florets. Some popular varieties are Redwing, Fantasy, and Kimie.

Top shot of a variety of Spoon Chrysanthemum showing yellow center and tubular pink petals that look-like spoon.

(Image: Suresh Babu Guddanti25)

Closeup of Quill Chrysanthemum showing tubular white petals with orange opened tips.

(Image: Jasmin Raffaele28)

Class 10: Quill Chrysanthemums

This plant has straight, long florets that are tubular with open tips. They almost look like feather quilts.

Some common varieties include Muted Sunshine, Mammoth Yellow Quill, and Seatons Toffee.

Class 11: Spider Chrysanthemums

This mum is a great garden centerpiece. It has delicate, lacy spider-like florets that coil at the tips and fall in a loose mass.

If you look closely, they can remind you of a fireworks display.

Closeup shot of a variety of a Spider Chrysanthemum showing thin and curling yellow petals.

(Image: David (daledbet)27)

These flowers are long-lasting. They can survive in a vase for up to 3 weeks.

Some popular varieties include the Yellow Equinox or Senkyo Kenshin, Western Voodoo, Evening Glow, Symphony, and the Mauve Seaton’s Galaxy.

Closeup of a Thistle or Brush Chrysanthemum showing long and thin reddish-orange petals on black background.

(Image: Gregory Sabin31)

Class 12: Thistle or Brush Chrysanthemum

Brush or thistle mums are usually very delicate. They have fine florets that grow long and upright, curving a little at the end.

The petals fan out horizontally or try to twist around the stem.

Some common examples are Orange Spray, Cisco, and Cindy.

Class 13: Unclassified or Exotic Chrysanthemum

It’s important to note that with the many chrysanthemum varieties available, some can fall into more than one category.

Unclassified mums exhibit diverse characteristics, colors, and sizes and they cannot be placed in the 12 classes listed above.

Top shot of a variety of an Unclassified or Exotic Chrysanthemum showing white and orange petals twisting counter-clockwise.

(Image: Teodor Buhl26)

How To Identify Chrysanthemum Flower

Mums are best known for their bright flowers. Since there are many mum varieties out there, the flowers do not share many common characteristics.

How to identify Chrysanthemum Flower then?

The common mums bloom 2 to 3 inches in diameter though these digits may go higher or lower depending on the subspecies. The flowers often start in spherical buds that are small and tight.

Chrysanthemum Flower Identification graphics showing USDA hardiness zone and Chrysanthemum flower, Chrysanthemum leaves, and Chrysanthemum seedpod in circle frames,

(Seeds Image: Aquamarine_song36)

The buds grow above the foliage and tend to open at once in a dramatic display.4 This feature is what makes mums popular among gardeners and florists.

The flowers are found at the tip of the stems being held like flat saucers. The blooming period lasts for weeks on end and the process repeats itself when you trim off the flowers and the weather stays mild.

The hundreds of mum varieties are grouped according to their flower appearance.

A basic mum flower starts with a single petal layer arranged in the shape of a disk around the center which looks as small as a button. The color of the petals in the first layer is different from the other petals, often a shade darker than the rest.

The most popular mum varieties have many petal layers giving the flower a ruffled effect. Some petals curve upwards and inwards while others go outwards and outwards.

Some cultivars have spoon-shaped florets while others have spidery filaments.

Chrysanthemum Leaves

The Chrysanthemum leaves have either five or seven lobes and are usually one each wide and two inches long.

However, similar to their flowers, the leaves also vary somewhat among the hundreds of varieties. They have mildly serrated leaf edges and emerge from the stem in alternating patterns along the stem.

If you inspect the foliage closely, you’ll notice some fuzz on the surface. The leaves are also dark green in color and have bluntly pointed loves.

Some mum varieties have leaves that change color in the fall.

Chrysanthemum Plant Description/Taste

The chrysanthemum plant has flowers that come in different size varieties ranging from 2 to 5 inches in diameter. The main part of the plant is the flowers which are composite and grow in a wide range of petal arrangements.

Some flowers have a round pom pom appearance while others have a daisy-like structure. A few varieties have flowers that bloom with petals that are quill-like.

