Chrysanthemums, like the Dahlias we looked at last week, are among the more eclectic and indeed more consistently beautiful late-flowering plants that can be successfully raised in Britain, so we’ve compiled a list of ‘Mums’ from each aesthetic category for your consideration.
Incurved – ‘Evelyn Bush’
An attractive flower whose white blooms with incurved petals will form a tight ball, the Evelyn Bush is also possessed of divided dark foliage, and happens to be among the most drought tolerant on this list.
Reflexed – ‘Regalia’
A half hardy perennial who upright stems will produce dark red and purple flowers with petals turned outward from the centre in the autumn, and aromatic, emerald foliage from spring to winter.
Intermediate – ‘Escort’
‘Escort’ will bear large, loose, orange-red flowers with partly incurved and partly reflexed petals throughout the autumn months.
Single-flowered – ‘Enbee Wedding’
It’s inescapable that all Chrysanthemums are beautiful, however, the single flower variety is held in such regard that in Japan it has become symbolic of the emperor himself! The Enbee Wedding variety will bear pale pink and yellow flowers at around 1.2 m in height throughout the summer.
Pompom – ‘Denise’
This half-hardy perennial has a compact, upright growth habit and in autumn it will bear dozens of bright yellow flowers whose shape give it its name.
Sprays – ‘Pennine Silver’
Another half-hardy perennial which has an upright habit and, in the autumn, bears many small, pale pink and white flowers on each stem, set against a back drop of dark green, divided foliage.
Charms – ‘Red Charm’
This small, compact, domed plant has masses of small, daisy-like flowers that will generally appear during middle autumn, however, they are not especially hardy plants and as such it is recommended you shelter them during particularly strong winds.
Cascades – ‘Pink Cascade’
As the name would suggest, and due to their trailing stems, the Pink Cascade is more akin to a hanging plant than an upright, and it will bear its many pink blooms during the late summer through to early autumn – a fantastic wall decoration.
Spidery-flowered – ‘Green Mist’
Deriving their subtitle from the long strand-like inflorescences they produce, of course the structure of these flowers makes them extremely vulnerable to wind damage and as such a walled position may be preferable.
Anemone-flowered – ‘Beautiful Lady’
Finally we have the Beautiful Lady, an anemone flowering variety with variegated petals of white and hot pink, generally overlapping on three tiers.
Fortunately Chrysanthemums share a commonality in that their ideal growth conditions don’t vary between different types, but the downside is that this means that they are equally susceptible to coarse weather conditions, drought and a lack of sunlight. So, you must ensure that your ‘Mums’ are planted in an adequately sheltered position, with full sunlight and free draining soil. In regards to the actual soil type, I shouldn’t worry, as Chrysanthemums are equally suited to acidic, alkaline and neutral soils of any combination of sand, silt or loam. They also make excellent, long-lasting cut flowers.
By Josh Ellison