How to Grow Chrysanthemum morifolium



Florist Chrysanthemum has big, beautiful flowers crowning a mass of dark-green foliage. Known botanically as Chrysanthemum morifolium, this flowering houseplant will stay fresh for several weeks. With this guide, you’ll discover what type of light, how much water, what temperature it wants, and more.


Photo: aprilrainstudio / istockphoto

Get to Know Your Indoor Mums

Native to China, this is a member of the Asteraceae family, along with daisies, sunflowers and marigolds.

Chrysanthemum gets its name from the Greek words chryos, meaning gold, and anthemom, meaning flower. These “golden flowers” are now available in shades of pink, purple, red, burgundy, white, and yes — golden yellow.

How big does this indoor Chrysanthemum get? It’s typically at a height 12-24 in (30-60 cm) tall; however, commercial growers treat plants with chemicals to stunt their growth, keeping them compact.

Florist mums are not hardy for growing outdoors in cold climates. Tender potted mums sold in florist shops want to stay indoors with you.

Choose a plant with plenty of buds that are just beginning to open. If your florist chrysanthemums came with a plastic covering over the pot, remove it. Your mums need plenty of air circulation. Plus, you don’t want to block the nursery pot’s drainage holes.

Green Thumb Tip

The secret to keeping blossoms fresh for several weeks is to keep mums in a cool place and well-watered.

You can cover a plain nursery pot by slipping it into a cachepot — a decorative pot without drainage holes. I put pebbles in the bottom of cachepots to keep the pot above the drainage water.

Growing Mums Indoors: Problems, Solutions and Answers

Buds won’t open? Give your plant plenty of sunshine to ensure blooming. Flowering plants may look cheerful near an inside wall or in a sunless hallway, but they won’t bloom well there. Give them light.

Wilted plants are likely thirsty. Florist mums are often root-bound — their pots are packed with roots, with little soil to hold water. You can revive dry roots by setting the pot in a pan of water for at least 30 minutes, allowing it to drink up, while also watering from the top. Keep a close eye on mums; you may need to water every day or two.

Something bugging your plant? Aphids sometimes arrive with a newly purchased plant. Green and wedge-shaped, they are tiny and difficult to spot, but they can do a lot of damage. Look for them along the stems and undersides of leaves. Treat any infestation right away to prevent them from invading your other houseplants.

Are mums toxic? Yes — Chrysanthemum leaves are poisonous. Keep out of the reach of children and pets that may play with or ingest this plant.

chrysanthemums

Instant Style for Your Home

Lend any room fresh, seasonal color with a potted mum. Or group a few pots for a big splash of color. 

Florist chrysanthemums are also a stand-out among your green houseplants. Those bright bunches of blooms are even more showy when surrounded by big-leaved dieffenbachia, split-leaf philodendron and monstera. Contrasting sizes, forms and textures complement each other when displayed together.

Temporary Houseguest

Give your plant a cool, bright location, and you can expect blooms for about 6 to 8 weeks.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get mums to rebloom, so it is treated as an annual and tossed out after the blooming season is over. You can put your plant outdoors in the spring to possibly get another season of blooms, but it will never look as good. Don’t feel guilty about discarding your plant when it’s past its prime.

Florist ChrysanthemumsPhoto: Angela / istockphoto

Beautiful Air-Cleaners

Although temporary houseguests, beautiful florist chrysanthemums work hard at removing air pollutants found in homes caused by the chemicals in upholstery, paint and carpet. 

Florist mums are one of the best flowering plants for purifying indoor air of formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia. Find out more about air-cleaning house plants. 

florist chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum morifolium, chrysanthemums, indoor mums, chrysanthemum varieties

Florist Chrysanthemum Care Tips

Light: Bright light. Flower buds may fail to open without enough sunlight. Direct morning light is fine, but keep your mums out of direct afternoon sun because they can’t take the heat.

Water: Keep soil evenly moist at all times. Foliage will wilt and flower buds won’t open if the roots are too dry. Flowering plants are thirsty, so check the soil often.

Humidity: Average room (around 40-50% relative humidity). If indoor air is dry, try one of these easy ways to increase humidity for your houseplants.

Temperature: Cool temperatures 55-65°F/13-18°C; Flowers may not last as long if kept in a warm room.

Soil: Peat moss based potting mix

Fertilizer: N/A

Propagation: Stem cuttings

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