How Much Sun Do Mums Need: Everything You Needs to Know


Chrysanthemums require constant, full sun exposure. They should have 6 hours of direct sunlight each day to grow and thrive. But don’t be reluctant to let your chrysanthemums enjoy a full day in the sun; the more sunlight they get, the quicker they will grow. More light will also result in larger blooms. More sunlight will make your chrysanthemums more resilient throughout their growing season. Only when the afternoon sun is strong during hot summer days do these low-maintenance flowers require shade.

Interested in learning more about how much sun mums need, whether they can survive in the shade, and how the hardiness zones affect mums? To learn the answers, continue reading.

How Much Sun Do Chrysanthemums Require?

For chrysanthemums to thrive and grow, they need full sun. When growing chrysanthemums, keep these tips in mind:

  • Chrysanthemums need six hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Even better is exposure to direct sunlight for longer than six hours.
  • The more sun they get, the bigger the blooms will be.
  • Chrysanthemums are simple to grow, but they need sunlight to thrive.
  • Only offer shade if there are heat waves in your area or if it gets very hot in the afternoons.

You must give your chrysanthemums lots of sun for the flower buds to open and develop their biggest blooms. Therefore, pick a sunny area of your garden that gets at least some morning and afternoon sun.

How Many Hours of Sun Do Chrysanthemums Need?

Chrysanthemums require six hours of direct sunlight per day, but this is not a requirement. 6 hours is simply the amount they must have to be healthy and look beautiful.

  • Chrysanthemums require six hours of sunlight each day.
  • As long as temperatures don’t exceed 90°F (32°C), more than six hours are acceptable.
  • If you live somewhere hot, provide afternoon shade for your chrysanthemums.

Sun is a favorite of chrysanthemums. They typically won’t be harmed by a full day of direct sunlight. If you reside in a hot climate where summertime temperatures frequently exceed 90°F (32°C), be cautious of the harsh afternoon sun. If so, make sure your chrysanthemums have afternoon shade so they can thrive.

Do Potted Mums Need Full Sun?

It is unknown which species of garden mums was the original one. Garden mums come in a wide variety. Garden mums, on the other hand, are categorized by flower shape by the majority of experts.

Anemone: A flower with one or more rows of petals and a cushion-like center.

Globe shape is known as a “pompom.”

Regular curve: To create a sphere, the petals curve up and inward. (Examples include Honeyglow and Coral Charm.

Single or daisy: Looks like a daisy

Spider: Long, curving petals that hang low.

Compared to mounding mums, cushion mums are shorter.

Named mum cultivars are rarely available at garden centers. As an alternative, grow exhibition mums from seed, purchase them from a nursery, or order them via mail.

  • One of the earliest bloomers, Clara Curtis has single or double pink flowers.
  • Ruby Mound: A different early-season bloomer with sizable ruby-red flowers.
  • Mary Stoker: Single, light-yellow flowers in the early season.
  • Apricot Moneymaker: Blooms in the middle of the season and has light apricot-yellow tones.
  • Patriot: Pure white blooms in the form of pompoms appear in the middle to end of the season.
  • Tripoli: This late-season bloomer has yellow centers on its purple daisy-like flowers.
chrysanthemums sunshine

Sun Vs. Shade by Hardiness Zone

Mums are perennials that can endure in zones 5 through 9. What does that mean, though, and what does it indicate regarding how much shade or sun they should be receiving?

The truth is that a lot of important information about the conditions your plant will require can be derived from their hardiness zone. However, it is not the only factor to pay attention to when ensuring that your plant thrives.

In the sections that follow, I’ll explain what information can be gleaned from a plant’s hardiness zone and provide more information on where to look for information that the hardiness zone does not reveal.

Explaining Hardiness Zones

Plant hardiness zones are geographically defined regions that specify which plants will flourish where. In the United States, there are 13 different plant hardiness zones that are further divided into subsections.

Based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, Hardiness Zones divide the United States into 13 sections with ten-degree temperature ranges.

More information on whether or not chrysanthemums can survive in your garden can be found by knowing what hardiness zone you are in.

