Chrysanthemum Growing Guide

Chrysanthemum morifolium, Chrysanthemum rubellum


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with compost, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH.


Full sun to partial afternoon shade.

Frost tolerant

Cold tolerance varies with species. Most potted mums sold in late the summer for fall display are hardy to -0°F (-18°C) if they are well rooted. Heritage mums in the C. rubellum group can withstand temperatures down to -30°F (-34°C).


In spring, topdress the area around hardy chrysanthemum with a balanced organic fertilizer. Drench with a liquid organic fertilizer when plants begin to grow tall in midsummer.


Single Plants: 11" (30cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 11" (30cm) with 11" (30cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Many of the best hardy chrysanthemums are vegetatively propagated from stem cuttings, and sold as small container-grown plants in spring by specialty nurseries. You also can start with divisions or green basal shoots taken from a friend’s plant, which root readily when planted in warm soil. Set out plants after the soil begins to warm in spring. In mild winter climates, potted chrysanthemums purchased in fall will survive winter if planted promptly and kept moist. In spring, surviving plants will develop green shoots from the base of the previous year’s stems. Once plants become well rooted, they form resilient clumps that come back to brighten up autumn for many years. Young plants need water when they are actively growing. A surface mulch suppresses weeds while making the plants look more attractive. Once established, hardy chrysanthemums are quite tolerant of heat and drought.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Several improved cultivars of hardy chrysanthemum are worth seeking out. Single flowered pink ‘Clara Curtis’ is among the last flowers to bloom in autumn. ‘Mary Stoker’ is similar, with yellow flowers blushed with pink. Chrysanthemums sold for autumn display often make excellent perennials in climates where the soil freezes for only short periods in winter. The challenge is to get them to root well before cold weather comes, which is best done by obtaining small plants as early as possible and getting them planted while they are still actively growing. For maximum bloom, garden mums should be pinched back at least twice during the growing season, once in spring and once in midsummer.


Gather stems for use in cut arrangements as you need them. Chrysanthemum blossoms sometimes last longer in a vase than they do on the plants.


The aromatic foliage of chrysanthemums is avoided by deer and rabbits. Four-lined plant bugs may make numerous round spots in leaves in spring, but the damage is seldom severe. Allow old stems to stay on dormant plants through winter to provide shelter for the basal buds.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Chrysanthemum