Chrysanthemum morifolium, more commonly known as the Pot Mum, is a popular flowering plant seen outdoors during Autumn. What the plant may be less known for is its air purifying properties. Considered by NASA as one of the most effective houseplants for filtering pollutants, this plant is good for you and your home’s aesthetics.
Chrysanthemum Morifolium Appearance
Considered a herbaceous perennial, the Pot Mum is often purchased in late summer as an annual plant to add a splash of color to outdoor spaces once the summertime blooms have died off. As an indoor houseplant, the Chrysanthemum morifolium adjusts well with minimal care needs. The plant features bushy, green leaves with bright blooms that come in a variety of colors. The flowers each have a multitude of slender petals growing out from a central point to create a textured, round bloom.
Pot Mum Sunlight Requirements
Provide bright, indirect sunlight for optimal growth. Pot Mums are “photoperiodic” and rely on tracking the hours of sunlight in a day as their blooming trigger. Once the days begin to shorten in the late summer, the plant knows it’s time to produce flowers. Due to this feature, placing the plant near a window with several hours of sun exposure is ideal.
Watering Your Mum Plant
Water the plant when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry when a finger is inserted into the soil. Water until the moisture runs through the pot’s drainage holes to ensure the roots receive the water they need. Avoid over watering the plant as soggy soil leads to root rot.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
A well-draining soil amended with organic matter or compost is recommended for needed nutrients. Use a high-quality potting soil and ensure the water does not pool on the soil’s surface after watering. The Mum Plant requires fertilizer for optimal blooming in the fall. During the spring and summer, before the blooming period, feed the plant with a 20-10-20 NPK fertilizer for root development. Once late summer arrives, switch to liquid 5-10-5 fertilizer to encourage blooming.
Propagating Your Chrysanthemum Morifolium
Create new Pot Mum plants by dividing established, healthy plants that are at least three years old. In the spring, if the plant is at least 6 inches tall, carefully remove the plant from its pot. Use your hands to divide the roots where the root ball naturally separates, being careful not to damage the roots. Plant the new division in its own pot filled with the recommended soil. Repot the original plant, adding new soil to the pot to refresh the nutrients.
Pot Mums also propagate by cuttings. Snip a stem at least 4 inches long and remove the bottom leaves to expose the nodes. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone. Plant the cutting into a small pot filled with quality soil and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Roots will begin to form within 4 weeks.
Common Pests and Disease
Aphids are the most common pests to infest the Pot Mum. The insects suck the sap from the plant’s leaves and stems, leaving the plant damaged, wilted, and discolored. Spray the plant with horticultural oil to deal with these insects.
Diseases to watch for are bacterial leaf spot and powdery mildew. Dark brown and black spots on the lower leaves indicate leaf spot. The disease will spread up the plant to the flowers if left untreated. Powdery mildew presents a white, powdery growth on the leaves and stems of the plant. Both are encouraged by overhead watering that leaves unwanted water on the foliage. Ensure you water directly into the soil and wipe away any water that splashes onto the plant. Use a houseplant fungicide to treat the disease.
The Chrysanthemum morifolium plant is a hardy plant that adds a splash of color to both gardens and indoor spaces. The beauty of these plants is their size makes them great for moving from inside to outside to create beautiful arrangements throughout your space. Add the Pot Mum to your houseplant collection to purify your indoor air and extend the blooming season.
Pot Mums FAQ
The Mum Plant is best suited for USDA zones 3 to 9.
Repot the plant when it becomes root bound in its current pot. Choose a new pot one or two sizes larger and spread out the plant’s roots while repotting. Fill the pot with new soil to 1 inch below the pot’s lip.
Yes, the Pot Mum is considered toxic to pets.
The Mum Plant helps to filter Formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and ammonia.
To treat root rot, reduce waterings and repot the plant if the soil is so soggy it won’t dry out within a day or two. Trim away dark and mushy roots and remove any damaged foliage.