Mums: Caring for the Beautiful Late-Season Bloomers

Mums or Chrysanthemums are the perfect choices for late-season bloomers in your garden. To experience the beautiful fall in the outdoor space, you cannot go wrong with these flowers.

Therefore, people would easily fall in love with the blooms.

However, you can enjoy the beauty for weeks, not days. It becomes the favorite for your fall garden because of the sheer number of blossoms per plant.

Further, hundreds of hardy varieties offer different shapes and colors of flowers.

Thus, choosing mums as the main attraction of your garden in the fall will give interest to the autumn landscape.


Are Mums Perennials or Annuals?

Generally, there are two types of mums; florist and hardy. So, if there is some question about this, the answer is both of them.
Mums are Perennials and Annuals

Let us start with one of the biggest questions that come to mind. Are chrysanthemums annuals or perennials? The answer is both. Generally, there are two types of mums; florist and hardy.

Indeed, the florist chrysanthemums are also known as cutting flowers while the hardy ones are popular as the garden mums.

Then, both of them have the same original parent which comes from China. It is the golden-yellow daisy-like chrysanthemum.

When the florist mums are only used as indoor plants and being grown in greenhouses, there will be a few underground runners that it is produced.

They exist to stay alive during cold weather. Thus, planting the chrysanthemums outside tends to be used as short-term bedding plants.

There is a chance to plant florist mums in a pot. However, it will not survive the winter. In addition, you should understand how to take care of them.

How about the garden cultivars. Well, this type can handle the winter or cold weather better than the florist ones. They are also perennials in Zones 5-9.

Similar to the florist, you can have potted garden mums. They both would make excellent container plants.

First, the initial thing to do is choosing the right plant for it. So, the repotting process will not be an issue at all.

Types of Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums offer colorful flowers throughout the fall in a wide range of hues and flower types.
Types of Mums

There are over 100 different cultivars that you can find in the US.

Thereupon, the National Society of Chrysanthemum gives a classification system in order to categorize them according to the shape of the flower. There are 13 categories you need to know, they are:


Anemone mums have prominent, raised, cushion-like centers, made up of disk florets, and petal-like ray florets which surround the center.
Anemone Chrysanthemum

This mums flowers variety has daisy-like blooms that offer long, tubular florets that grow around a tight button center.

Besides, it can come in single or multiple colors with 4-inch bloom. Dorothy, Angel, and Purple Light are the popular varieties of these types.

Irregular Incurve

Irregular incurve mums feature large blooms with inward curving florets that cover their centers
Irregular Incurve Mums

This type has some large blooms that could reach about 6 to 8 inches. It has got the curved-in florist that covers the middle of the flower.

Further, there is a bit of florist right at the lower space of the bloom. They add fringe to the stem. River City, Blushing Bride, and Luxor are the popular ones.


Decorative Mums have blossoms that appear almost flattened on top. The petals are shorter than many other types of chrysanthemums, and curve inward.
Decorative Chrysanthemum

If you are a florist, you will use this decorative class mum as part of the floral arrangements. The blooms have a flat appearance that reaches about 5-inch plus.

Moreover, the florist would gradually become longer from the center away. The coral charm, Fireflash, and Honeyglow are the varieties to look at.

Intermediate Incurve

This bloom class is smaller than the irregular incurve, with shorter florets, only partially incurving with full centers, but giving a more open appearance.
Intermediate Incurve Chrysanthemum

In this category, you can see the florets do not cover the bloom’s center. Also, the less-compact bloom would only reach about 6 inches in max.

Furthermore, the popular varieties of this one are Pat Lawson, Candid, and Apricot Alexis.

Regular Incurve

Regular incurve chrysanthemums feature a true spherical bloom equal in breadth and depth. These well-balanced beauties have petals that smoothly incurve and form a ball shape.
Regular Incurve Chrysanthemum

The blossoms of chrysanthemums in this category are the inwardly curving florets. They are sleek and tight globes. Besides, The plants are able to reach between 5 inches in diameter.

Additionally, Gillette, Heather James, and Moire are popular species.


They sport long, narrow petals that resemble quills. This beautiful, ivory-white, quilled daisy mum has flowers ranging in size to 4
Quilled Chrysanthemums

It features long, tubular florets that can open to become a spoon shape at the end. Also, it has a spiky appearance that looks like the other cultivars.

In addition, Mammoth Yellow Quill, Seatons Toffee, and Muted Sunshine are the ones you often see.


Pompom chrysanthemums, also commonly called button mums, produce masses of small, round blooms in a variety of different colors. Poms are also called spray mums, having a spray flower growth means clusters of flowers grow from a single stem in a rising forest of blooms.
Pompom Chrysanthemums

The shape resembles the regular incurve one. They are only about one to four inches. Then, the tight blooms are something you commonly find in floral arrangements.

Likewise, you may ever hear about Lavender Pixie, Rocky, and Yoko Ono.


Spider mums, a type of chrysanthemum, have distinctive flowers that are often used in floral arrangements and can be grown in pots for easy display indoors.
Spider Chrysanthemum

The Spider varieties have long, spiky florets of multiple or single colors. The shape resembles the spiders’ legs that can go in all directions.

