Chrysanthemums are plants that produce flowers so elegant and beautiful during the summer and autumn, it is very difficult to look away when we find them in nurseries or in the garden shops.
They have the perfect size to grow them in a pot, so they can be used to decorate any corner. But, to have them precious, it is important to know the care of chrysanthemums
Origin and characteristics of chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums are one of the most beautiful perennial herbaceous plants we can have when the summer heat begins to dissipate. These plants, native to Asia and northeastern Europe, grow to a height of about 150cm . Its leaves are alternate, lobed, lanceolate to ovate, and measure 4-9cm long by 4-6cm wide; the underside is hairy and the beam glabrous.
During the autumn they produce magnificent flowers that can be simple, double (with two layers of petals); roses, white, red, two-color … All of them are very beautiful, so choosing one is certainly an impossible task, so what better to choose two or three and put them on, for example, the terrace?
What care do you require?
So that their petals can open properly they need to be in a very bright area but without direct sunlight , so the terrace is usually an ideal place.
Although a plant that is blooming should not be changed from a pot, in the case of chrysanthemums an exception can be made. Of course, it is very important that the ground bread is not handled very much, and that nothing else happens to its new container , which must be about 3 centimeters wider, to be consciously watered the substrate that must be composed of peat mixed black or mulch with pearlite in equal parts.
Speaking of irrigation How often is there water to this precious flowers? Very simple: every time the earth is drying up. To know, it will be enough to introduce a thin wooden stick to the bottom. If it comes out with a lot of substrate adhered, we will not water it since it will be very humid. In case it comes out practically clean, we can water. To get an idea, it is advisable to water 2-3 times a week .
Likewise, it will be necessary to pay every so often with a fertilizer for flower plants , or with organic fertilizers following in any case the indications specified on the package.
The chrysanthemums are multiplied by seeds , which are to be sown in spring. How? We simply have to fill a pot almost completely with universal substrate mixed with 30% perlite, water it, spread the seeds on the surface and cover them with substrate. Of course, it is very important that we do not put too many, because otherwise it will be very difficult later to separate them and get them to have a better growth. Ideally, do not put more than three in a container of 10.5cm in diameter.
What are they used for?
Chrysanthemums have several uses:
- Ornamental : both in pot and in the gardens. They look great in any corner.
- Cut flower : there is such a variety of shapes and colors that were among the first to be used as a cut flower, a use that of course still lives today.
- Culinary use : yellow or white flowers are boiled to make a sweet drink known as “chrysanthemum tea”, which is used as a remedy for influenza.
The leaves of many species, such as C. coronarium, are used as vegetables.
- Insecticide : the seeds contain pyrethrins, which are extracted and used in several insecticides for agricultural use as a veterinarian.
What is Their History?
Chrysanthemums are one of the few flowers that have a story to tell. In their case, in China they began to be used to decorate before 1500 BC They were so popular, that an ancient Chinese city was called Ju-Xian which means “city of chrysanthemum”. The flower was introduced in Japan around the 8th century and the emperor of the country adopted it as the flower of the imperial seal. Today, the “Festival of Happiness” in Japan pays homage to the chrysanthemum.
Europe was taken in the seventeenth century . The botanist Carlos Linnaeus named it with the Greek prefix krysour- (gold, which was the color of the original flowers), and the superlative anthemon (flower) ending.
What meanings do chrysanthemums have?
- China : is the symbol of wisdom.
- Japan : the “Throne of Chrysanthemum is the name given to the position of the Emperor of Japan, so the flower represents him and the Imperial House of Japan.
- United States : In our country it means joy and positivism. They are the “official flower” of Chicago since 1961.
- Spain : Related with the All Saints’ Day festival (November 1). A large number of bouquets of this flower are deposited in the tombs of the deceased.
Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum) are among the most popular garden and balcony plants and there is a wide selection of commercially available varieties, with unicoloured and multi-coloured, double and unpleated flowers. Although they are autumn flowering plants, they are offered almost all year round. Botanically, the plant genus Chrysanthemum belongs to the family of composite flowers (Asteraceae). The more than 40 species are mainly found in East Asia and were cultivated as ornamental plants in China more than 2,000 years ago. In the 17th century, the first plants in six colour variants came to Europe. Today there are over 5,000 different varieties, not all of which are hardy. Due to their close relationship to the real asters, the harder outdoor varieties are often referred to as winter asters.
