by Adam Pasco

Simply mentioning their name can provoke a rather snooty look of disdain. Chrysanths are very popular, but often considered brash and 'common'...

White chrysanthemum flowersI've always had a soft spot for chrysanthemums, and it's during autumn that they really reward you with the flower you've been anticipating all year. I can't think of another hardy perennial for pots or borders that looks so bright and colourful at this time of year, literally covering itself with bloom.

Simply mentioning their name can provoke a rather snooty look of disdain. Chrysanths are very popular,  but often considered brash and 'common'. They remain one of the most popular cut flowers, coming a close second only to roses, according to a recent survey of florists. And as with any 'easy-to-grow' plant, it divides gardeners in the same way that gladioli, dahlias and many others do.

Horticultural snobs may give them a wide berth as they search out something with a far more complicated botanical name, but remember that plants are popular for a reason. Plants fall in and out of fashion (like conifers featured in my last blog), but you really shouldn't let this put you off growing them.

Chrysanthemums are cheap, cheerful, and wonderful plants. Just when you've given up on the garden, with summer bedding displays coming to an abrupt end, along come chrysanths to provide the colourful punctuation every garden needs.

I mostly use them in pots, pulling out tired bedding and popping a selection of chrysanths in their place. However, remember that chrysanths are hardy plants unlike the mainly tender summer bedding. That means they'll come up year after year, so don't discard chrysanths when flowering is over, but plant out in your borders instead.

Forget the plant snobs. They might miss out on the colour only chrysanths can provide in autumn, but I certainly won't!

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Talkback: Chrysanthemums
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Gardeners' World Web User 19/10/2009 at 15:48

I don't care if a plant is fashionable or not, if I like it I plant it in my garden. My eldest son bought me a house plant pot of Chrysanth's for mother's day this year and when it had finished flowering indoor's (which was ages) I cut it down and planted it in the garden where it is now flowering again a lovely bright yellow to make me smile now that the Dahlia flowers have been killed by the first frosts.

Gardeners' World Web User 20/10/2009 at 10:27

Hi there I would like to find out where to buy the daffodil bulbs with the rose scent that was featured in your programme a few weeks ago pleae?

Gardeners' World Web User 21/10/2009 at 19:50

Adam, I tried, Lord knows I tried, to like chrysanthemums, but there is just no chemistry between us. It sounds like you are on a crusade to rehabilitate misunderstood plants. I feel certain acubas can't be far behind... Since I like to think I have an open mind, I am planning on going to the open day at Chrysanthemums Direct on November 6th. Their nursery is in Cheshire, you must e-mail first to register for the tour Will let you know if there has been a change of heart!

Gardeners' World Web User 21/10/2009 at 21:41

Reply to Lila: Love them, or hate them ... chrysanthemums are one of those plants that divide people, I know, just like gladioli and many others. However, there's no doubting their popularity. Thankfully you have an open mind, and I'm sure that when you delve deeper into the wonderful world of chrysanths you'll discover some you like, and perhaps even one you couldn't live without. Well, here's hoping!

Gardeners' World Web User 22/10/2009 at 20:22

chrysanthemum and Dahla show that I went to at the Toyota building in Burgh Heath Surrey was an eye opener, never seen so many beautiful plants every colour and shape,I have only ever grown the normal type, but these were grown by people that spend their lives looking for perfection, what a treat.

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