Furthermore, the appearance looks delicate and exotic which would make a focal bloom in the garden. Symphony, Wester Voodoo, and Evening Glows are part of spider mums.

Single and Semi-Double

Daisy like flower with a center disk and one or more rows of ray florets.
Single and Semi-Double Chrysanthemum

This category of mums looks like a daisy which has florets all around the compact center. The total size of this plant would be one to three feet.

Wherefore, this is such a perfect option for small borders and spaces. Then, you can go with the Icy Island, Rage, and Crimson Glory varieties.


Interesting and unusual mum forms is the spoon, commonly known as spoon mums. The name derives from the shape of the petals.
Spoon Chrysanthemum

It looks similar to the single chrysanthemums. They both are different in a slight curve.

Likewise, you can see ray florets that surround the button center has a spoon shape on each tip of it. Moreover, you can see its cultivars like Fantasy, Redwing, and Kimie.


Sometimes called bush blooms, this is a variation that has thin petals that are often twisted or curved in a slope, which makes them look a little wild.
Chrysanthemums Thistle

Thistle often features multi-colored blooms with long, thin florets twist. Thus, the flowers would rise or fall back to the stem.

Also, it has a unique exotic appearance to them. You can see it in Cisco, Orange Spray, and Cindy varieties.


All of these varieties produce the most wonderful reflex blooms with showy and wavy outward facing petals.
Reflex Chrysanthemums

This category has a bloom that is slightly flat with downward-curved florets. Its crossing produces something that looks like a feather.

Furthermore, the Apricot, White City, and Champion are the popular varieties of Reflex.


 As the name suggests, these are mums that do not fit neatly in any other category.
Unclassified Chrysanthemum

Well, there are still a lot of varieties of mums with their specialties and characteristics. The unclassified cultivars gather to be placed in one category.

Further, this one exhibits a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors of chrysanthemums.

Planting Mums

Keep chrysanthemum houseplants where they can receive good air circulation and avoid excess humidity.
Care for Mums in Pots

This part would show you how to care for mums. Firstly, one thing you need to know is to plant the chrysanthemums as soon as the soil warms in spring.

Thus, from there to the middle of the summer, you should pinch back the flower buds and tips on all shoots to create a bushier look.

After that, to get an optical blooming, you should apply fertilizer to the plant regularly during the growing time.

Next, you have to cut the plants down after the blooms fade. Cut them until about 6 inches. Do not forget to protect the roots over the cold season by covering them with straw.

Otherwise, you can plant mums in containers or pots. But when you have mixed borders, you will be amazed at the result at the end of the garden season. Pair them with other late-season bloomers.

Chrysanthemums would thrive in full sun. For the soil, you should use the one with rich soil that has great drainage. The amount of water has to be in consideration. Thus, this plant needs a lot of water.

Moreover, you should water them an inch per week in the early growing season. When the flower begins to open, increase the watering every three weeks.

If you live in moderate climate conditions, it is the best choice of plant for your garden. Also, mums prefer some humidity.

Therefore, ensure to provide the proper air circulation when you have an area with high humidity.

Common Pests and Diseases

Mums were recently placed in the genus Dendranthema, which is a now a separate genus from the marginally hardy florist mums. Drought will cause woody, stunted growth. Overwatering, on the other hand, causes yellowing leaves that blacken and drop.
Chrysanthemum Problems

Dealing with pests and diseases is just what gardeners do. Thereupon, you have to know how to control the spreading in order to keep the flowers having healthy blooms.

Indeed, Aphids, Spider mites, and Thrips can be the ones that damage the mums.

You may see some damaged leaves and stems, visible insects, and webbing on the plants. Those are because of illnesses and harmful insects.

Further, the common problems you will deal with are leaf spots, powdery mildew, botrytis, stem and root rots, aster yellow, verticillium, and viruses.

All of them are the typical diseases that most growers might face. Problems like powdery mildew and leaf spots will not damage the plants.

However, if you have other diseases infected the mums, remove or destroy them immediately before they spread.

You can do some prevention and treatment to deal with pests and diseases. Besides removing the infested material on the plant and surrounding soil, you can mulch the plants in the spring season.

It is done to discourage nematodes. So, they cannot climb up from the soil.

Moreover, during the watering, you have to avoid spraying water on the leaves. To reduce the population of nematodes, use foliar sprays that contain insecticidal soap.

The Best Mums are Hardy Mums

Hardy perennial unlike some other Chrysanthemums, comes in many colors and looks beautiful in a mass planting.
Best Chrysanthemum

Many gardeners would recommend growing hardy mums in your garden. Why? Because these types are drought-resistant.

Also, they do not attract pests or get a lot of diseases. These cultivars are very low maintenance.

There are numerous colors and sizes available. So, you may opt for a certain feature based on your garden style.

Additionally, if you are interested in Hardy mums, you should take a look at Anemone, Regular Incurve, Single or Daisy, Pompom, and Spider.


Mums or Chrysanthemums are such a great choice for your garden. These late-bloomers would guarantee you to have an amazing and colorful view at the end of the season.

Furthermore, getting to know all the varieties would make it easy to find out what is best for your space.

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