Native to East Asia, the chrysanthemum flower is also called mums or chrysanths. The origin of chrysanths can be traced to China, which started cultivating them in the 15th century BC. Interestingly, Chrysanthemum Day was celebrated in ancient days during the 9th day of the 9th month in the autumn season in the early 17th century, Japan.
Chrysanthemum flowers are one of the most popular and showy flowers for horticulture enthusiasts in the world. They belong to the daisy family of flowers and are classified as Asteraceae Compositae. Chrysanthemum flowers are also related to other families of flowers like sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, marigold, and dahlias. The wild forms of chrysanthemum are referred to as herbaceous perennial plants or sub-shrubs. Chrysanthemums are available in both garden and exhibition varieties, around the world. As versatile perennial plants, Chrysanthemum flowers grow well both in garden soil and pots.
The appearance of chrysanthemum flowers
Chrysanthemum flowers look like a bouquet of petals tied into single stunning giant bloom, Chrysanthemum flowers present an aura of surreal beauty, visually. Chrysanthemum flowers grow in colors like pink, purple, white, yellow, red, and orange. The basic appearance of Chrysanthemum flowers also resembles the daisies, however, the chrysanths florets are more equally spaced in comparison.
Chrysanthemum flowers grow like bushy flower plants for up to 5-6 inches tall. Some plants bear one single bloom of mums while others can carry more than bloom, depending upon their variety. Chrysanthemum flowers have clusters of florets curved in inwards, outward, spiraled, and spiky forms.
Uses of chrysanthemum flowers
Chrysanthemum flowers bloom during fall, however, the flowers can bloom during early, early fall, and late fall. In months through July, September, and October, the Chrysanthemum flowers blooms are in full swing and continue with their fuller appearance for about 4-8 weeks. Chrysanthemum flowers are used in different ways and due to their natural properties, they are used in culinary items, insecticides, and for making the environment clean and healthy.
Some varieties of Chrysanthemum flowers are used for tea flavoring in East Asia. Mixing Chrysanthemum flowers in tea provide relief in various ailments like anxiety, headache, sore throat, allergies, and hypertension. While, the pyrethrins, an active component found in Chrysanthemums is used in insecticides and contains replenishing effects on insects and mosquitoes.
Types of chrysanthemum flowers
As per the US national chrysanthemum society, there are thirteen major chrysanthemum varieties. Some of these varieties have unique shapes, and features.
– Regular incurve: This variety has a tight bunch of inwardly curved florets. Popular varieties include Moira and Gillette.
– Single and semi-double: It has ray-like florets with a round compact center. Some popular varieties are crimson glory, rage, and icy island.
– Reflex: Reflex in looks appears flat with downward titled florets. Popular varieties are white city and champion.
– Thistle: The florets of thistle variety are thin and fall backward. The main varieties of thistle chrysanths are orange spray and Cindy.
– Anemone: This variety has large blooms with clustered florets and a daisy-like appearance. Some of the varieties are purple light, angel, and Dorothy Mechum.
– Intermediate incurve: Curvy short florets, and compact bloom best describe intermediate incurve. Popular varieties are candid and apricot Alexis.
– Spider: The variety has been named spider since the florets are spiky florets and appears delicate. Some varieties are evening glow, western voodoo, and symphony.
– Decorative: Decorative chrysanth has a 5-inch long bloom. Some well-known varieties are coral charm and fire flash.
– Pompom: Pompoms have a regular curve with tight blooms. Major varieties include Yoko ono and lavender pixie.
– Unclassified: Unclassified chrysanths exhibit different types of qualities and colors. The main varieties are Lilli Galion, lone star, and pacificum.
Taking care of chrysanthemum flowers
Chrysanthemum flowers are perennial plants, which live for more than two years. Unlike other annual plants, Chrysanthemum flowers grow in every spring season with fresh blooms. Taking care of these flowers as perennials is simple and sorted. Many horticulturists like growing Chrysanthemum flowers for their ability to bloom well after consistent watering and caring.
Chrysanthemum flowers grow healthy in moist soil, hence watering the plants regularly is highly recommended. Consistent moistening helps the Chrysanthemum flower plants grow during the autumn season. Meanwhile, watering them throughout spring, summer, and fall using a soaking hose can provide the Chrysanthemum plants with much-required moistening. However, watering in excess can also result in spoilage. Keeping the moistening under check is also recommended.
