Chrysanthemums — One of the Top 10 Perennials for Flower Borders

Knowing what I know as a gardener of 35 years who has tried just about everything  —- if I had to start my flower borders  over again — and if I could only afford one plant —- I would start with Chrysanthemums.

Here’s why.

  • Mums (short for Chrysanthemums) have beautiful foliage in the spring.  Even after I cut them back, they regrow quickly.
  • They look presentable in the summer during drought (with no watering) when few things do. As a matter of fact, they’ve sometimes been the only things that looked green and growing during a drought in my front borders.
  • They are breathtaking in the fall.

Breathtaking display by mum, Jessica Louise.

  • Depending on the variety—  you can have a multitude of bloom July through December.
  • Blooms on some varieties can give added color to the landscape even through many frosts and a few light freezes. (Many things you read on mums will not agree with me on this.  But I know this to be true in my previous borders and my current borders.)
  • They are easy to propagate by cutting and root division.
  • They require little care to make your yard a show stopper.  (Good drainage, soil with organic matter, good air circulation, cutting in late spring, and thinning at least every third year .)
  • They come in almost every color. (Yellow makes the most visible show from a distance.)

Large Yellow daisy mums.

  • They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes.

Mums come in all shapes and sizes.

  • They are very forgiving of any mistakes you might make and will even try to perform for you in poor conditions.   (My front borders which were never prepared properly, are dry as bone from June through September, and still my mums are spectacular.)

A little bonus to all this is: they make a great cut flower because they last such a long time.

Mum’s bloom is triggered when nights get longer.  If you live in the far North — you might want to start with mums that are early season bloomers to make sure you have enough time for them to bloom before a hard freeze.

Wherever you live — try numerous varieties over time.  You never know exactly which ones will do the best for you —- and you won’t know unless you try them.

I’ve always tried to have a lot of Chrysanthemums, but the longer I garden — the more I’m of the opinion I never have enough.

Chrysanthemums are a must have perennial for your borders.  And they’re one of the best!

Chrysanthemum Pacificum and White small daisy mums.



More Posts on Chrysanthemums:

Mums – Flowers – The Crowning Glory of Falls Display

Phlox and Mums – A timely tip


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6 comments to Chrysanthemums — One of the Top 10 Perennials for Flower Borders

  • Sandra

    Theresa, I had NO idea they were so varied. Some are just as beautiful as dahlias. So different! I love the header photos, Bill.

  • Theresa

    One for every taste, Sandra! I really like the header photos too. And Bill says THANK YOU!

  • Sheila

    I’m so happy you will be addressing flowers as well. Like you, I have a passion for low maintenance colorful beds and borders. I had been taught to pinch mums back, but I have some varieties that try to bloom very early and after reading what you wrote, I wonder if I can just leave them instead of pinching back until July. A couple of mine get straggly and never really bloom well in the fall, yet they were all purchased as fall bloomers. Plus I find the pinching back to get tedious as I have collected more and more plants. Do you pinch/cut back – and approximately how often?

    Thank you for sharing your wealth of experience!!

  • Stephanie

    These are absolutely GORGEOUS! I was just telling my husband the other day that I wanted some mums….Now, I will definitely have to add some this year! So excited about your new site! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with all of us!

  • Theresa

    Hi Sheila,
    I have a variety that bloom early as well. I still cut them back — but just earlier. They also bloom again for me in the fall — but more beautifully.
    Remember —- don’t be afraid to try things. If you want to leave them without pinching back — do so. Then you will know for sure exactly what they do!

    These two posts will answer your questions about how I cut back mums. I am merciless – and use hedge shears to cut them. No delicate pinching for my mums. 🙂 and

    Be sure to let me know the “rest of the story”!

  • Theresa

    I am so glad you are excited about Stephanie! I’m excited — just can’t help it!
    Let me know how you do with the mums. Try several varieties to see what does best for you. Give them at least two years before making a final judgement.

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