The purpose of this web site is to inform you about the activities, objectives, and history of the society, introduce you to basic information about the chrysanthemum, and connect you to sources of further information on the Internet and in print.

This web site first came on line on 17 Sept. 2010.  It was last updated 30 April 2019. Questions and comments may be directed to 
The 2019 officers of the Long Island Chrysanthemum Society are:  President, Joel R. Simon;  Vice President, Richard Murcott;  Treasurer, John Capobianco;  Recording/Cor-responding Secretary, Renu Sharma;  Membership Secretary, Joan Corbisiero;  Directors Ann Jacobson (3 years), Rita Rover (2 years), and Bob Tobias (1 years). The annual election of officers took place on 27 April 2019. 

LICS had a booth at the May 2018 SUNY Farmingdale Plant Sale and the Centerport Garden Club Plant Sale where we sold some 250 beautiful mums from California.  It was a great success thanks to the incredible hard work by our dedicated members, as well as Sharon Peterson and Jeff MacDonald et. al. in California, and the help of the Long Island Dahlia Society and the Long Island Daylily Society.

Ann Jacobson, esteemed member (and a director) of the Long Island Chrysanthemum Society, is, in addition to holding a doctorate in botany from the University of Chicago, a great photographer.  Follow the link to her chrysanthemum photos here.

Long-time chrysanthemum (and rhododendron) grower Richard Murcott has posted a page of beautiful chrysanthemum photos on his garden web site.  See them at  From there, see the rest of his fascinating site. 

LICS and NCS President Emeritus John Capobianco has made a DVD entitled "Making Chrysanthemum Bonsai."  For more information on the DVD and John's horticultural enterprises, including the sale of mum cuttings, go to   

LICS President Joel R. Simon has his own personal website.  Learn more about him and the book he is writing about Weehawken, New Jersey.

Starkie Brothers Garden Center in Farmingdale, Long Island, will host our 2019 chrysanthemum show.  Learn more about them at

The Long Island Chrysanthemum is a chapter of the National Chrysanthemum Society, Inc.  Visit them online at  

The 56th Annual Show of the Long Island Chrysanthemum Society took place at Hicks Nurseries in Westbury NY on 16-17 October 2010.  There were over 100 entries, including disbuds, sprays, and a spectacular cascade.  Click on the sign to take a virtual tour of the show !       
Joel R. Simon

We invite you to join our "mum" society.  
Follow this link to access a membership form!

Read Richard Murcott's informative essay, 
"Growing Exhibition Chrysanthemums"

    Chrysanthemums come in thirteen bloom types and a wide variety of colors.  The flowers actually consist of masses of individual "florets."  Disc florets form the center of the bloom, and ray florets extend outward from the center.  In "incurves," the traditional "football" mums, the ray florets predominate and completely cover the disc.  "Anemones," on the other hand, have large discs and just a fringe of rays.  Come to our show and see them all. 
    Although mums bloom in the fall, you begin with rooted cuttings in the spring, and nurture them through the hot summer months.  The winter is the time to plan your garden and learn all you can about the growing process.  
    There are many written and on-line sources of information about chrysanthemums.  The first thing you should do is look at the King's Mums 2019 Catalogue online.  Another source is an excellent little book entitled Mum's the Word:  Secrets to Growing Chrysanthemums by Pat Stockett Johnston, which can be purchased from King's Mums.  The National Chrysanthemum Society has several handbooks for sale, including one for beginners (which is sent free to first-year members), and membership in LICS-NCS includes a quarterly journal, appropriately entitled The Chrysanthemum.  Many fine books have been published about chrysanthemum culture, and we refer you to the bibliography on this site.
    There are excellent online sources as well.  One of the best is Richard Murcott's essay (Dick is LICS Vice President and master mum grower).  Welsh nurseryman and master mum grower Ivor Mace (who we are honored to count as a member of LICS) and Paul Barlow have published Chrysan-themums - The Ultimate eBook.  The Wikipedia entry on chrysanthemums is quite informative, and Paul Barlow's Chrysanthemums in Aberdeen (Scotland) is another master source.  Of course, if you "Google" "chrysanthemum" you will find much more of varying quality.
Did you know that John Steinbeck wrote a short story about growing chrysanthemums?  "The Chrysanthemums" is part of his collection The Long Valley, published by Viking Press in 1938.
     So you bought some mums from LICS at the LI Hort Plant Sale.
    You already know everything you need to grow mums.  Plant them in the ground, water them, and see that the sun shines upon them.  
    However, if you stop there, you will probably get less than mediocre results.  The more you do of the steps discussed below, the more likely you are to have healthy, bushy plants with lots of pretty and unusual flowers.
        The mum plants you bought at our plant sale came to you in little four-inch pots, where they were planted a few days ago.  Let them take hold in these pots for a week or two, then transplant them to much larger pots, or directly into your flower bed, giving them room to grow.  The growing medium that your mums came in is called "Pro-Mix," and it is a kind of super sphagnum peat moss produced in Canada.  It contains "mycrocorrhizae," a good fungus which attaches to the plant's roots.  Pro-Mix makes a good medium for your mum's future life in a larger pot and can be added to the soil in your garden.  Your vegetables and annuals will like it too.  If you don't want Pro-Mix or can't get it, any good soil will do, but add things like Perlite (to improve drainage and give the roots room to grow), compost, a general fertilizer like Espoma Flowertone to amend (improve) the soil, ordinary peat moss, and Osmocote, a time-release fertilizer.  You can also add a liquid fertilizer at intervals to sustain the plant as it grows.
    Perhaps the most important thing we can tell you is to pinch off the top of the plant so that it will branch out and take the shape of a small bush, covered with flowers in the fall.  The plants you bought from LICS should be pinched at least three times, but stop pinching by 15 July.  Any little branches you remove for symmetry, etc. can be rooted to make more plants, by removing lower leaves and sticking the branches in either vermiculite or Perlite, which you will keep moist for about two weeks (and you can do them first in rooting hormone for better results).  At the end of this time many of the little branches, or "cuttings" will have developed their own roots and can be planted.
    How to water?  The short answer is "very carefully."  Except perhaps on super hot, dry days, only the roots need water, so water from just above the ground and usually leave the leaves dry.  Early morning or later afternoon is the best time to water.  A drip irrigation system works well too if you are already at that level of sophistication.  If the leaves are wet all the time, you will soon have diseased plants, obviously not the result you are seeking.  
    Light is another special concern to the mum grower.  Mums bloom in the fall, in response to the shortening days as the seasons change.  Mums like a lot of sunlight, but too much artificial light at night will delay blooming and may even inhibit it altogether.  If you have a street light in front of the your house or a light on all night at the your back patio, plant your mums as far away from those lights as possible.  If you are growing mums in pots you can move them into the garage (blackout the windows, etc .from say 7 PM to 7 AM for a few weeks before you would like them to start to bloom).  You may not get the exact bloom date you want, but at least they are likely to bloom earlier than otherwise.
    For additional information, see the link to Dick Murcott's great article on growing exhibition mums above.  Much of what he says applies to the much simpler task you have taken on in growing bush-type mums. - by Joel R. Simon