Chrysanthemums are a long lasting cut flower that stays fresh for 7 to 14 days and sometimes longer depending on the variety. Long after other blooms have faded, chrysanthemums remain fresh and can be spruced by adding a few new stems to your arrangement.
Mums are long lasting cut flowers that add beauty and structure to arrangements
These simple care tips, will help you get the most out your chrysanthemums:
- 1. When you get home, stand the wrapped flowers in water so they can get a good drink while you’re getting the vase ready.
- 2. Fill a vase with water and allow it to come to room temperature. If you are using floral foam, let it soak until it is fully saturated and sinks to the bottom.
3. Add a packet of flower food to extend bloom life. If you don’t have flower food, dissolve half a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a few drops of bleach in 4 cups of water to create a home-made substitute.
4. Slant cut the stems to the desired length. Flower stems naturally begin to seal their ends, so cutting them helps the flower to take in fresh clean water and extends their vase life. The shorter the stem the more water will feed the bloom.
- 5. Remove all the leaves, as chrysanthemum foliage can turn prematurely yellow.
- 6. Arrange stems to your liking, varying the height and position. Add other flowers to the arrangement once all the chrysanthemums are positioned.
- 7. Be sure to keep fresh water in the vase and change the water if it starts looking cloudy.
What started out as a small golden flower that captured the imagination of China in the 15th century B.C. travelled to Europe in the 1,600’s and arrived in the U.S. in colonial times has since become one of today’s most popular cut flowers in arrangements, centerpieces, corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets.
Named for their original color (the Greek prefix “chrys-“ meaning golden and “-anthemion,” meaning flower), chrysanthemums have been cultivated over the centuries to create a palette of hues ranging from pure white, vibrant yellow, and bright chartreuse, to crimson, orange, rust, and purple. Their flowers have been transformed in unexpected ways from the traditional daisy-like blooms into large pompoms, compact buttons, mounded cushions, and exotic spider mums.
Mums have as many layers of meaning as their many overlapping petals
With such a long history across many cultures, chrysanthemums have become layered with symbolism, meaning, and folklore. They’re the November birth flower, the 13th wedding anniversary flower and the official flower of the city of Chicago. They are classic homecoming flowers at fall football games. In traditional Chinese art they are one of the four gentlemen representing the seasons (orchids for spring, bamboo for summer, chrysanthemum for autumn, and plum blossom for winter). In Japan they’re the symbol of royalty, where new emperors said to ascend the chrysanthemum throne.
Popular meanings include loyalty, truth, optimism, joy, longevity, strength, perfection, friendship, and secret love. Dreaming of picking white chrysanthemums predicts someone will teach a truth to you; red indicates someone is secretly in love with you, yellow suggests you have a rival. Sending violet chrysanthemum conveys get well wishes. It’s said that a single chrysanthemum petal placed at the bottom of a wine glass encourages a long and healthy life.
Mums are available in surprising spring colors as well as traditional fall hues
There are many flowers that go well with mums for any occasion and every season, from tiny button mums that add a splash of color to classic daisy-like blooms that complement larger flowers, to showy pompom mums and exotic spider mums that are ideal focal points, there is always a place for chrysanthemums in any floral arrangement. With a few simple flower combinations they can help create new looks for romantic, modern or seasonal arrangements.
Some of our favorite ideas for chrysanthemum arrangements include the following:
Classic: Combine mums, roses, and tulips whose blooms create contrasting textures and hues. Flare foliage out of the vase to add shape and interest. Try green spider mums, white roses and green/white parrot tulips.
Bridal: White pompoms or spider mums add meaning and drama to a bridal bouquet. Combine with Freesia or ivy for a graceful silhouette
Small chartreuse button mums have a place as a filler in any arrangement
Seasonal: Chrysanthemums take center stage in the fall with shades that epitomize the season, echoing the oranges, saffron, and crimson of autumn leaves. Intertwined in wreathes with twisted branches and fall foliage or paired with pumpkins, gourds and squash on the Thanksgiving table, chrysanthemums create a warm, mellow mood.
Modern: Create monochromatic arrangements with green foliage like ruscus leaves bunched to one side.
Exotic: Mix spider mums with orchids in vibrant shades of vermillion, oranges, and yellows
Creative: Don’t see a color you like? White chrysanthemum are easily died simply by adding food coloring to the water, turning color as they drink.
Yellow daisy-like mums, pink cushion mums, and green button mums need little other than blush colored roses for a vibrant display
What to know...
RULES OF THUMB
Use odd numbers of stems for an interesting design.
Arrange mums first, then add the next type of flower to your arrangement. This will help you position the flowers evenly.
The warmer the room, the shorter the vase life. For longest life, place the mums in a cool place, away from drafts, fresh fruit, radiators or direct sunlight.
Keep fresh cut flowers away from fruits and vegetables, Ethylene gas, naturally given off by ripening fruits and veggies, is harmful to cut flowers.