August Plant of the Month | Chrysanthemum
An ever-popular favourite, the Chrysanthemum has a long flowering period, delivering beautiful colours from late summer all the way into winter.
Chrysanthemums are believed by some to symbolise joy, happiness and long life. They grow in an abundance of varieties, shapes and colours, so look stunning in floral displays of cut flowers or nestled nicely in the garden in pots and borders.
These hardy Chrysanthemums are dome forming, giving long-lasting bursts of rich autumnal colours. They are a simple way to add colour to the garden late in the season.
Type: Typically grown as annuals in autumn for guaranteed instant colour. Can be grown as perennial by overwintering
Flowering time: Flowers in summer and autumn
Sun Requirements: Full sun
Soil: Best results come from all-purpose compost. Draining is very important for Chrysanthemums
Hardiness: Hardy to -5°C, can survive in mild conditions
Eventual size: Will grow to 15” tall
Chrysanthemum Growing Guide
After some frosts, the upper parts of your Chrysanthemums may get killed off. Trim them down to a couple of inches above soil level to keep them looking tidy over winter.
In spring, when the plant starts re-growing and reaches between six and eight inches, pinch out the tips with secateurs. This will encourage side shoots, giving you a bushier plant with more flowers.
Chrysanthemums can grow up to 15” tall so will need some support. Staking is often required, particularly when the more autumnal weather rolls in. Add some extra protection by ensuring your plants are in a sheltered area.
Chrysanthemum plants are relatively hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as -5°C but can still benefit from some protection during winter. A light covering of organic matter, compost or bark chips will make a strong, protective mulch.
Chrysanthemums can be quite susceptible to mildew, so well-drained soil is best. It is important to ensure good air circulation too. Avoiding getting water over the flowers and foliage when watering will also help.
Chrysanthemum Planting Ideas
A simple way to plant Chrysanthemums is to utilise their variation and versatility. Plant different coloured varieties close to each other for a real spectrum of colour.
Chrysanthemums grow well in containers and deliver excellent showstopping impact.
They grow well with classic bedding plants, like pansies and violas. These are a great way to surround Chrysanthemums with even more colour!
Many perennials make a good partner for Chrysanthemums, and foliage plants add a balanced contrast with ‘showier’ varieties.
- Chrysanthemums are part of the Asteraceae (daisy) family which contains well over 20,000 species including echinaceas, rudbeckias and dahlias.
- The name Chrysanthemum comes from “chrysos” and “anthos” in Greek, meaning gold flower.
- Chrysanthemums have been cultivated for thousands of years - they are referenced in the writings of Chinese philosopher Confucius in around 500 B.C.
- The Chrysanthemum is one of the 'four gentlemen' or 'four junzi' featured in traditional Chinese art, alongside plum blossom, orchids and bamboo