The frost-sensitive varieties are offered in autumn as pot chrysanthemums and are a colourful decoration for balconies and terraces or serve as cut flowers for the vase. New on the market every year is the increasing share of hardy garden chrysanthemums. In the trade they are often offered under the designation “Garden-Mums”. These varieties are particularly robust, because unlike the traditional pot varieties that the gardener grows in the greenhouse, the garden chrysanthemums grow outdoors. This makes them more robust, which is particularly evident during rainy and bad weather periods. In addition, the stay in the fresh air intensifies the intensity of their wonderful autumn colours and they are characterised by a longer flowering period. The reason: The perennials do not open all the flowers at the same time, but in batches. If you clean out withered flowers, you can enjoy the plants for many weeks. The shelf life also depends on the colour of the flowers: Experiments have shown that pink and violet varieties flower the longest. Chrysanthemums are also unrivalled when it comes to the abundance of flowers.
Only when the nights become cooler do the buds of the undemanding perennials sprout. The autumn beauties enjoy the sun and thrive splendidly in the bed on nutrient-rich soils that should neither be too dry nor too moist. They are particularly ill-tolerated in winter wet conditions. In clayey soils a drainage of gravel or sand is therefore necessary.
Chrysanthemums play a special role as soloists or plant partners in plant pots. Pot grasses such as switch grass, Chinese reed, sedge and feather grass benefit from the bright flower colours of the chrysanthemums, while they themselves lend playful lightness to arrangements on the terrace, balcony or house entrance. Compact varieties of rosemary, catnip, stonecrop, curry herb or colorful-leaved varieties such as purple bells (Heuchera) also prove to be attractive for the court. In spacious terrace vessels you can let your creativity run free when combining. The plants should be planted close to each other, because they will grow very little in the coming weeks. Recommended November flowering plants are for example the red-brown, filled ‘focal point’, the lemon yellow ‘Citronella’, the violet-pink ‘Schweizerland’ and the pompon flowering, creamy ‘White Bouquet’. Anja’s Bouquet’ (pink violet), ‘Bienchen’ (orange yellow) and ‘Hebe’ (pale pink) have proved particularly successful in terms of winter hardiness and stability.
Planting and care
For colourful autumn arrangements, Chrysanthemums are placed in matching planters in September with high-quality potting soil and kept evenly moist. They hardly need fertilizer during their rather short flowering season, as a rule the nutrient supply of the potting soil is sufficient. After flowering, you can plant out hardy garden chrysanthemums into the bed as long as the soil is frost-free. If they are to survive the winter well, the plants should be placed in the bed as early as possible so that they can still take root. They have problems in humid locations. A dry place is better, for example near the house wall. The soil should be nutrient-rich, calcareous and well-permeable, and it is only when the young shoots sprout out of the ground from March onwards with the mild temperatures that it is time for pruning. The withered part is cut as close to the ground as possible with scissors, without damaging the young shoots. An occasional pruning of the plant during the season promotes dense growth. The same applies to the first flowering – the chrysanthemum branches more and flowers more luxuriantly. In general, the flowering perennial grows more broadly in the second year. Every spring, add some garden compost and horn shavings to your chrysanthemums in the bed.
Chrysanthemums can best be propagated in spring by dividing the plant. Pot chrysanthemums can also be propagated by cuttings from summer to autumn: To do this, cut off some young shoots with a sharp knife close to the base, remove the lower leaves and shorten the cuttings. Place the knife just below a blade knot. You can put the cuttings into pots or growing trays with moist seed soil. Then cover the vessels with a transparent plastic hood or put a foil bag on top. To grow, the plants need a bright, 20 degrees warm place. The soil is kept slightly moist and the cuttings are regularly sprayed with rainwater until roots have formed. Late offspring is wintered in the light and cool indoors, summer cuttings of hardy varieties can be planted in the garden in autumn.
Transplanted chrysanthemums are covered with several layers of fir twigs to protect them from the first frosts. Under a damp foliage layer, however, the plants would rot immediately. Potted plants winter best in a bright and cool place, an unheated greenhouse is ideal. In mild winters and with good protection, the plants can also be brought in pots during the cold season, provided the planters are large enough. If in doubt, simply lower the chrysanthemum into the earth together with the pot.
Diseases and pests
Chrysanthemums are infested by leaf miner flies. They drill the leaves and lay their eggs. The larvae eat corridors between the upper and lower skin of the leaves. Control is only permitted with pest-free Neem. The white chrysanthemum rust is noticeable by 0.5 to two centimetre stains on the top of the leaves. They are greenish white or yellow and later have a brown centre. On the underside there are pustules with flour-like down. As soon as the first spots appear, the plants can be treated with suitable fungicides.
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.