Chrysanthemum Morifolium Plant: Planting and Caring Tips

Written by Jennifer Hollohan
Updated: July 12, 2023
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Chrysanthemum morifolium is a stunning flowering plant. Some of its common names include chrysanthemum or mum. It is in the Asteraceae (daisy) family, a large plant family boasting roughly 25,000 species across 1600 genera. People cultivated chrysanthemums as far back as the 15th century BC. One of the reasons for its popularity is its vibrant blooms and unique foliage. However, the flowers are also edible and play a prominent role in Chinese medicine. If you want to grow this gorgeous plant yourself, we want to help you get started. Below we provide a complete guide to planting and caring for chrysanthemums.

Let’s dive in!

Scientific NameChrysanthemum morifolium
Common Name(s)Mum, Garden Mum, Autumn Mum, Chrysanthemum
Native RegionNortheast Europe and Asia
USDA Hardiness ZonesCold-hardy in zones 5a to 9b
Size1 to 2 feet wide and 1 to 3 feet tall
FlowerBlossoms form in August. Colors include shades of yellows, browns, and pastels.
Sun RequirementsFull sun
Fun FactsThe name chrysanthemum comes from two Greek words that mean “gold” and “flower.” Its flowers are edible.
white garden mum
Chrysanthemum morifolium

is a stunning flowering plant of the

Asteraceae

(daisy) family.

©iStock.com/Anna Pismenskova

Planting Chrysanthemum morifolium

It is important to get your chrysanthemums off to the best start before even learning how to care for them. And that means following some specific planting guidelines. Here’s what you need to know.

Location

Unlike some plants, chrysanthemums don’t like shade. So, choose a location that receives full, abundant sunlight for at least six hours daily. These plants thrive in bright light and require direct sunlight to develop strong stems and vibrant flowers. That said, the afternoon sun may be too harsh if you live in a warmer climate. In these cases, find a spot with at least some afternoon shade to offer protection.

Soil Preparation

Chrysanthemums prefer fertile, nutrient-rich, well-draining soil with a neutral pH level (around 6.0 to 7.0). Prepare the planting area by incorporating plenty of organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure. This step improves the soil’s texture, fertility, and drainage, creating an optimal environment. These plants prefer a moist, but not waterlogged, environment. Too much water can lead to root rot, so a well-draining area is vital.

Planting

Start by digging a hole slightly larger than the plant’s root ball. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring the crown is at or slightly above ground level. Backfill the hole with soil, making sure to press firmly. This step will help ensure the roots are protected and there are no air pockets. After planting, thoroughly water the chrysanthemum to settle the soil and promote proper root establishment.

You can directly sow chrysanthemum seeds into the garden or start them from seed inside. If you opt for the latter, get the seeds started 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting. The ideal time to plant your new flowers is in the spring. It gives them plenty of time to settle in and develop a solid root system before the flowers arrive in the fall. 

When you plant chrysanthemums, directly sown or transplanted, the plants should sit at least 18 inches apart to allow for appropriate airflow.

Alternatively, these flowers flourish in containers. So you can plant them there if you are short on space.

A close up photo of a bunch of dark pink chrysanthemum flowers with yellow centers and white tips on their petals. Chrysanthemum pattern in flowers park. Cluster of pink purple chrysanthemum flowers.

Chrysanthemums thrive in bright light and require direct sunlight to develop strong stems and vibrant flowers.

©StopperOhana/Shutterstock.com

Cultivation and Care

Now that you’ve got your chrysanthemum(s) planted, it’s time to learn how to help them thrive. Taking proper care steps will ensure your plants live long, healthy lives and produce abundant flowers.

Watering

Consistent moisture is vital for chrysanthemums, especially during the growing season. Water deeply and regularly. Ensure the soil remains evenly moist. But be cautious of overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Consider applying mulch around the plants to help retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth.

Fertilization

Chrysanthemums love their nutrients. These heavy feeders need regular replenishing. You can fertilize as often as once per month during the peak growing seasons. Use a balanced fertilizer for optimum results.

Pinching 

This process involves pinching off the top inch or two of the stems. Repeating this process a few times through mid-summer will encourage bushier growth and more abundant blooms. And to make those blossoms even more impressive, you can pinch off the earliest buds.

Chrysanthemum morifolium Cultivars

There are many chrysanthemum morifolium cultivars….over a hundred, in fact! And each one has unique characteristics. Here is a look at just a few to inspire you.

Spider

The ‘Spider’ features distinctive, spidery petals, giving this flower an exotic appearance. This cultivar is available in many vibrant colors, including red, yellow, orange, and pink. It is also winter hardy in zone 5.

Pompon

This cultivar is known for its round, compact flowers composed of tightly packed petals reaching around 4 inches (10 cm) wide. They resemble colorful pompoms and are available in a variety of shades, including white, lavender, and bronze.

Anemone

‘Anemone’ chrysanthemums have a unique appearance with a central cluster of tubular petals surrounded by a ring of flat, ray-like petals. They come in colors like pink, purple, and bi-colored combinations.

Cushion

‘Cushion’ chrysanthemums have dense, dome-shaped flower heads. The tightly packed petals create a rounded mound resembling a pin cushion. 

Some available colors include white, yellow, and burgundy.

Spoon

As the name suggests, the ‘Spoon’ cultivar has petals that resemble spoons. They have elongated and flattened petal tips. Spoon chrysanthemums come in lovely shades link pink, lavender, and bronze.

vivid red chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums come in over 100 cultivars, making it easy to find just the right one!

©Mariia Romanyk/Shutterstock.com

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Elan Havrilyuk/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Jennifer Hollohan is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on gardening, mammals, and travel. Jennifer has over twenty years of writing experience. She holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, which she earned in 2005, and is a Herbalist. Jennifer lives in Colorado with her family. She loves hiking, admiring wildflowers, gardening, and making herbal tea.

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