How to Maintain Chrysanthemums


Chrysanthemums are flowering perennials. These low maintenance flowers are popular cutting flowers for informal bouquets, formal flower arrangements and event corsages. Chrysanthemums, called mums, require selective planting and seasonal care to maintain their prolific greenery and colorful flowers year after year.

Step 1

Select a permanent garden area with well-drained soil and full sun exposure. Work organic matter such as compost into the soil to maintain strong root structure. In temperate climates, plan the permanent garden with room for established plants to spread. Plant tall chrysanthemums as a backdrop, standard mums as garden borders or patio container plants and use miniature or groundcover mums for frontscaping and walkway borders.

Step 2

Water regularly but do not let chrysanthemums become waterlogged. The National Chrysanthemum Society recommends early season spring watering like your lawn, about one inch a week. During summer the plants grow quickly and water evaporates due to warmer weather. Increase the watering schedule if leaves wilt. By autumn, when the plants are flowering, water about every other day.

Step 3

Maintain healthy plants by adding a balanced granular fertilizer in spring. During the summer apply water soluble fertilizer once or twice for the growing plants. For mums over a year old, apply the water soluble fertilizers monthly from spring through autumn.

Step 4

Prune or pinch your chrysanthemums to maintain bushy, sturdy plants. In spring and early summer when the plants are about 6 inches tall, cut each stem back. The NCS suggests pruning or pinching about 1 inch from the top of each stem so that it produces new side branches. When these new stems are about 6 inches tall and the entire plant is about one foot tall, nip each stem again. Repeat this inch pinching during the growing season until August. The healthy plant is ready to support profuse blooms.

Step 5

Prepare your mums for winter. After the first frost, prune the plant to ground level and mulch over it with. This maintains warmth for the roots and protects them from winter cold. After danger of frost is over in spring, remove the mulch. When new greenery appears, work granulated fertilizer into the soil as nourishment for the growing plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • In cold climates, chrysanthemums are treated as annuals because they rarely survive hard ground freezing or prolonged cold weather.


  • Chrysanthemum Society
Keywords: chrysanthemum plant, mums perennial, chrysanthemum cutting

About this Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.