Return to the Perennials Forum | Post a Follow-Up

will mums perform in shade?

Posted by paul_ z4/5 MI (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 28, 07 at 20:22

I know they do better in full sun, but my sis has 2 raised beds ... one on either side of her front door. One bed gets several hours of afternoon sun. The other is shaded by a large tree. Mums would be low maintainence [& this is a MUST]. I don't think it would look all that great to have them in one bed but not the other as it would then be rather unbalanced. The beds are not the same size. One -- in the sun-- is about 19 ft long and 4 ft at its widest, the other is about 14 ft long and 4ft at the widest.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: will mums perform in shade?

  • Posted by lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 28, 07 at 20:45

Mums won't do worth a durn in lass that at lkeast 6 hours of sun.
Back to the drawing board! LOL!
Linda C

RE: will mums perform in shade?

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 28, 07 at 20:56

In a word - no. Part-shade is okay, may get a little leggy but do okay, but need at least 5-6 hours of sun a day.

The beds don't have to be matchy-matchy and may actually look better if they're not. Pick a part-shade/shade lover for the shadier bed that is about the same height/growth habit. There's lots to choose from. As a quick example, hostas and ferns as about as low maintanenace as it gets, all they require is moisture.

RE: will mums perform in shade?

Great advice. Mums flop and don't flower in shade, and since they're notorious for not living through the winter, I wouldn't plant them in anything less than optimal conditions.

I wholeheartedly agree that it would probably look better if you guys avoid a symmetrical look around the door. IMO, symmetry only works well in a super-formal layout with boxwood hedges and the like!

(a lesson I learned the hard way :-\

RE: will mums perform in shade?

  • Posted by paul_ z4/5 MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 28, 07 at 23:50

Hmmm, bummer. Though not unexpected.

As for the 'asymmetrical' look --- really can't see that working.

RE: will mums perform in shade?

I don't think you are going to find any plant living up to the expectation it performs exactly the same in two different sun exposures.

RE: will mums perform in shade?

I tried mums this year for the first time. I bought eight of them and was very surprised at the outcome. Seven of the little beauties I planted in the all day sun, and one of them I placed just under the leaves of one of my sunflowers because this is where I want the flower to be next year, landlord permitting. LOL! (See my post: Can anyone help me save my perennials over the winter.)

Anyway, surprisingly enough, the mum that is doing the best is the one that is shaded; although it does get sun, not nearly as much as the others. I don't understand it myself! The mum under the sunflower is at least six times as big as and much healthier than the others. And this is one of the shorter, fuller sunflowers, not the tall skinny ones, so the shade is abundant.


I wouldn't put them in full shade, though. I don't like perfect symmetry unless, like ladychroe said, its in a super formal placement. The Whitehouse, maybe? : )

Anyway, best of luck with the mums, and hope this helps.


RE: will mums perform in shade?

I hate to ask a stupid question, but what kind of mums are you talking about. My Clara Curtis & Mary Stoker sort of creep here and there & go where they want to. These certainly aren't formal looking front door plants. And they also need pruning or pinching to keep them looking nice & Clara would bloom in July (tried to this year) if I didn't chop her back hard. Certainly not maintenance free.

Of the general garden mums bought near bloomtime in local nurseries, some over-winter & some don't here. And some last a few years and some die off after last year's freaky weather.

My idea would to be to either dig in some big pots on either side of the doorway or invest in some nice decorative ones & place them in the location. Then just insert garden mums, still in their plastic container, into the pots in late summer. The in-bud plants will bloom perfectly even with little sun. The same empty pots can be used earlier in the season for pre-planted summer shade annuals - lots available everywhere here all ready to go, no planting necessary.

RE: will mums perform in shade?

  • Posted by paul_ z4/5 MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 31, 07 at 15:20

Oh I know that I'm asking for a lot, Calliope. And I realize that "exactly" the same performance is exceedingly unlikely. But hoping for performing 'decently'.

I plan on putting some hostas in both beds. But there are so many hostas, I'm somewhat more hopeful of finding ones that at least look similar despite preferingor tolerating different light conditions.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Perennials Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here