Sparrow and Finch Gardening How to Grow and Care for Mums–a Fall Classic

How to Grow and Care for Mums–a Fall Classic

Chrysanthemums, also referred to as mums are the most-loved autumn flower because of a myriad of reasons. They’re beautiful, bold and their sweet, spiced scent gives off an appealing scent of autumn. They are available in a range of vibrant colors, such as white, yellow, orange bronze, burgundy pink, and purple. Mums are robust flowers which can stand up to colder temperatures. Although they bloom in the summer months, however, they bloom in full force in the fall time.

Mums can be a fantastic accessory to your yard display and flower beds for fall. Here, you will learn how to care for your mums to keep the flowers in bloom all year and year-round.

How to Care for Mums

Mums are a resilient flower and can last for a long time. You can prolong their lives with the right care. You can even make certain varieties perennial instead of annual flowers. Read on for all the requirements for their care.


“Most mums are now grown in greenhouses because they’re ‘picky’ with lighting conditions,” says Amber Noyes, Horticulturist, Ecologist and Executive Editor of “If you grow them outdoors, they need full sunlight, which is at least 6 hours of bright light a day on average.”

Noyes claims that mothers who live indoors prefer lighting that is bright and indirect. “Mums are also photoperiodic ,which means that they blossom only when the hours of light are just right,” she states. “In fact, they will bloom in autumn or fall, because they will flower when they have 16 hours of darkness and 8 hours of daylight, which are the optimal conditions.”


Mums thrive in well-drained loam- clay or sand-based dirt when they are planted outside. “In containers, you can use a potting mix of 1:3 good quality potting soil, 1:3 coarse sand or other draining material, and 1:3 peat moss or coco coir,” Noyes suggests. “The ideal pH should be between slightly acidic and neutral.”


Tammy Sons, horticulturist and the chief executive officer for TN Nursery, says that mothers require lots of watering because they’re in direct sunlight. “Water once a day, in the evening hours,” she states. “This is vital because watering them in the mornings doesn’t give the soil adequate time to soak up the moisture before the sun pops out and dries it up, sometimes leaving the plants moisture starved.”

Noyes is also adamant about ensuring that the water is able to penetrate 6-8 inches deep into the soil when you plant them in soil. Containers require approximately one inch of water each week. Inspect the soil to see whether it’s dry, and then add water as needed.

The temperature and humidity

“Chrysanthemums are cold hardy to USDA gardening zones 5 to 9,” Noyes states. “Some varieties, like Mammoth Daisy, will tolerate even lower temperatures, down to USDA zone 3.”

She suggests that if you cultivate mums inside or in a greenhouse, the recommended temperature required for their growth is 20° F, and the highest temperature is between 90-95 degree F. The ideal temperature for chrysanthemums ranges between 72 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Mums also like humidity, and ideally, it should be between 70% and 90%, which is easy to obtain in a greenhouse, but less so indoors,” Noyes says. “So, if you grow and care for mums at home, aim for 40% to 50%; anything under this will cause them to suffer. The humidity level will also affect their mass and growth, and consequently, their blooms.”


Noyes states that mums too require feeding, but it’s dependent on where you plant them and the fertilizer you are using. In containers and using liquid fertilizers It is recommended to feed them each month, but begin with a minimum of a month after you’ve planted seeds and stop when the buds begin to open.

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