Several kinds of chrysanthemums may be listed as hardy, but those in the Rubellum Group are a particularly carefree and reliably perennial bunch.
Though originally hybridized more than 100 years ago, a number of these hardy mums are still popular today. Hardy chrysanthemums form a spreading clump of upright, branching stems clad in dark green, lobed leaves.
From late summer through mid-autumn, they produce masses of cheerful daisy-like flowers, providing a lovely bridge through the change of seasons. These charming old-fashioned mums look lovely rambling through casual gardens and borders.
Common name: Hardy chrysanthemum (Rubellum Group)
Botanical name: Chrysanthemum (Rubellum Group)
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Zones: 4 to 9
Height: 24 to 36 inches
• Sun: Full sun or partial shade
• Soil: Fertile loam or sandy loam with added organic matter
• Moisture: Evenly moist but well-drained
• Mulch: 1 to 2 inches organic mulch
• Pruning: Pinch stem tips once or twice in late spring to early summer for fuller plants
• Fertilizer: Apply compost or balanced fertilizer in early spring
Pests and diseases
• No major problems
• ‘Clara Curtis’ has clear pink single flowers.
• ‘Mary Stoker’ has apricot-tinted yellow flowers.
• ‘Sheffield Pink’ has soft pink flowers.
• ‘Sheffield Yellow’ has light yellow flowers.
• This mum’s casual growth habit and simple flowers make it a natural for informal or cottage-style gardens.
• Hardy chrysanthemum will spread readily, especially in rich soil, but it can be controlled by shovel-pruning around the clump in the spring.
• Plant hardy chrysanthemum with late-blooming ornamental grasses like feather reed grass and pink muhly grass.
All in the family
• Hardy chrysanthemum is a member of the aster family (Asteraceae), a large plant family that also includes sunflowers, asters, coneflowers, zinnias and dahlias.
• The genus Chrysanthemum has gone through several rounds of name changes over the past 30 years. Many garden mums were transferred to the genus Dendranthema at one point, but most have been restored to Chrysanthemum.
• You may find Rubellum Group mum cultivars listed under several names, including Chrysanthemum × rubellum, C. zawadskii subsp. latilobum and Dendranthema rubellum.
Where to buy
• Bluestone Perennials, bluestoneperennials.com
• High Country Gardens, highcountrygardens.com
• Select Seeds, selectseeds.com