More than pruning, the Chrysanthemum plant should be pinched. Pinching the plants helps the blooms grow fuller. When Chrysanthemum plants grow by 5-6 inches, pinch off 1 inch of the shoot and do it until the summer sets in. Fertilization of Chrysanthemum plants in good proportions is also recommended. It provides vital nutrients to the soil, which penetrates through the plant roots. Consistent fertilization of the Chrysanthemum flower plants will result in better blooms in the season. A water-soluble fertilizer is the best option since Chrysanthemum flowers grow well in moistened soil.
Chrysanthemum flowers become fuller and healthy when they are divided. Like any other perennial plants, dividing prolongs their life cycle. The best time to divide the plants is spring season by removing the plant from the ground and gently cutting it into smaller parts for replanting. Chrysanthemum flowers can fall for various fungi and virus diseases. While they can also fall prey to pests like caterpillars, leafhoppers, and plant bugs, which can cause irreversible damage to the plants. Therefore, the Chrysanthemum flowers should be planted in appropriate spacing while the place should not be devoid of sunshine.
Chrysanthemum flower plants can be grown in the off-season in a controlled environment. They are grown all year round and cultivators preserve them during winters with special care.
Soil needs for chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum flowers, usually have two types of florets – ray floret and disc floret. All varieties and classes of Chrysanthemum flowers carry both types of florets. However, only disc floret can be reproduced.
The chrysanths are best planted in the spring season for better adaptability. With Chrysanthemum flowers, it is better to choose smaller chrysanths in comparison to bigger and fuller blooming chrysanths. The small chrysanths bloom for a long period than fuller already bloomed mums. Also, the roots of small mums grow strong during summer and fall season, which aggravates the survival chances of the plant for winter. The seeds of the flowers can be directly sown in the soil or in the form of seedlings after germination.
Chrysanthemum flowers grow best in well-drained moistened soil and under plenty of sunshine. Like other perennial plants, Chrysanthemum flowers need both careful soil work and consistent watering. To prepare the soil for Chrysanthemum flowers, digging 8-12 inch soil is recommended with nutrient-rich compost. The soil should be checked by squeezing in the palms- a thick and crumbling soil works finest for fuller blooms of Chrysanthemum flowers.
Handling issues in chrysanthemum flower plants
Once the Chrysanthemum flowers withers, the plant will also wither away. Though withering comes normally after Chrysanthemum flowers reach its natural cycle of turning off, the chrysanth plants can be thrown or replanted. While, the roots of the Chrysanthemum flower plants remain strong, even when the plant withers.
Leaf spots can appear in Chrysanthemum flowers due to fungi attack. These can make the leaves of the plant turn yellowish at first, then black and brown at later stages. The leaf spots also result in the premature withering of the Chrysanthemum flower plants. To handle the leaf spotting issue, clearing up the spores and removing the dead plants away from the plants will improve the situation for the mums. Additionally, to prevent further spread of leaf spots, fungicides having propiconazole or chlorothalonil can be induced in the soil.
Chrysanthemum flower varieties around the world
A favorite of horticulturists and florists, chrysanthemum flowers are the second most popular flowers after roses. They have gone through many changes in the past years. Countries like the United States, Japan, France, and England have hybridized chrysanthemum flowers to produce wider and more diverse varieties of mums. Aside from, single color of florets, hybridization has also introduced bi-colored florets on the face and reverse.
Chrysanthemum flowers were introduced in the United States during the colonial era. It became a highly popular plant owing to its aura and diversity in blooms. Today, Chrysanthemum flowers are among the largest commercially produced flower varieties. In Japan, Chrysanthemum flowers have taken shape as Bonsai. Bonsai cultivators grow Chrysanthemum flowers as miniature plants in pots, making the mums look attractive and glorified. Meanwhile, the flower was said to be brought by Buddhist monks in 400 AD. The emperors of Japan sat on thrones carved with Chrysanthemum flower motifs. They even featured in their royal crests.
According to popular notion, red chrysanths convey deep emotions of love. While the white chrysanthemum flowers display loyal love and truth- yellow chrysanths speak friendship and companionship. Chrysanthemum flowers are also considered as tropical flowers, owing to their connection with the Eurasian region.
Florists varieties of Chrysanthemum flowers like pyrethrum daisy is used as an insecticide. While Marguerite is used increasingly used in decoration and cultivation.
Some of the varieties of Chrysanthemum flowers produced in India are Snowball, Anjina purple, Harvest home, and Potomac. Chrysanthemum flowers contribute to home decor and decorations for special occasions like parties and weddings in India. In China, growing chrysanthemum flowers is considered as a symbol of prosperity wherein, the color of the mum also plays a major role.