Mums – revival?


Hello, in the picture attached are my all-time favorite flowers that I rarely find in Toronto and only Nov – Dec range as cut flowers. By some miracle I found this pot about week ago. The question is: can I grow these mums myself in the garden starting from this pot? If the answer is “no” do yu have any suggestion of how I could get seeds or seedligns or something to start growing them? Lastly: I never knew the proper name and always called them “Chinese mums with burgundy-yellow curly petals”. You helped me in the past with saving my front yard tree (but then the city came and cut it down anyway) so I hope you can help me again – – – much obliged for your advice.



Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.

Generally, mums can be found in in two types: florist mums and hardy mums. Both types of mums were derived from the same original golden-yellow daisy-like parent plant from China. The hybrids, which we find today, are the result of numerous crosses between several species from both China and Japan.

Florists mums ( which is the type that you possess) are usually large-flowered plants with numerous bloom/petal forms ranging from quilled petals to pompon to spider. These plants are grown in greenhouses and are used only as indoor plants since these type of mums produce few underground stolons, which are necessary for the mum to survive our cold winters. Usually florist mums when planted outdoors are utilized as short-term bedding plants. However, you can certainly plant your mum in your garden after the last frost date, May 9th in Toronto and once the ground warms up,  but in reality it will not survive the winter outside.

But there is hope- Propagating mums can be from seed, from divisions or even from cuttings. It is important to note that when progagting your mum from seeds, the offspring might not necessarily be true to the parent plant. If you decide to attempt growing your mum from seed, it is best to start them indoors six to eight weeks before the date of the last frost or sow the seed in spring in a well prepared bed. Cover them lightly with mulch and keep the bed evenly moist. Transplant the mums when they are 6 to 8 inches high.

The easiest method to progagte your plant and to make sure that it is true to form is from cuttings. Spring or summer is the best time to take cuttings for mum propagation. Use a sharp sterile knife to remove a 2- to 3-inch section of new growth at the end of a stem. Pull off the leaves on the bottom 1 inch of the cutting and insert it into peat moss or perlite. The cutting must always be moist but not soggy. It will root within a couple of weeks and then you should pinch off the top new growth to encourage the new plant to form lateral growth. Gardening Know How has an excellent article on Propagating Mums

SF Gate’s How to Keep Mums Alive Inside provides helpful advice on how to keep your mum happy indoors and  Gardening Know How’s Indoor Mum Care: Growing Chrysanthemums Indoors discusses that while it is possible to grow mums indoors, it may be hard to get them to bloom again – they need temperatures of 60 degrees F (15 degrees C) to form buds and 55 degrees F (12 degrees C) to develop flowers.

Also, Better homes and gardens has an excellent general article on All About Fall Mums 

Lastly, with regards to what variety of mum you have it is difficult to say with 100% certainty since the image of the flower is quite blurry. Based on your description of the maroon yellow petals I believe that the variety could be ‘St. Tropez’ . This  chrysanthemum posseses two-tone  reddish-brown yellow flowers.

Good Luck with your Mum propagation.