The blossoms also come in various hues such as light yellow, red, white, purple, and deep burgundy.

When the plants are in full bloom, they usually emit a floral and sweet scent with menthol notes that can help clear nasal passages. Each variety has its own flavor profile but most common blossoms have floral and better nuances with peppery and sweet undertones.

The peak season for Chrysanthemum Flowers is the end of summer and during fall.1 However, in some regions and with some varieties, they bloom throughout the year.

The term Chrysanthemum Flower is a general term used to describe thousands of perennials and sometimes they are called mums.

Mums are a member of the daisy family and bloom in a wide range of shapes and colors. Most mum flowers are edible.

The most common subspecies is the Garland chrysanthemum botanically called the Chrysanthemum coronarium.9 This subspecies is mostly grown for its succulent stems and leafy greens which many Asian cultures call Shungiku.

Some chrysanthemums are not edible and can lead to contact dermatitis when handled without gloves. It could also lead to digestive irritation when eaten.

Mum flowers produce natural pesticides that help with pest control, especially in home gardens but you should be careful because they are harmful to household pets.

Geography and History of the Chrysanthemum Flower

The geography and history of the Chrysanthemum Flower is very interesting.10

First and foremost, they are originally native to China. These blossoms are part of many Chinese legends and have been cultivated in the region since the 15th century BCE.

The flowers were introduced to Japan by Chinese explorers in the 8th century CE. Japan’s emperor at the time adopted the flower and placed it on their seal and this tradition has been maintained up to now.

Japan citizens place the flower around the emperor’s throne giving it the name The Chrysanthemum Throne.

The flower spread to Europe during the 17th century along several trade routes such as the Silk Road.2 Then, the plant was brought to South and North America during the end of the 18th century.

Currently, you can find a lot of chrysanthemum varieties growing in gardens and in the wild throughout much of the world today.

These plants thrive in many different climates such as areas with cool and humid weather or hot summer areas. In the US you can procure chrysanthemums in the farmer’s markets or other reputable food markets if you want to use them as food.

Mums that are grown for florists and flower markets should not be consumed because they may contain pesticides and other chemicals that are used in decorative flower farming.

Chrysanthemum Meaning

Mums are some of the most popular flowers in the world, only second to roses. They are so much more than their colorful petals that make a bouquet look pretty.

These fluffy, vibrant blooms have several special meanings depending on the color you choose. In some countries like Japan, they are revered by royalty.

Mums come in more than 150 varieties. Whether you prefer spider blooms with spindly petals or bushy fanned-out plants, there are several options you can choose.

The name comes from the Greek words ‘anthemon’ and ‘chryos’ which literally translates to gold flower.

Overall, the Chrysanthemum Flower is believed to symbolize joy and optimism just like roses.

Closeup of a cluster of Orange Chrysanthemums.

(Image: Denise Davis33)

Mums are the November birth flower.11

However, Chrysanthemum colors has different meanings. They include:

  • Pink chrysanthemum: Most arborists say that this color symbolizes longevity. In Japan, they are a symbol of Royalty.
    The pink flowers of chrysanthemums are a great addition to a bouquet for a friend because they also signify love and honor. They are great if you want to show someone that you appreciate and care for them.
  • Red chrysanthemums: These flowers represent love and passion. You can use them instead of the traditional bunch of roses.
    Red mum bouquets are just as beautiful and portray the same meanings.
  • Yellow chrysanthemums: The most traditional color for Chrysanthemum Flowers is usually yellow. Some time back, these flowers had negative connotations because they symbolized neglected love and sorrow.
    However, over time, the perception of these flowers has changed to mean the exact opposite.
    Yellow chrysanthemums usually mean happiness or sunniness. Their cheery color makes them great for when you need to perk someone up.
  • White Chrysanthemums: These flowers are used during mourning periods. You can often find these flowers in funeral sprays and most people use them to lay on graves.
  • Orange chrysanthemums: Mum flowers that are fiery shades of orange are a great representation of the autumn season.2 If you are looking for a gift idea for someone born in October, they are the perfect symbolic bouquet.

Chrysanthemum Meaning in Different Countries

The meaning of chrysanthemums is not necessarily denoted by color. Wherever you go around the world, you’ll find that different cultures have different meanings for this flower.

