The Different Types of Chrysanthemums – Welcome to the Colorful World of Mums


Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are showy flowers that provide color right through the fall season. But if you want to find the perfect one for you, you’ll need to understand the different types of chrysanthemums. From the perfectly formed balls of mums in festive fall porches to the gigantic blooms of football mums, there is a mum for every garden situation!

So Many Mums!

There are over 40 species of chrysanthemums, and they come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes. Some of the more popular types are perennial mums, spider mums, garden mums, football mums, Belgian mums, and pot mums. You’ll often spot them in pots or containers as part of a decorative landscape. But they also make a great cut flower, filling indoor vases with their lovely shapes and shades. 

Different Types of Chrysanthemums: Know your mums

Garden mums

These are a popular choice for fall landscaping because of their beautiful flowers and mounded shape. Fall mums have bright, showy blooms, just as the summer flowers are fading. But these aren’t the best choice for a long-lasting garden addition. Garden mums are generally grown for only one season and should be discarded after they have finished flowering.

Perennial Mums

These plants can live for multiple years. They return year after year with new growth and flowers. They are a great choice for gardeners who want to create a long-lasting display of colorful flowers in their garden or landscape. Plant this type of chrysanthemum immediately. Fall mums will generally come with a tag that will tell you which zone it can survive the winter in. Most perennial mums are upright growers and not your classic rounded garden mum. Learn how to prune perennial mums in this article.

Igloo Mums

There is a new perennial on the scene: . They offer the typical rounded shape of a garden mum but overwinter well. Just like their frosty name, Igloo mums are gaining popularity with northern gardeners for their ability to survive the winter and come back next season. So if you’re in zone 5-9 (click here to learn your zone), give Igloo mums a try. Unlike their fall blooming counterparts, Igloo mums bloom from July straight through to October/November. They also come in a nice range of colors–check out pumpkin for a shade you’ll appreciate come fall, or opt for the crisp white of icicle.

Mammoth Mums

These are the winter-hardy mums. They can withstand colder temperatures and shorter days during the winter months. These mums have large, showy flowers and an ability to thrive in cold weather conditions.

Belgian Mums

The showiest type of Chrysanthemum. You’ll easily recognize these ones by their perfectly mounded growth habit and the thousands of flowers they produce per plant. Of all of the different types of chrysanthemums, these are the quintessential garden mums. Gardeners love their bright, bold colors and full, rounded shape. While Belgian mums are hardy plants, they may be a bit more temperamental than true perennial mums.

Different Types of Chrysanthemums: Know your flowering shapes

Spider mums have long, slender stems that bear clusters of small, brightly colored flowers. The petals of this chrysanthemum flower are narrow and elongated, giving them a spidery or star-like appearance.

Quill mums are like spider mums in that they have long, thin petals, but they are distinguished by their unique spoon-shaped flower tips.

Football mums are the largest in the mum family and typically range from 4 inches to 6 inches in bloom size. The color, texture, and shape of this flower make it a versatile choice for creating lots of artistic arrangements. They’re especially popular for weddings, bridal showers, and other formal and celebratory events.

Pompom chrysanthemums get their name from their fullness. They resemble cheerleader pompoms.

Decorative mums have a large, rounded, or semi-rounded shape with an irregular mass of petals that vary in size and shape.

Cushion mums offer small, semi-double flowers tightly packed with petals. These are often used in gardens and as potted plants.

Growing Mums

Chrysanthemums are generally easy to care for and prefer well-draining soil and bright, direct light. Water them regularly, but be careful not to over-water. They produce the most flowers if fertilized well throughout the growing season. Using a water soluble, balanced fertilizer every 7-10 days works best. Note: stop fertilizing once the buds start opening in the fall. If not, the flowers will lose their color. 

Container-grown mums are generally discarded once flowering is finished for the season. This is because there is not enough time for the plant to get rooted before it goes dormant. Ground-planted mums have plenty of time to get rooted before the cold weather arrives. After they have finished flowering, cut them back to 2 inches and apply a heavy layer of mulch. Want more growing tips? We go into more detail in this article.

The world of mums is vast and varied, with many different types of chrysanthemums to choose from. Whether you are looking for a long-lasting perennial mum to spruce up your garden or a showy garden mum to brighten up your fall landscape, there is a mum for everyone! 

Ready to get growing? Check out our complete collection of chrysanthemums.

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