A favourite flower for Mothers day, Chrysanthemum flowers are actually not difficult to grow plants and even easier to care for.
Plants are available for sale as potted specimens from spring onwards, however most appear in nurseries when in flower. Cuttings are available from Summer to Autumn.
Flowering late in the season they make wonderful garden flowers, adding colour when other perennials are well past their prime.
You can grow then from seeds or cuttings, and of course they are for sale in nurseries. The trick is to select the right variety to plant and with dozens of species cultivated to 1000s of years the selection is huge.
In China and Japan where these plant originated they have significance, they are used in herbal medicine as well as being gardening favourites and also have the meaning of long life and happiness.
In Australia we are a little lucky in that we can leave Chrysanthemums in the ground over winter, a little mulch to keep frosts away and they survive well.
Chrysanthemums come in a number of types, annual (Xanthophthalmum) and perennial. They all prefer a humus rich well drained bur moist soil, taller growing varieties will need staking. As proven by florists all over the world they make great cut flowers and they come in a range of colours.
The variety to look for is Dendranthema x grandiflora this is the florists type, but often called the ‘Garden Mum’. It is a perennial, so you can grow it year after year, low growing to around 15 cm until the flowers appear then it will reach nearly twice that height with flowers ranging from white and pink through to red and even brown. Simple alternate lobed ovate leaves and flowering both in spring and autumn.
Show varieties include Daisy type flowering plants, Pom Pom, Quilled and what are broadly called ‘Decorative’ types.
Firstly these are actually a fairly tough plant, great survivors, they will perform and flower more freely in good conditions, however it is very easy to grow chrysanthemum flowers.
The potted plants purchased for Mothers Day can be planted outside and they do well in cool to temperate climates.
Provide chrysanthemum plants with some protection from the afternoon sun, and a free draining soil. It is best to water the soil rather rather the plant, this helps prevent disease. Dig in lots of well rotted compost before planting.
As the plants begin to grow in spring prune back the shoots without flower buds to about 15cm, this keeps the plants strong and bushy rather than the natural sprawling habit. Deadhead spent flowers as needed.
Many gardeners like to ‘pinch out chyrsanthemums’ to make the plants bushier or for larger ‘ exhibition’ type blooms. Fertilise with a seaweed liquid fertiliser during the growing period.
Established plants can be divided every year when dormant, remove the new outer shoots and replant, the older core can usually be discarded. Cuttings can also be taken.
And that pot of Chrysanthemums that you brought for mum, can you plant it in the garden ? Yes you can, and with a little care it will thrive.
Button types (pictured right) are popular as cut flowers.
- Tough perennial
- Grows in full sun to part shade
- Humus rich moist soil
- Prune to keep bushy or promote larger flowers
- Easy to grow from cutting or seed
- Fertilize with an all purpose slow release type or a liquid seaweed fertilizer
- Lots of different varieties, colors and flower forms
- All are easy to grow but most types need staking.
Look for the Chysanthemum shows in your state
- Adelaide Show – First weekend in May
- Melbourne Show – First weekend in May. Burwood Heights Uniting Church.
Available for sale from the following nurseries
395 Lesters Rd Ascot VIC 3364 - phone (03) 53434303
Specialising in beautiful perennials & bulbs including new releases from Europe & USA. Many hardy, rare & difficult to find ‘drought hardy’ plants, quality vegetable & flower seeds.
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."
357 Monbulk Road SILVAN VIC 3795
Guaranteed "garden worthy" bulbs, plants and perennials. Visit the website to browse our large range of daffodils or request the latest free catalogue.
P O Box 398 Creswick Vic 3363
Retail & Mail Order Specialist Growers of Heritage Roses, Unusual Perennials, Tree & Herbaceous Peonies. Mail order and Nursery Sales.
'Umbango' 750 Humula Rd, Humula NSW 2652
Phone 0408692773 Great Range of Perennial plants available for sale by mail order.