Chrysanthemum meaning in different countries varies.

In Japan, mums are called Kiku. Each year, the nation hosts a festival called the Festival of Happiness, in September where they celebrate the flower.

Florists and talented amateur and professional gardeners usually showcase their incredible pruned flowers in wonderful and weird shapes.

Japanese also place a single chrysanthemum petal in their wine glasses when drinking because they believe that they will have a long and happy life when doing this.

In the course of history, mums have been a symbol of rebirth, life, and love. Many people gift them during birthdays and baby showers.

In the Hindu culture, during Diwali, mums are offered to the Goddess Lakshmi. They are some of the most used edible flowers today because of their diverse dimension, texture, color, and flavor.

Heading over to China, you’ll find that mums symbolize good luck. They are often given to graduating students and those going for exams or promotions.

Additionally, mums have been a part of Chinese history for hundreds of years.

In Europe, chrysanthemums often have a negative connotation. They are associated with mourning and sympathy.

Many people pick white chrysanthemums to lay on graves. Though they are mourning flowers in Europe, this is not always the case.

Since mums are associated with autumn, they are the birth month flowers for people born in October and November making them great birthday gifts during this period.

Japanese Chrysanthemum Flower

Japanese highly revere the Chrysanthemum Flower growing. The Japanese Chrysanthemum Flower is used as an imperial symbol.

The flower was first imported to Japan as a medicinal plant during the 8th century and it was adopted as a personal emblem by Emperor Go-Toba.3

Today, the flower is part of the official seal for Japanese coins, passports, and doors of diplomatic buildings. Varieties that were specifically created in Japan are called Wagiku to help differentiate them from the rest of the world.

Mum blossoms made during the Edo period are known as Kotengiku which translates to classic chrysanthemums.

These flowers are further divided into three categories according to the blossom sizes. They include:

  • Chugoku: Medium
  • Kogiku: Small
  • Ogiku: Large

Chugoku are often used in funeral flower arrangements while the Japanese use Kogiku mums in the art of Bonsai.

Every November, the citizens celebrate the beautiful mum blooms at the Kiku Matsuri festival found at the shrine of Yushima Tenmangu in Bunkyo, Tokyo.

Florists produce more than 2,000 blossoms representing 32 mum varieties. These flowers are presented in sculptures arranged for an audience of more than 100,000 people.

Chrysanthemum Flower Facts

You may think that these oversized blooms are only great for plumping up a bouquet. However, Chrysanthemum Flower growing is done for more than just the flower.

Here are a few Chrysanthemum Flower facts that you may not have known.

  1. They have high nutritional value: Mums are a great vitamin C source that protects cells of the body from the adverse effects of free radicals. Some varieties of the plant also contain vitamins A and B which support growth, vision, transportation of oxygen, and the immune system.
    Besides vitamins, the flower contains many different mineral types such as magnesium which helps in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar, calcium which supports strong bones, and potassium for blood regulation in the body.
  2. The head of the flower consists of a lot of smaller flowers: If you look closely at the inside of chrysanthemums, you’ll discover that it’s made of a lot of teenier, tinier mums which is quite amazing.
  3. They are used to make tea: Throughout the world, people enjoy chrysanthemum tea for its high nutritional value. The tea is made by placing the petals in boiling water and they help with many conditions such as respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and inflammation.
  4. They have a high vase life: You can store mums in a vase for around 14 to 21 days. Some varieties can be stored for as long as 30 days.
    Their long shelf life is one of the reasons why they are very popular flowers.
  5. The Japanese royal family uses chrysanthemums as their official seal: In the 5th century when mums were first introduced to Japan, they were loved so much that they were included in the official seal of the royal family. This tradition has carried on until now.

