51021thumbIt is impossible to fit enough information about chrysanthemums into just a few sentences. Centuries of breeding have produced too many cultivars to document. Flower color ranges through many shades and hues of yellow, orange, red, pink, bronze, cream, lavender and almost purple, as well as white. (True purple is purportedly lacking.) Many have yellow centers. The deeply lobed leaves are strongly aromatic.

Flower form is as variable as color is. Some are small domed buttons that bloom in sprays of many blooms. Others are round pom-poms. There are all sorts of daisy types. Spider mums have weirdly elongated ‘petals’, (which are actually ‘ray’ florets). Those that bloom singly are bigger than those in sprays. Some of biggest and most billowy seem to be too heavy for their own stems!

If they get what they want, chrysanthemums can be surprisingly reliable and easy to grow. They do want regular watering, regular application of fertilizer, and richly organic media, such as potting soil. In fact, they are popularly grown in pots because they prefer potting media to garden soil. Potted plants can be brought in while blooming, and then retired to the garden between bloom phases.

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