If you live outside the 5-9 hardiness zone range, mums may not be the best choice for your garden. However, try not to be too downhearted! Chrysanthemums with flowers can still be appreciated for their color indoors and brought outside in planters in the warmer months.

To determine which hardiness zone a person is in based on their zip code, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed the Plant Hardiness Zone map. Check to see if garden mums grow well in your region.

Hardiness Zones & Mum Survival

When choosing plants that will flourish in your garden and climate, you must take hardiness zones into consideration.

For instance, flowers that thrive in Florida will probably not flourish in Minnesota because the ideal growing conditions for plants in those two places are very different. The majority of Southern California-adapted plants would not survive the bitter winters in the Midwest.

The ability of your plants to endure the winter is indicated by their hardiness zone. The hardiness zone for chrysanthemums ranges from 5 to 9. This means they can withstand winter temperatures as low as -20°F and as warm as 30°F.

That wide temperature range shows how tough and adaptable chrysanthemums are, as well as the wide range of temperatures they can tolerate. But what does it all mean in terms of how much sunlight mothers prefer?

Heat Zones

Like the USDA hardiness zones indicate how cold-resistant plants are, the American Horticultural Society’s heat zone map indicates the warmest temperatures your plants can withstand.

Many of the plants grown in Minnesota could not withstand Florida’s hot summers, just as Florida plants could not withstand Minnesota’s harsh winters.

The American Horticultural Society’s heat zone map divides the United States into 12 sections based on how many days per year the temperature exceeds 86°F, on average.

Can Chrysanthemums Grow in Indirect Sunlight?

Indirect sunlight is suitable for chrysanthemum growth. Your plants won’t typically perish under these circumstances or wilt or droop. However, there are some drawbacks, primarily in the shape and size of your chrysanthemum flowers.

  • Indirect light is suitable for chrysanthemum growth.
  • If you only give your chrysanthemums indirect sunlight, their blooms won’t be as robust.

Chrysanthemums need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to produce full, lush blooms; if they only get dappled light, they won’t. Chrysanthemums should not be planted in indirect sunlight because they are a flower that most people grow for their spectacular blooms. Give your chrysanthemums plenty of direct sunlight to get much bigger and better blooms.

Can Potted Mums Survive in Shade?

chrysanthemums shade

Chrysanthemum morifolium, also known as Dendranthema morifolium, is a hardy garden mum that can reach heights of 1 to 3 feet and produces a variety of flower colors.

It grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 and prefers full sun, like other mums.

Despite having a wide range of growing requirements, mum cultivars come in a variety of sizes and colors. Planning is necessary even when starting chrysanthemums from seeds in regions with short growing seasons.

About six to eight weeks prior to the last date of frost, start your seeds indoors.

Effects of Shade

The majority of garden mums can tolerate some light shade, but they lose their strength and vigor without at least six hours of direct sunlight. On plants in shade, there are also fewer flowers. In hot climates, plants can be chilled by afternoon shade.

Pinch 1 inch off the stem tips at 6 to 8 inches and again at 6 inches to keep plants in light shade compact.

Pinch sun-filled plants to encourage branching. Even late spring or early summer pinching will postpone flowering. Plants that bloom earlier in the fall should not be pinched.

Mums are “short-day plants,” so they need the more extended fall season to flower. With 11 hours of darkness at night, mums form flower buds.

Pinch an inch off the stem tips at the 6 to 8-inch mark and again at the 6-inch mark with new growth to keep plants in light shade compact.

Although the fact that mums require direct sunlight remains unchanged, this changes where you should plant them.

Mums shouldn’t be planted close to porches or street lighting because artificial light will shorten their blooming period and affect their flower production.


The hardy mum is a bushy, herbaceous perennial that forms slow-moving clumps that are 1 to 2 feet tall. Flowers can have spoon-shaped petals, be flat and spherical like pom-poms, or be spider-like with incredibly thin petals.

The mum needs a specific amount of light to develop flower buds because it is a photoperiodic plant. The plant, therefore, receives a signal to start bud set when the nights in late summer shorten to about 10 hours.

It’s not a good idea to plant mums close to a porch or a street light. This will prevent bud development. Between six and ten weeks after planting, flowers begin to open, depending on the cultivar.


