You can call them Chrysanths, ‘Mums or Chysanthemums, any gardener will know what you are talking about. Wonderful flowers in fall, easy care and you can make even make Chrysanthemum tea.
One of the all time garden favourite plants are the Chrysanthemums, they are grown in cottage gardens, mass planted as bedding plants, grown for exhibition and of course we also have the ‘florists mums’, grown for cut flowers.
They are easy to grow in the garden, although with a little extra care you can get better results, bushier plants with more flowers, and also bigger blooms.
Often referred to simply as Mums, and sometimes as Chrysanths, they flower in fall and come in a range of colours and varieties.
Interesting to know that some varieties such as
- Chrysanthemum maximum ‘Esther Reed’ are now classified as Leucanthemum.
- The Gold and Silver or Pacific Chrysanthemum – is named Ajania pacifica
It really depends a little on the variety, however in general Chrysanthemums grow well in the following conditions.
- Humus rich moist but well drained soil
- Full sun to a little afternoon shade
- A protected position in terms of wind, however good air circulation to help prevent disease
How to Plant and Grow Chrysanthemums.
- When to Plant
Many gardeners like to grow ’Mums’ as a perennial, in this case plant them out into the garden spring in the colder zones as this gives them a chance to establish a good root system before the next winter.
In those warmer zones try planting them in late summer to fall, this helps them avoid the heat of summer when newly planted.
A sunny position is best as this encourages stronger growth and more flowers. A little afternoon shade in warmer zones can be beneficial.
Humus rich moist soil is best, dig in some aged cow manure or similar before planting. Ensure drainage is good and avoid wet soggy soils.
The time to fertilise is in spring, use a slow release organic type fertiliser for flowering plants.
Chrysanthemum like a cool moist root run, so mulch around the plants in spring, and renew the mulch as needed. In zones that are subject to freezes, apply a deep layer of mulch in fall and rake it away in spring.
A good deep watering every week should be sufficient in good soils with good mulch. Watering needs to be adjusted to suit soil and climate.
- Pinching out
Chrysanthemums are pinched out, or pinched back for a number of reasons.
Pinching out the growth tip when the plant reaches around 6 inches (15 cm) in height. This stops the flowers from coming on too early.
Pinching out also encourages a bushier habit, more side shoots and more flowers.
Keep pinching out until summer.
Pinching out some of the flower buds (disbudding) later on will encourage larger flowers.
Chrysanthemums can be planted as rooted cuttings or form potted specimens available for sale in late spring to early summer.
Remember that these are a fall flowering plant, they do put on herbaceous growth ( foliage) in summer, however buds form as the days grow shorter and colder in fall.
In the garden you will need to keep plants watered through the summer, although in our experience they are actually very tolerant of dry conditions, especially the ‘Hardy Mums’.
Some excellent advice on this is available in the book by Pat Stockett Johnson, ‘Mums The Word’.
- Chrysanthemum indicum this is one the species that the modern hybrids are developed from.
- Chrysanthemum morifolium is known as the ‘Florist Daisy’ but more importantly as the ‘Hardy Mum’.
- Chrysanthemum coronarium is the one they call the ‘Edible Chrysanthemum’, except its now called Glebionus coronarium.
- Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium is known as the Pyrethrum Daisy.
Flowers of modern hybrids are classified into a number of types
- Irregular incurve
- Regular incurve
- Intermediate incurve
- Single and semi Double
- Brush or Thistle
Where to buy
Chrysanthemums are available for sale from the following nurseries
Offering a wide selection of bulbs, perennials, grasses, herbs trees and shrubs.