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How to Plant Mums From a Seed

mums image by Ann Kosche from

Mums are also known as garden chrysanthemums. This perennial produces masses of daisy-like blossoms in white, yellow, pink, bronze and red colors in the late summer and fall. Mum flowers have different decorative forms such as single blossoms, anemones, pompons, spoons, spiders and standards. Mums need full sun exposure to flower the best with the minimum amount of care. They thrive in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 5 to 9. Mums are used as container plants, flowerbed fillers and cut flowers.

Start mum seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost.

Mix 4 parts peat moss, 2 parts perlite and 2 parts vermiculite to produce a well-draining, fine-textured mixture.

Wash a shallow seed tray with soapy water. Rinse with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water to eliminate hiding insect pests and plant diseases. Let the container air dry.

Fill a clean container 2/3 full with the soil mixture. Level the soil by hand. Moisten with water in a spray bottle until the soil is damp.

Lay the mum seeds on top of the soil. Do not cover the seeds with soil since they need light to germinate. Spray the seeds with a fine mist of room temperature water.

Cover the tray with clear plastic to create a small greenhouse. Place the seed tray in bright, indirect lighted area.

Remove the plastic when the seeds have sprouted. Mum seeds germinate in seven to 28 days.


Pinch the ends of the stems when they reach 6 inches tall. This will encorage the mums to produce more stems and leaves for a bushier, fuller plant.


Mum seedlings need growing room when planted. Space them 18 to 24 inches apart unless it is a large variety which needs 30 to 36 inches to grow.

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