For a really easy injection of late colour in the garden, plant some chrysanthemums in the borders, or in pots at the front door to greet you with their cheery blooms.
Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants native to east Asia and north-east Europe, and they will bloom here from August through to November, or the first frosts.
The name chrysanthemum comes from the Greek words ‘khrusos’ meaning gold and ‘anthemon’ meaning flower.
Chrysanthemum, second only to the rose as the most popular cut flower in the world, comes in a stunning range of vibrant colours from lime-green and bright pink, to shades of yellow, orange, and red.
There is a chrysanthemum flower shape to suit all flower-lovers, from single to double blooms, from pom-pom to daisy heads, to spider, mop-head, and firework shapes.
Hardy chrysanthemum plants can grow 1 to 3 feet tall, depending on the cultivar, with a spread sometimes equal to the height. They should be planted in a sunny, sheltered spot that receives at least six hours of direct sun a day to get the best blooms.
If planted in pots, chrysanthemums need good drainage.
Although generally considered an early autumn plant, which will not need too much watering given the wetter Scottish weather into October and November. Remember though that windy weather can dry pots out as much as sun does, so do keep an eye on the soil around the plants to make sure it has not dried out.
Keep snipping off faded flowers to promote more blooms on the plant. Removing the dried and finished flower heads, allows the flower buds underneath to reach the plant’s surface and burst open. This continually keeps the chrysanthemum plant covered in prolific blooms.
Chrysanthemum plants in containers are particularly vulnerable to cold, and are not likely to survive the winter left in pots, so bring them under cover once flowering has finished to a cool, frost-free greenhouse, enclosed porch, garage, or conservatory. Keep the soil slightly moist throughout the winter but do not water chrysanthemums too often.
With potted mums, never let them endure a hard freeze in their pot or container which can kill roots in pots permanently.
In milder regions of the country, in sheltered gardens with well-drained soil, where temperatures are unlikely to fall below -5˚C (23˚F), chrysanthemum plants may survive in the ground. Even so, it is best to give the plant some winter protection by covering the root zone with an insulating layer of mulch. You might even consider using a cloche to protect plants from winter rain.