11 September 2017

Gardenplant of the Month September: ball chrysanthemums

Gardenplant of the Month September: ball chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are often thought of as cut flowers, but there is also a wide range of other chrysanthemums. In autumn in particular the range features ball chrysanthemums, which flower when the days are short. The plant responds to the short days by creating buds. They're branched, bushy plants in many different colours and flower shapes. Ball chrysanthemums are very suitable for use outdoors in the garden or on the balcony, patio, garden paths or by the front door. The plants flower so profusely that the foliage is completely hidden.

From August onwards the days start get shorter, and that's the time when the 'short day' plants start producing buds. One of those plants is the ball chrysanthemum. The diameter of the hemispheres can range from 20 up to 60-80 cm. there are even some specimens with a span of more than 120 cm. The colours and flower shapes are astonishing: beautiful shades of pink, lilac or white, but particularly attractive autumn shades from yellow and orange through to red and brown, just like the autumn colours that are starting to show on the leaves. There are single and double flowered varieties, but also species with spatula-shaped or spider-like petals. The name chrysanthemum means "golden flower". It's a combination of the Greek words 'chrysos' (= gold) and 'anthemon' (= flower). Many species are therefore yellow in colour.

A ball chrysanthemum is an easy plant. By following a couple of tips the plant will keep flowering from months, from August till November until the frosts arrive. In a light spot in partial shade through to full sun, the plant will transform into a colourful hemisphere. Regularly water the ball chrysanthemums in the pot, and never allow the soil to dry out.