Chrysanthemums care: our guide to buy and grow these jazzy blooms

Treat your garden to kitsch chrysanthemums and help them thrive with our care guide.

Chrysanthemums care

by Eleanor Weaver |

We’re a sucker for bright florals, and if you want a blaze of amazing colours in your garden in late summer and early autumn, chrysanthemums offer all that and more. A traditional bloom you’ve probably spotted in your parents’ garden, they’ve made a resurgence in modern gardens bringing a soft sense of retro charm with the modern varieties being even easier to care for.

Hardy garden chrysanthemums, or garden mums, deserve a place in everyone’s garden and with a whole bunch of explosive colours to choose from, they’re the perfect pop of colour for any plot. With hues of bright sunshine-yellow to many shades of orange, red, pink, lilac and purple, you can create a vivid colour scheme or go wild and create the technicolour garden of your dreams.

Want to get some for your garden and make sure they survive? We’ve shared a chrysanthemums care guide and our favourite chrysanthemum varieties to make your garden the envy of the neighbourhood.

How to plant chrysanthemums

Compact and growing into a dome-shaped cushion of flowers around 60cm high and wide, chrysanthemums look great at the front of borders, but for the most spectacular effect, grow them in individual pots so the snazzy semispheres stand out and shine.

Pot them up in April or May and let them grow over the summer until they burst into colour in August. These shimming blooms will take centre stage in your garden, even when the days shorten in late summer, and will last until the first severe frost of autumn.

Their sturdy stems make them excellent cut flowers too, and each plant will provide so many blooms, you won’t feel guilty about cutting loads and bringing them indoors.

chrysanthemum border
©Getty Images

How to care for chrysanthemums

To help your young plants to thrive in the ground, plant them in a sunny position in fertile, moist but well-drained soil which you can improve by digging in lots of bulky organic matter or a soil conditioner for extra enrichment. In containers, use multi-purpose compost.

You should water your chrysanthemum plants regularly, up to daily in containers in summer, whenever the soil or compost starts to dry out. For more blooms, feed your plants fortnightly through the summer with a high potash fertiliser for that little boost.

Our pick of the best chrysanthemum varieties

Top tip: If you really want to snap up a deal and save, buying young chrysanthemum plants means you’ll get much more for your money and you’ll be glad you planned ahead.

Chrysanthemum u2018Bolero Purpleu2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Bolero Purpleu2019

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Suitable for containers and borders, and a great pairing with ornamental grasses for a truly breathtaking display, the 'Bolero Purple' variety is a striking mix of light pinks and purples. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Marjolein Brownu2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Marjolein Brownu2019

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A beautifully warm autumnal shade, the 'Marjolein Brown' with its bright orange flower clusters is a great standout plant. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Picardieu2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Picardieu2019

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Looking for something to bring the sunshine instead? The Chrysanthemum u2018Picardieu2019 is a hardy variety with gorgeous yellow flowers that are perfect for containers or as a cut flower. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Isola Whiteu2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Isola Whiteu2019

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A later flowering variety, the 'Isola White' keeps your garden full of colour right into autumn with the soft white of this flower and its creamy yellow centre. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Marcou2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Marcou2019

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The almost white, very pale pink hues of 'Marco' make it a beautiful variety to have in your garden adding delicate colour late into autumn. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Santanosu2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Santanosu2019

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The Chrysanthemum u2018Santanosu2019 is an early flowering variety with a unique coral colour that'll make a beautiful addition to the garden. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Remonau2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Remonau2019

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Sporting long, thin, pinky-white flower petals that splay outwards from the pink centre, the Chrysanthemum u2018Remonau2019 makes for a unique and eye-catching display in your garden. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Oliviau2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Oliviau2019

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With an ombre effect of warm orange and yellow hues, the 'Olivia' will fill your garden with a rich, striking colour late into autumn. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Rosano Pinku2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Rosano Pinku2019

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Pretty in pink, the 'Rosano Pink' variety is a beautiful summer bloom that'll pair wonderfully with cooler tones, like white or pastel. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Branqueen Pinku2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Branqueen Pinku2019

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Rejuvenate your garden with the beautiful white flowers of the 'Branqueen Pink' with delicate pink centres. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Erina Redu2019

Chrysanthemum u2018Erina Redu2019

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The bold red of the 'Erina Red' with speckles of yellow makes this variety a stunning and eye-catching flower for any garden. Supplied as 5 x large plugs.

Chrysanthemum u2018Garden Mumsu2019 Collection

Chrysanthemum u2018Garden Mumsu2019 Collection

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Want to mix and match the colours in your displays? Pick up this collection of 'Garden Mums' with colours including dark pink, pink, snow, yellow, coral, and orange. Supplied as a collection of 18 plug plants, three each of the six colours.

Chrysanthemums care buys

For Ground: Westland Garden Lime Soil Conditioner, 4kg

For Ground: Westland Garden Lime Soil Conditioner, 4kg
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Help improve the soil structure, plant root efficiency, and, as a result, give your plant more available nutrients to keep it healthy and strong with a garden lime soil conditioner.

For Pots: Westland Multipurpose Compost with Added John Innes, 10L

For Pots: Westland Multipurpose Compost with Added John Innes, 10L
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Perfect for pots and containers, this multipurpose compost with added John Innes will help your plant retain nutrients and water for longer and help your plant grow throughout every stage of its life.

High Potash Fertiliser: Miracle-Gro Sulphate of Potash Fruit & Flower Enhancer, 1.5kg

High Potash Fertiliser: Miracle-Gro Sulphate of Potash Fruit & Flower Enhancer, 1.5kg
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Give your blooms a little boost with a fortnightly feed of the Miracle-Gro Enhancer for bigger, healthier flowers and to protect your plants against diseases and drought.

Cheap Pot: Laleh Terracotta Round Plant Pot D23cm

Cheap Pot: Laleh Terracotta Round Plant Pot D23cm

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To show off your mums to the max, buy some cheap pots, paint them white and grey and plant a different coloured mum into each using potting or multi-purpose compost.

Shallow Bowl Planter: Set of 2 Stratton Bowls

Shallow Bowl Planter: Set of 2 Stratton Bowls

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A shallow bowl planted with three complementary pastel colours will give a tritone mound of colour. These chrysanthemums will naturally grow into a mound, but help them along by snipping off any wayward stems.

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