Are Mums Chrysanthemums? The Blooming Truth.

Chrysanthemums are one of the most well-known flowers in the world, having a rich history in gardening and culture. The term “mums” is commonly used as an abbreviation for chrysanthemums. Whether they are called “mums” or chrysanthemums, it is undeniable that these flowers are beautiful and beloved by many. However, there is a question that has been lingering in the minds of some people: Are mums chrysanthemums? In this article, we will uncover the truth about the connection between these two terms.

The Origin of Chrysanthemums

The chrysanthemum is believed to have originated in China, where it has been cultivated for over 2,500 years. It was frequently used as a medicinal herb, and its flowers were used for decoration and beauty. The chrysanthemum eventually spread to other parts of Asia and then to Europe. Its popularity grew rapidly during the 19th century, where it became a symbol of fall in the Western world.

What are Mums?

The term “mum” is derived from the botanical name of chrysanthemum, which is “Chrysanthemums morifolium”. However, “mum” is also often used to refer to other members of the chrysanthemum family and is not limited to “Chrysanthemums morifolium”. Some people even use “mum” to refer to any plant or flower with similar characteristics to chrysanthemums.

The Characteristics of Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are highly versatile flowers that can be grown in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. They can be cultivated as single or multiple bloom flowers, and can range from small to very large sizes. Chrysanthemums are typically grown in the fall and bloom in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving, which could be why they are a popular symbol for these holidays.

Types of Chrysanthemums

  • Single-flowered Chrysanthemums
  • Multi-flowered Chrysanthemums
  • Spray Chrysanthemums
  • Cushion Chrysanthemums
  • Decorative Chrysanthemums
  • Pompon Chrysanthemums
  • Incurved Chrysanthemums
  • Semi-incurved Chrysanthemums
  • Anemone-flowered Chrysanthemums

The above list shows some of the most common types of chrysanthemums. Each type of chrysanthemum has its own characteristics and unique qualities.

Are Mums Chrysanthemums?

The answer is yes, “mums” are chrysanthemums. While “mums” is often used as an abbreviation for chrysanthemums, it is also used to describe a wide range of plants that resemble these flowers. Therefore, it is essential to be specific when discussing “mums” to avoid confusion.

The Cultural Significance of Chrysanthemums

Throughout the world, chrysanthemums have held different meanings across different cultures. In Japan, chrysanthemums are the symbol of the imperial family, and their image is used everywhere from the imperial crest to the 50-yen coin. Japanese often refer to the special chrysanthemums grown for the emperor as “Chrysanthemums of the Imperial Family”. In China, chrysanthemums are viewed as a symbol of autumn and are highly revered. In the United States, chrysanthemums are the official flower of November, and they are often associated with fall festivities and the changing of the seasons.

Growing and Caring for Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are relatively easy to grow and care for. They require well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight to bloom fully. Chrysanthemums should be watered regularly, especially during periods of dry weather. They should also be fertilized regularly to maintain healthy growth.

Choosing the Right Soil

Chrysanthemums prefer a soil that is rich in nutrients and is well-draining. It is essential to choose the right soil for your chrysanthemums, as some types of soil may not provide the necessary nutrients for these plants to thrive. Using soil that is too heavy or too sandy can cause drainage issues, which can lead to root rot and other problems. Additionally, adding compost or manure to the soil can provide additional nutrients that chrysanthemums need to grow and bloom successfully.

Providing Sunlight

Chrysanthemums need plenty of sunlight to thrive. They should be placed in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. If your chrysanthemums are not getting enough sunlight, their growth may be stunted, and their flowers may not bloom fully. However, it is also essential to ensure that your chrysanthemums are not exposed to too much direct sunlight, as this can cause sunscald, which can damage the plant and lead to stunted growth and poor bloom production.

Watering Your Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums require regular watering to maintain healthy growth. They should be watered deeply and at the root level, as this helps to ensure that water reaches the plant’s roots. However, it is important not to overwater chrysanthemums, as this can cause waterlogged soil, root rot, and other problems. Chrysanthemums should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Watering should be reduced in the fall, when cooler weather and shorter days signal the plant to go dormant.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chrysanthemums

  • Q: Are chrysanthemums poisonous to pets?
  • A: Yes, chrysanthemums can be toxic to pets, especially cats. Symptoms of ingestion can include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and fatigue. Pet owners should be cautious about planting chrysanthemums where pets can easily access them.
  • Q: When is the best time to plant chrysanthemums?
  • A: Chrysanthemums should be planted in the spring, once any danger of frost has passed. This will give the plants enough time to establish themselves before blooming in the fall.
  • Q: How often should I fertilize my chrysanthemums?
  • A: Chrysanthemums should be fertilized every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to provide your plants with the necessary nutrients they need to thrive.
  • Q: Why do my chrysanthemums not bloom fully?
  • A: Chrysanthemums may not bloom fully if they are not receiving enough sunlight, water, or nutrients. Additionally, overcrowding can cause plants to compete for resources, leading to reduced bloom production. Consider dividing your chrysanthemums and planting them in separate areas or pots to provide them with enough space to grow.


In conclusion, the terms “mums” and “chrysanthemums” can be used interchangeably, but it is important to be specific when discussing these plants to avoid confusion. Chrysanthemums are beautiful and versatile flowers that are easy to grow and maintain. They have a rich cultural history and continue to be a beloved symbol of fall in many parts of the world.


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  • “Chrysanthemums Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects.” HonestDocs, 24 July 2021, Retrieved from
  • “Mums and Chrysanthemums” Chicago Botanic Garden, Retrieved from

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