The Chrysanthemum Morifolium, also known as the ‘pot mum’ is one of the most popular plants, often kept indoors, or on patios or porches. They produce gorgeous, bright-colored flowers that last longer than most blooms. So, they can fit almost anywhere and will spruce up your space in no time!
They grow to about 15-20 inches tall and up to 24 inches wide, so they aren’t small plants! They produce flowers in multiple colors, namely orange, yellow, pink, white, red, and purple. Their wide variety of colors and long stems, make them a good choice to add to a bouquet.
They can be grown in pots or flower beds and can be bought from most garden centers. Avoid plants that are already long and leggy or any with brown or yellow leaves when buying.
Planting Pot Mum
You will want to plant just after the end of winter. Spring to early summer is perfect, somewhere between May and June.
Find a sunny space in your garden and use well-drained soil, preferably with a pH of 6.5 or any slightly acidic.
Use 2 to 4 inches of compost or animal manure (if you’re brave enough) as the base. Then add a dry, but balanced fertilizer, preferably with a 10-10-10 ratio. Make sure the fertilizer is applied evenly across the space.
Ensure that the holes you have made for each plant are at least twice as deep as the root. Make sure you place the plant on the top of the root ball, even with the soil’s surface. This is vital – if you plant it too deep, it will suffocate.
Shortly after planting, apply a generous amount of mulch to the base of the plant. This will encourage your plant to retain moisture and can prevent attracting weeds. Rotted manure or garden compost can both be used and will be successful.
Caring for Pot Mum
When you first plant, water it thoroughly and then water it regularly after throughout the season. When watering, water directly at the base to ensure that the roots get appropriately wet. Wait for the soil’s surface to dry before you water it again.
Try not to water the foliage as this can lead to diseases and exposes the risk of rot.
The chrysanthemum morifolium will need access to strong light. Conservatories, porches, and exposed gardens are all good choices for homing these plants. They also prefer warm temperatures, so consider moving your chrysanthemum morifolium inside during cold winters.
Once your plant has reached around 20cm tall, pinch out the growing point to help it branch. You can additionally pinch out shoots until the middle of summer, this can help your chrysanthemum morifolium look bushier that can produce more flowers.
You may want to add a general fertilizer at the end of April to maximize growth. If you want to encourage even more growth, you can apply a nitrogen-based fertilizer in June to help with flower and foliage growth. During the bloom season, you can provide your chrysanthemum morifolium with a fertilizer rich in potassium. Tomato feeds are popular for this and can maximize the display of your flowers.
Propagation of your plant can be done through cuttings, division or seed. All can be successful but propagation through cuttings is the most recommended.
Remove 5-7cm long shoots and remove the lower foliage attached. Place them inside a half-peat-free multipurpose compost container with half horticultural grit mixture. Water it generously, but be careful not to overwater before covering it with a clear plastic bag or store in a propagator if you have one. Place in an area of bright light but away from sunlight at 10°F or over.
You should notice root growth within about 3 weeks and as they grow, you should move them into a bigger-sized pot.
There are some potential problems that you can deal in growing Pot Mum.
Some pests can cause issues for chrysanthemum morifolium, although these pests are unlikely to kill your plant and instead only do minor damage. However, if you find any pests or pest damage, you should take the appropriate measures to get rid of them and prevent them from reappearing.
The pests likely to cause the most issues are the following:
- Capsid bugs
- Red spider mites
- Slugs and snails
- Leaf miners
- Leaf and bud eelworms
Gentle rubbing alcohol applied to the leaves and stems of your chrysanthemum morifolium can help to get rid of these pests and misting the leaves and flowers can prevent them from coming back.
Be careful not to over the mist, as this will increase the humidity levels, and your plant may start to struggle.
Your chrysanthemum morifolium is also susceptible to diseases, most usually caused by low-growing conditions.
Chrysanthemum white rust is a fungal disease usually found in the plant’s foliage and spread via airborne spores. Cold and wet conditions usually provoke infection. It creates a layer of white dust on the leaves and may cause the leaves to yellow or brown in color. White rust can spread quickly and can sometimes become uncontrollable, so be careful which plants you position near it and take care to solve the issue before it progresses.
Other common diseases include grey mold, mildew, and viruses. These are predominantly found after wet and cold spells and should be monitored and prevented.
To combat these issues, keep your chrysanthemum morifolium in a warm and dry area and monitor it for issues.
Chrysanthemum morifolium is a great plant to spruce up a space with color and bush foliage. They make fantastic gifts and will slot nicely into most gardens or porch areas. They are versatile, colorful, and fairly easy to maintain – there are many benefits.
If you decide the bright, vibrant chrysanthemum morifolium is for you, follow the care guides in this article to ensure maximum growth and continued health.
Elyssa Goins is an experienced house plant hobbyist who maintains over a hundred plants. She is a gardener, beekeeper, and a proud mother of four. She is a member of the American Horticultural Society, has a published study in the National Social Science Association, and loves to talk about her love of plants. For the past twenty years, she’s been all about growing and caring for various fruits, veggies, herbs, livestock, kids, and houseplants. Managing a big garden to feed four growing kids and raising dairy goats has taught her so much about being an excellent plant parent and now is her time to share with you.