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Do Mums Like Sun or Shade? – The Ideal Answer!

With their beautiful blooms and captivating beauty, chrysanthemums, lovingly known as mums, have long been celebrated as one of the most cherished and iconic flowers in the world.

As the warm days of late summer begin to wane, and the crisp air of autumn takes place, chrysanthemums thrive at their peak stage, adorning gardens, parks, and homes with their delightful presence.

During this bloom time, most people who want to grow these charming and delightful flowers to make their garden look ravishing ask how much sunlight chrysanthemums like – do they thrive under full sun or partial shade.

It is true that one key aspect of successfully growing chrysanthemums lies in understanding their light requirements, which is why “Do mums like sun or shade?” is one of the most common questions.

This article will explore the ideal light conditions for these short term bedding plants, different types of chrysanthemums and their USDA plant hardiness zones, and the consequences of providing mums bloom too much or too little sunlight so that this summer, you can plant these beautiful flowers and enjoy the breathtaking view.

Do Mums Like Sun or Shade
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Ideal Light Conditions for Planting Mums!

While growing flowers of any kind, it is important to keep the ideal light conditions to make them grow properly.

In the case of chrysanthemums, they thrive in full sun conditions and are generally considered sun-loving plants. They will also be able to survive in partial shade, but the optimum conditions for these flowers to thrive are areas that will get full sunlight for approximately 6–8 hours every day.

If you don’t have any outdoor space for planting mums, you can plant them indoors, but it is important for these potted plants to be placed in an area that gets straight and direct light, at least in the morning and during afternoon peak hours.

However, the specific amount of sunlight they need can vary depending on the type of potted mums and their hardiness zones.

Different Types of Chrysanthemums and Their USDA Hardiness Zones!

Chrysanthemums can be categorized into two main groups: Garden mums (Hardy mums) and Florist mums (Tender mums).

Garden Mums

Hardy garden mum is more cold-tolerant than Florist plant mums and is typically grown as a perennial in hardiness zones 5 to 9. Hardy chrysanthemums are more resilient and can endure being planted outside.

Florist Mums

On the other hand, Florist mums are less cold-resistant and are often used in arrangements and bouquets. So, unlike most garden mums, they cannot resist being planted outdoors in harsh conditions and are planted in pots for their winter survival.

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How Much Sun or Shade Do Mums Need?

As told above, chrysanthemums are one of the most sun-loving flowers, and because of their hardy nature, they do well in both winters and summers, even if these mums grow in harsh conditions.

For optimal growth and blooming, chrysanthemums prefer full sun exposure. That means at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.

They can also withstand more than 6 hours of direct sunlight if the heat does not kill them. Florist mums can tolerate some light shade but still require a minimum of 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight.

Some Conditions That Explain If Chrysanthemums Like Sun or Shade:

Following are some of the conditions that are necessary for chrysanthemums to thrive. So, these will explain in detail and conclude properly if the mums thrive in sun or shade.

Light Triggering Blooms

The mum plant’s blooming process is triggered by the decrease in light during the fall season.

As the evenings grow longer, the plant recognizes that winter is approaching, even though it still requires ample sunlight during the shorter days of autumn. Preparing for its winter dormancy phase, the mum plant utilizes the energy generated by daylight hours to form flower buds, facilitating pollination.

However, if the plant experiences excessive shade during the day, it risks missing out on this crucial opportunity for cross-pollination and successful reproduction, resulting in fewer flowers.

Day Length and Flowering

The length of daylight affects the flowering time of chrysanthemums.

The flowering is directly influenced by the amount of light they receive. These plants, known as “short-day plants,” rely on the long nights that accompany the fall season to initiate the blooming process of fall mums. After experiencing a minimum of 11 hours of darkness each night, chrysanthemums develop flower buds.

To promote a more compact growth habit in moderately shaded plants, it is recommended to pinch off 1 inch from the stem tips during early spring when the plants reach a height of 6 to 8 inches.

This practice helps maintain the desired level of shade and encourages a more compact and bushy form for the plants.

Watering Considerations

Sunlight influences the water requirements of mums.

Plants in sunny locations generally need more frequent watering than those in shaded areas. Chrysanthemums require consistently moist soil in full sun. They are not tolerant of drought, except for specially developed varieties.

To ensure thriving mums in sunny areas, maintain well-drained soil and deep water during spring and summer.

In shaded areas, overwatering or compacted soil can lead to root rot. Also, make sure to consistently water newly planted mums, and never let them wilt.

Do Mums Like Sun or Shade 2
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What happens When Mums Don’t Get Enough Sun?

If mums do not receive adequate sunlight, several issues may arise.

These issues can include:

  • Weak and spindly growth of flowers and stems

  • Fewer blooms

  • Delayed flowering

  • The overall health and vitality of the plant may also decline over time.

  • Reducing the overall aesthetic appeal of the plant. Additionally, inadequate sunlight

  • Weakens the plant’s immune system, making it more susceptible to pests and diseases.

So, make sure your chrysanthemums receive adequate sunlight.

Can Mums Grow in the Shade or Indirect Sunlight?

While mums prefer full sun, they can tolerate light shade.

However, a lack of adequate sunlight will make itself prominent by the plant not blooming as profusely or producing smaller flowers. Furthermore, even if the flowers manage to grow in these conditions, chrysanthemums will grow smaller in size and bloom in a less frequent manner.

Secondly, they will not have their usual vibrant bright colors and will soon turn brown, eventually dying in the process.

If you grow mums in partial shade, it’s essential to ensure they still receive the minimum required sunlight.


Concluding to answer your query about “Do mums like sun or shade?” Well, mums do prefer sun over shade, and they thrive best when provided with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. While they can tolerate some shade, mums will not bloom as profusely in such conditions.

By understanding their light requirements and ensuring they receive the appropriate amount of sun, gardeners can enjoy the vibrant beauty of mums in their gardens and homes year after year.

That’s all,