Chrysanthemum flowers—or ‘mums’ for short—are the symbolic flower for all those born in the month of November. The beauty of the mum can be found in nearly every color for a décor arrangement or landscaping motif that perfectly pairs with any palette. Mums also are found in a variety of petal shapes—from fluffy full pompons to spidery anemone mums.
Every flower holds a symbolic meaning, and giving a bouquet of mums may reflect multiple gestures based on the chosen hue. According to HGTV, red chrysanthemums denote love, while a gift of yellow mums are a symbol of sadness.
HGTV also notes that the chrysanthemum flower is held in high esteem in Asia. Japan cherishes the chrysanthemum, and the flower and is thought to represent the sun and the idea of pure perfection. However, the white chrysanthemum also is the symbolic flower of death and bereavement in Japan.
The chrysanthemum is so symbolic to Japan that the flower is the centerpiece of the Imperial Chrysanthemum Tiara. According to the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, the flower is the symbol of the Japanese monarchy and is featured in the Imperial Seal of Japan, and their most prestigious royal order is the Order of the Chrysanthemum.
While the chrysanthemum is sacred in Japan, the flower also holds meaning for wedding anniversaries around the country. For couples celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary, a gift of mums is the symbolic flower of choice. And, according to Gardenerdy, Chicago adopted the chrysanthemum as the city’s official flower.
Caring for Chrysanthemums
The chrysanthemum is a fairly hardy flower that remains a popular choice for gardens and indoor arrangements. Choosing the right soil is important for thriving mums.
GardeningKnowHow recommends planting chrysanthemums in well draining organic soil, and mums are typically planted during the spring season (although southern areas should plant in fall). Mums also thrive in sunny areas, and the plants GardeningKnowHow also notes that plants need to be pinched to encourage correct growth and lots of blooms. You may use fertilizers to encourage plants to flourish.
Keeping chrysanthemum flowers as indoor houseplants requires little maintenance. Water potted plants to ensure the soil stays moist. Temps below 60 degrees can cause mold or dark spots on leaves. Keep the room temperature around 70 degrees for thriving mums.
Decorating with Mums
Chrysanthemums’ bright cheerful colors are ideal for indoor (and outdoor) décor. Since many of these mums flourish in fall, use chrysanthemums to accentuate festive autumnal displays. Better Homes & Gardens recommends orange and yellow mums as accents alongside pumpkins.
However, pink and other lighter hued mums may brighten up the dark days of autumn. Use these colorful blooms inside to decorate tables or in pots situated alongside the home entryway. Mums also may make an ideal centerpiece flower for Thanksgiving feasts. Orange, gold, and yellow mums can burst from within cornucopia planters for a festive Thanksgiving table decoration. Round pompon shaped mums also may be arranged to create a festive pumpkin design in a bouquet or table arrangement.
The beauty of the chrysanthemum bursts in full-bloom during fall. Choose mums to decorate fall feast banquet tables or to give a bright burst of color outdoors during the drearier darker days of autumn. No matter what type of chrysanthemum you choose, there are multiple shades and shapes to create the ideal arrangement for your home or garden. Find a chrysanthemum arrangement you’ll love with an online florist!