Chrysanthemum Application: Use of Chrysanthemums

Besides tea and gift bouquets, the Chrysanthemum Flower has several uses. They include but are not limited to:

  • Funeral flowers: The large heads of chrysanthemums make them great for dramatic display in funeral sprays and wreaths. Since white chrysanthemums are linked to mourning and sorrow, they are great for wakes and graves.
  • To repel insects: Some chrysanthemum varieties have pyrethrum which is a natural insect repellent.12 You can extract the pyrethrum from the plant and use it to keep insects such as mosquitos at bay, or you can grow the plant next to the house to deter nasty insects from entering.
  • Home decorations: Mums have a lot of versatility meaning they can lend themselves well to mix and match with other flowers in all seasons.
    During summer, you can combine them with lilies and roses to make pretty sprays or arrange them together to create a beautiful effect.
    During autumn, you can use the bronze and golden shades to create masterpieces for Halloween or harvest festival celebrations.
  • Used as food: Mum flowers are more suitable as an edible accent. You can add them at the end of your food preparation to maintain the flower’s delicate texture and shape.
    In some varieties, the entire flower is edible. You can use it whole or pluck the petals and spread them throughout the dish.
    You can sprinkle Chrysanthemum Flowers over salads, or float them over curries and soups. They are also a great addition to fruit bowls or you can garnish them over sashimi and sushi.
    You can use the flower to decorate several seafood dishes such as shrimp cocktails, ceviche, and calamari. Moreover, you can use the flowers to decorate meals such as appetizers, sandwiches, seafood, and pasta.
  • Used in drinks: You can freeze the petals into ice cubes and add them to drinks to improve color and taste. The flowers should be used immediately to get the best quality but they can be stored for two to four days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

To summarize, mums are usually the quintessential autumn flower. They are usually planted in spring and bloom throughout fall.

Learning how to care for your mums ensures they come back year after year.

Remember, because of the diverse characteristics and varieties of the mums, there’s always something new to learn about the Chrysanthemum Flower.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chrysanthemum Flower

What Are Some Common Chrysanthemum Colors?

The most common Chrysanthemum colors you’ll find in most gardens are white, purple, and orange mums.

What Does the Purple Chrysanthemum Symbolize?

The purple chrysanthemum symbolizes care and thoughtfulness.

What Does a White Chrysanthemum Flower Symbolize?

The white chrysanthemum flower usually symbolizes sorrow and death.

What Does an Orange Chrysanthemum Flower Mean?

They symbolize a feeling of delicate love.

When Should You Plant Mum Flowers?

During spring

Are Chrysanthemums Perennial?

If you are wondering, are chrysanthemums perennial, most Chrysanthemum varieties are perennial but some are annual.

What Does a Yellow Chrysanthemum Flower Symbolize?

The yellow Chrysanthemum Flower usually means neglected love and sorrow.

What Are the Growing Zones for Chrysanthemum Flower?

The growing zones for Chrysanthemum Flower are Zones 4 to 6.

What Kinds of Flowers Do Mum Plants Produce?

They have different flower varieties. Some are like a daisy flower, other types of flowers are pink and orange. Even with mums of the same color, you can get different varieties. For example, there are several types of white flowers.

Why Are Mums Considered Low-Maintenance Plants?

Because they can grow in any soil.

Which Types of Bees Are Attracted to Mums?

All types of bees love mum flowers.

What Are the Watering Needs for Chrysanthemum Flower Plants?

They should be watered regularly throughout the spring and summer.

What Are the Best Planting Tips for Chrysanthemum Flower?

You should water and fertilize mums regularly.

What Is the Distance To Consider How Far Apart To Plant Chrysanthemum Flower?

You should plant mums 12 to 15 inches apart.

What Are the Common Pests of the Chrysanthemum Flower?

Some chrysanthemum pests include beetles, mealybugs, thrips, and aphids.

What Is the Best Method How To Stop Chrysanthemum Flower Disease?

You should apply fungicide to protect the plant.

What Is a Natural Pest Control for Chrysanthemum Flower?

Some varieties of mums naturally produce pyrethrum as a natural pesticide.


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22Photo by Anrita1705. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

23Photo by Gitti Lohr. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

24Photo by Ray Shrewsberry. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

25Photo by Suresh Babu Guddanti. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

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28Photo by Jasmin Raffaele. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

29Photo by Teodor Buhl. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

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31Photo by Gregory Sabin. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

32Photo by Angela. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

33Chrysanthemums in a garden Photo. Provided by Denise Davis.

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