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The Meaning of Spider Mums

Image by, courtesy of Brianna Lehman

Spider mums’ long, tubular petals hang loosely around their stems like spider legs. Their colors include white, red, pink, orange, yellow, lavender and green. Spider mums, a type of chrysanthemum, mean different things when they are delivered, carried in a wedding bouquet or included in a sympathy bouquet.

Personal Delivery

When you receive spider mums by personal delivery, the traditional message is clear: “elope with me.” However, flowers’ traditional meanings are not as commonly observed in modern times as they once were; double check before packing your bags to elope.


Spider mums regularly make appearances in wedding bouquets due to their unusual petals and bright colors. In wedding bouquets, spider mums mean liveliness, and if they’re white, they also mean purity and truth.

Sympathy and Remembrance

Include mums in sympathy bouquets to wish someone peace. In Europe, spider mums, like other chrysanthemums, mean death. They are placed on gravestones in remembrance of the dead.


Spider mums’ blooms are about 6 inches in diameter, and they can be propagated at home through cuttings. Spider mums are hardy in U.S. growing zones 3 to 9, which means they can be grown in most parts of the United States.

Expert Insight

Spider mums’ blooms are particularly vulnerable to shattering. Melt candle wax or spray a commercial shattering suppressant onto the backs of spider mums’ blooms to help prevent shattering if you want them to convey your intended meaning.

Spider Mums

The most distinctive feature of spider mums are the flower petals. There are several varieties of spider mums, producing different colors and sizes of blooms each spring. This will give each plant adequate room to grow roots. They also do best in soils that are slightly acidic, with a pH of about 6.5. Add a liquid plant fertilizer every 15 days until the flowers begin to emerge and grow. The spores of this fungus are transported during watering, so it's important not to transplant spider mums when they are wet. Spider mums also are at risk from mildew, a largely cosmetic issue caused when leaves are not allowed to dry out.

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