Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum sp.)

Chrysanthemum is an herbaceous perennial much loved for its autumn flowers. As chrysanthemums are a long-lasting cut flower that bloom in autumn around Mother’s Day in the southern hemisphere, they are widely given either as a bunch of flowers or flowering potted plants to mothers as a Mother’s Day gift.

Part of the daisy family (Asteraceae), chrysanthemums usually have many-petalled, rounded flowers in white, yellow, gold, brown, purple, pink or red. Some varieties have unusually shaped petals while others have small, button-like flowers. Chrysanthemums may also be single and daisy-like. The flowers are held on strong straight ridged stems.

Chrysanthemums are native to parts of Asia, particularly Japan, and have been widely grown and hybridised in Japan where the chrysanthemum is the national flower. There are many named and unnamed varieties. Check out your local hardware or garden centre for varieties that suit your area.

Plant as young plants in spring or as potted flowering plants in autumn. Established plants can be divided in late winter or early spring. They can also be grown from cuttings in spring or early summer.

Growing conditions

Aspect Chrysanthemums need a bright, sunny location with sun all day, particularly in spring, summer and autumn when they are growing and flowering. They benefit from protection from hot afternoon sun and strong winds.

Soil They do best with excellent drainage soil away from sandy or clay. Add extra organic matter, homemade compost and/or Seasol Super Compost before planting. In a container, use a premium potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix. Chrysanthemums are widely sold as flowering pot plants in autumn. After flowering, plant into the garden where the chrysanthemum will resprout and grow in spring. It will be taller than it was in the pot.

Climate Chrysanthemums grow in all but tropical climates. They are excellent as an indoor plant in all zones.

How to grow and look after Chrysanthemum for beautiful blooms
How to grow and look after Chrysanthemum for beautiful blooms

General care

Watering Water when regrowth resumes in spring and regularly until autumn for good flowering. In pots, water whenever the potting mix feels dry.

Feeding and mulching Feed as new growth or buds appears with a complete fertiliser for flowering plants such as Seasol plus Nutrients Roses & Flowers. Supplement feeding with a liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers every 2 to 4 weeks. Plants in containers can be liquid fed every 2 to 4 weeks while they are growing and flowering. Apply PowerFeed PRO SERIES Roses & Flowers or PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives. Regular applications of Seasol will also assist drought hardiness and disease resistance.

Use organic mulch such as sugarcane mulch, lucerne or pea straw around the bush.

Pruning Cut back at the end of the flowering in late autumn or winter. For strong flowering, pinch out young growth in early spring. For large flowers, pinch out some of the buds to allow the remaining ones to grow larger. Tall-growing chrysanthemums grow best with staking or the support of a perennial frame.

Watch out Chrysanthemums have few pest problems but may be attacked by rust or mildew. These problems can be reduced by growing chrysanthemums in open, sunny locations and giving plants plenty of space to grow and develop. Aphids may be an issue on new flower stems.