Audrey's Plantmania

An Annapolis gardener sharing her bounty at bargain prices

Chrysanthemums December 8, 2010

Chrysanthemums, or mums, as they are more commonly known, are wonderful fall bloomers.  After the entire garden has faded, the mums come charging in to add more luscious color, even into those first frosty nights.  My mums routinely last through November, and even into December.   And unlike the mums one can buy in grocery stores each fall, all these varieties return year after year and slowly expand to make a large clump you can divide and share.

I have 2 pink colors: Chrysanthemum koreana ‘Mei Kyo’ has a profusion of lovely bold pink daisies with yellow centers, and Emperor of China has bold pink buds that mature into full, pale pink quill blossoms, several to a stem.  Both reach heights of 2-3′.

The yellow button mum, Chrysanthemum pacificum, is a dwarf at 8-12″ high, wonderful for edging the front of a bed.  There is a white edge on each leaf, which highlights the foliage, making it a real presence in the garden all summer long.

And last but not least, I have an peach-orange mum, extremely vigorous and prolific in bloom, also taller at 2′ high.  I love the orange color in my fall bouquets.

Mums make great plants for the fronts of beds, and also, since they are late to emerge in spring, great companions for spring bulbs like daffodils, whose foliage has often nearly disappeared by the time the mums come to life.

Full to part sun for most prolific bloom.  Drought-proof once established.

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