Mums need shorter days at the end of summer to bloom, but they also need good light all season long to grow healthily and become robust plants.

The best location for a mum is one that receives full sun all day long, though the plant can tolerate some light shade. A location with a few hours of afternoon light shade can prevent the plant from scorching in areas where the summer sun is intense.

Mums cannot be grown in completely shaded areas because they require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive.

What Happens If Chrysanthemums Don’t Get Enough Sun?

Sun-deprived chrysanthemums won’t develop to their full potential. They might become a little leggy if they only receive about 5 hours of sunlight, which is just a little bit less than they require, but they will still survive. The flowers will be smaller, though, if they receive significantly fewer hours than the required six.

  • If they don’t get enough sun, chrysanthemums won’t develop into lush, healthy plants.
  • Your chrysanthemums won’t be significantly harmed by getting slightly fewer than 6 hours of sunlight.
  • Smaller flowers are produced when there is significantly less sunlight than 6 hours.
  • Without sunlight, chrysanthemums may become abnormally tall or overgrow with foliage.

Chrysanthemums that lack sunlight will have overgrown foliage. In an effort to reach sunlight, flower stems might develop at strange angles or become abnormally tall. As much as possible, try to get at least 6 hours of sun each day. You probably won’t be satisfied with the outcomes if you provide less sun.

Can Chrysanthemums Get Too Much Sun?

There is such a thing as too much sun for chrysanthemums. Despite being a plant that prefers the sun in general, any flower can get burned by the sun if the temperature is high enough. The presence of both heat and direct sunlight is detrimental to chrysanthemums.

  • Too much sun can harm chrysanthemums.
  • Chrysanthemums don’t do well in direct sunlight or inclement weather.
  • Provide shade if it’s very hot, such as in the afternoon or during a heatwave.

They enjoy the full sun, but you must be careful not to confuse it with heat. Chrysanthemums will start to wilt and droop in extremely hot weather, and the flowers may also get blisters or brown spots. These issues will only worsen if they are exposed to direct sunlight during periods of extreme heat. Give your garden mums full sun, but during heat waves, provide shade.

Final Words:

Do mums prefer shade or the sun, then? Chrysanthemums enjoy the sun, but they can tolerate only a very small amount of shade. These perennial plants are very resilient and simple to grow.

They thrive in hardiness zones 5 to 9, and garden mums like a lot of bright, direct sunlight, particularly in the morning and early afternoon.

Consider choosing floral chrysanthemums rather than garden chrysanthemums if you live outside of hardiness zones 5 through 9 and keep them inside in a sunny area.

Either way, these bright and cheerful flowers will bring you joy, even after many of the other flowers of spring and summer have passed.


When Do I Plant Chrysanthemums?

You can find mums in the fall and spring at garden centers, but planning is crucial.

Compared to large fall mums, smaller spring mums last longer. The root system of a plant is strengthened during the summer and fall, increasing its likelihood of surviving the winter.

Planting in the spring results in more fantastic blooms the following season. (Read Succulent Sun Damage Guide)

What is the Best Soil for Mums?

In well-draining soil, chrysanthemums flourish. In contrast, plants grown in hard, dry soil are restricted in their root development, and roots rot in moist, soggy soil.

Work the soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches before adding peat moss or compost and working in 2 to 4 inches more compost to create a healthy soil environment for hardy chrysanthemums.

Do I Prune Chrysanthemums?

During the growing season, mums are pruned back to encourage the plants to grow and produce more blooms.

Once the plant is 6 inches tall in the spring and every two to three weeks until early summer, pinch off 1 inch of each shoot. Don’t forget that pinching in the late spring or early summer will delay flowering.

To prolong bloom time, deadhead spent blooms all through the fall.

Refrain from pruning your mums after they have died for the season. Remove any dead leaves and stems in the spring. (Read When Do Morning Glories Bloom

Do Mums Need Fertilizer?

Chrysanthemums benefit from regular fertilizer by growing and producing more blooms.

From early spring to July, use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Fertilize fall mums in spring, as fall fertilizer application reduces chrysanthemums’ winter hardiness.