Intro: Chrysanthemum flowers, also called mums or chrysanths, come in many varieties and colors that are suitable for a balcony container garden. The two main chrysanthemum variety types are hardy and florist chrysanthemums. Hardy chrysanthemum flowers (aka garden hardy) do well in cooler weather and can be overwintered outside in the container garden. Florist (aka exhibition) chrysanthemums do well in mild need more attention (i.e., staking, overwintering indoors) and are more delicate, but they produce some of the most beautiful flower blooms. The late-blooming chrysanthemum flowers give gardens color throughout the fall season and are often the last flowers to bloom before winter.
Chrysanthemum flowers come in many shapes, sizes and colors, including red, pink, orange, yellow, purple and white. Chrysanthemum blooms are actually many different flowers that grow side-by-side, and each tiny flower can produce a seed.
Scientific Name: Chrysanthemum species
Plant Type: Perennial flower
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Water: When it comes to watering chrysanthemum flowers, keep the potting soil moist but never soggy.
Zone: Any hardiness zone. Choose a chrysanthemum variety that will thrive in your zone.
Fertilizer: Fertilize chrysanthemums regularly during the growing season. Stop fertilizing once flower buds have formed.
Pests and Diseases: Watch for aphids, mites, caterpillars, leafminers, mealybugs and more on your chrysanthemum plants. Diseases that can affect chrysanthemums include mildew, blight, mold, root rot and more.
Propagation: Propagate chrysanthemums by taking cuttings from established chrysanthemum plants from early spring to early summer. If you collect seeds from your container garden, realize that the seeds don’t often "stay true" to the parent, meaning that the chrysanthemums you plant from seeds won’t always produce flowers that look like the parents. To make sure you will get the flowers you want, purchase true flowers from your local garden center, and take cuttings. If you want to grow chrysanthemums from seed, start seeds indoors two months before the last expected frost. Gently press seeds into the potting soil, but don’t bury them because they need light to germinate. Place plastic wrap over the container you plant them in to keep the humidity high.
Misc. Info: To keep chrysanthemum plants full and bushy, pinch off new growth until they are ready to bloom in late summer. Also deadhead spent blooms in order to promote the growth of new flowers.
The genus name Chrysanthemum means "yellow flower" in Greek.
When kept in indoor gardens, chrysanthemums can reduce indoor air pollution, be made into a sweet herbal tea (which can help those recovering from the flu), be made into wine, and it is also used in Chinese cuisine.