Deep orange chrysanthemum 'Bruno Bronze'

Chrysanthemums – Grow Guide

Find out all you need to know about growing chrysanthemums, in this handy grow guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does flower in November

Plant does flower in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do Cut back in February

Do not Cut back in March

Do Cut back in April

Do not Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do not Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do Cut back in October

Do not Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

Chrysanthemums offer valuable, late flowers in September and October.

These perennial plants are either hardy or half-hardy and can be grown in containers, as houseplants or in a border – the trick is to buy the right chrysanthemum for the job. There are also annual types that are often used in summer bedding displays, such as Chrysanthemum carinatum ‘Sunset’.

Chrysanthemums offer valuable, late flowers in September and October.

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These perennial plants are either hardy or half-hardy and can be grown in containers, as houseplants or in a border – the trick is to buy the right chrysanthemum for the job. There are also annual types that are often used in summer bedding displays, such as Chrysanthemum carinatum ‘Sunset’.

There’s an incredible range of different flower colours. Flower shapes can vary from reflexed, single or pompom and more. Choose from spray chrysanthemums that form a number of flowerheads on one stem. These are often grown under glass for cut flower production. Gardeners may wish to grow them in large containers that can be moved under glass to extend the picking season.

Early-flowering chrysanthemums are happy planted in the flower border and will flower from late summer until autumn. To guarantee these live from year to year they are often lifted. Late-flowering chrysanthemums flower in winter and are grown as house plants. The only type that will definitely live from year to year in the garden unaided are hardy garden chrysanthemums.

Discover how to grow these colourful plants in our chrysanthemum grow guide.

Chrysanthemums offer valuable, late flowers in September and October.
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Planting position

Early-flowering chrysanthemums or hardy garden chrysanthemums are happy planted in the garden. They require a sunny, sheltered spot. Before planting dig in plenty of organic matter or apply a general purpose fertilizer.

The ideal soil is well drained and slightly acid or neutral. They are perfect for the middle of a mixed border.

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Planting technique

If planting early-flowering or hardy types in summer, when plants have top growth, provide a support straight away. The flowers appear at a time of year when winds can be high, so tie plant stems to canes or supports as soon as possible.

When new plants reach about 20cm in height, pinch out the growing point to encourage side shoots to form. This will result in more flowers. Water plants in well.

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Propagation

Chrysanthemums are successfully propagated by basal stem cuttings in spring. The time to take them is when you see healthy new shoots appearing at the base of the plant. Take cuttings when the shoots are about 6cm above ground. Water the parent plant well the day before. Remove cuttings with a sharp knife and then peel off the lower leaves. Leave at least three leaves at the top of the cutting. Trim the base of the cutting to give a clean, straight finish. Insert the cutting into a pre-watered pot of cutting compost.

Place the pot in a propagator or cover with a clear plastic bag. Keep in a light, warm place. When you see good signs of growth remove the bag and leave them to grow on in a frost-free place.

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Troubleshooting

The chances of chrysanthemums being affected by pests and diseases is reduced if plants are given the right growing conditions.

One of the most common ailments is white rust. This is fungal disease that is spotted in late summer or autumn. The surface of leaves are covered in sunken light brown spots and the undersides with off-white pustules. Chrysanthemums can also be affected by the less problematic brown rust.

As with all fungal diseases, the problem is worse in a wet autumn. Plants will become weak and stunted and they can look dreadful. If you spot the problem, quickly remove and burn any infected leaves. The fungus can make it through the winter on rootstocks of plants. Treat with a suitable fungicide and avoid taking cuttings from diseased plants.

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Care

Water plants regularly in summer and feed container-grown plants with a liquid fertiliser in late spring. Stop feeding as soon as flower buds start to open.

Pinch out the growing tips of early, hardy and late-flowering chrysanthemums when plants are young to encourage more flowers.

In sheltered gardens half-hardy, early-flowering chrysanthemums can be cut back to the ground and left to overwinter in the garden.

In more exposed gardens some gardeners choose to lift them or leave cutting the stems back until spring. It is hoped that the faded flower stems will offer some winter protection. Hardy garden chrysanthemums can be cut back after flowering and will overwinter unprotected outside.

Late-flowering chrysanthemums should be potted into a loam-based compost and grown in a sunny spot outdoors in summer. In late summer move plants to a cool room in the house of about 10°C and wait for flowers to open. Don’t allow plants to dry out.

Chrysanthemums for cut flowers

Chrysanthemum flowers will last for three weeks in a vase. Refresh the water regularly and keep in a cool room to extend the show. 

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Chrysanthemum varieties to try

  • Chrysanthemum ‘Leading Lady’ – giant, incurved, soft pink blooms in late summer. Half-hardy, early-flowering type. Reaches 120cm
  • Chrysanthemum ‘Early Yellow’ – fully hardy perennial with small single flowers from July to October. Reaches a height of 80cm
  • Chrysanthemum ‘Spartan Fire’ – reflexed red flowers with the underside of the petals coloured gold. Fully hardy perennial. Height 1m
  • Chrysanthemum ‘Foggy’ – a late-flowering type for indoor display, Lime-green pompon flowers from November. Height 80cm. Protected by Plant Breeders Rights
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  • Chrysanthemum ‘Bruno Bronze’ – a tender perennial with bronze flowers from September to November. Perfect for cutting. Height 1m

Chrysanthemums offer valuable, late flowers in September and October.

These perennial plants are either hardy or half-hardy and can be grown in containers, as houseplants or in a border – the trick is to buy the right chrysanthemum for the job. There are also annual types that are often used in summer bedding displays, such as Chrysanthemum carinatum ‘Sunset’.

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