Plant of the Month... Literally!

Today is my birthday. Yay! 

28 years ago today, I was just a tiny little bundle. I had great joy in reminding my parents of this, making them feel rather old.   

On the celebration of my birth date, I wanted to find out if there was a bloom that was associated with the month of November. With fingers crossed and eyes closed tight, I was hoping that a Rose would appear on my computer screen - my favourite flower in the entire world.
I asked my trusted friend Google for an answer to my query and the result was (drum roll please)............Chrysanthemum.


Although not a Rose, I was pretty pleased with this outcome! Who doesn't like these breathtaking traditional garden favourite?
Chrysanthemums or 'Mums' as they are commonly known, have been the 'go to' bloom for many years. I know that when growing up they were a key variety in both my grandparents and parents garden. Let us take a look at how remarkable these blooms are:
The History of Chrysanthemums 

Chrysanthemums were named after the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold, and anthemon, meaning flower. This coincides with its Asian origins as the word chrysanthemum can be translated from Chinese and Japanese to 'Gold Flower'. Chrysanthemums have been in existence since around the 8th century AD, perhaps even before long before this. Little did I know until I did my research, that chrysanthemums have a strong link with eastern culture, as they were first cultivated in China. Doesn't that just go to show how poor my knowledge is with regards to this variety? 
In ancient China, most parts of a chrysanthemum were used for medicinal purposes, treating plenty of everyday ailments. By the time it had made its way to Japan, they had gained quite the reputation. This has not changed after all this time. Today National Chrysanthemum Day is 'a thing', and is one of the five sacred festivals of Japan. 
It took some time before these gorgeous blooms made their way to Europe, not until the 17th century in fact! Unfortunately, and for reasons unbeknownst to me, chrysanthemums gained a rather morbid reputation in the UK and were generally used to decorate gravestones. 
Luckily today, chrysanthemum are once again know and cherished for their refined beauty, late flowering and gorgeous colour.  

How to plant
Chrysanthemum are best planted during the spring in moist, well-drained soil set in a position of full  sunlight. Chrysanthemums require plenty of air circulation so ensure they are not planted in low-lying and wet conditions. Dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball and incorporate plenty of organic matter to improve overall drainage. Plant to the same depth and width, spacing plants 45-60cm (18-24”) apart. Water thoroughly and deeply to settle the soil into place.
Caring for Chrsyanthemum
It is best to protect chrysanthemums with a layer of  mulch if being kept outdoors during the cold winter months. Alternatively, you can transfer your pots to a greenhouse or similar environment. Water your plants regularly, especially during periods of dry weather and feed just before the flowering period.
Have I convinced you?
Have a wonderful weekend Haylofters, whatever you decide to do! 
becky@hayloftplants.co.uk


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