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  • Writer's pictureJulia Watson

Our Best 2021 Chrysanthemums

A few mums in afternoon dappled sunlight - gorgeous! Annie Girl in the center

We’re at the end of this year’s mums so it’s a good time to record my thoughts on varieties and growing methods, while it’s fresh in my mind. I’ll use this post as my own guide in choosing which varieties to grow in 2022.

The big winners – varieties I must grow again:

Annie Girl – a medium size decorative form with gorgeous coloring that changes over time. It’s easy to combine with golds and pinks. If I could only keep one mum this might be it.

Mystery Mauve and River City – Mystery Mauve was a mistake, sent when I ordered River City. It’s definitely not River City; I suspect it’s Jefferson Park. The color is stunning, and I’ll keep this one even if I never find out what it is. I’ll keep the real River City too – beautiful color and form.

Mankato – a daisy flowered type, common looking but so prolific that it earned a spot in our 2022 mum rows.

Klamath Falls, Peter Magnus and Rose Maiko – small flowers cover these branching types; all are beautiful. Because the branches are stiff, they’re useful as internal structure in bouquets.

Seaton’s Je’Dore and Alexis – large blooms in pale colors that combine well with almost any other blooms.

Vesuvio – clusters of small white flowers in an unusual form, like a starburst or explosion of fireworks.

Apricot Alexis and Seaton’s Ruby – these two are not my favorites, but they’re both strong growers and look fabulous together so they’ll stay in my plan.

Senkyo Kenshin – a large spider form that can be a pain to arrange because the long petals get tangled in other flowers and foliage. But the dramatic effect is worth the effort!

River City on the left; our unknown "Mystery Mauve" on right.

Mankato - a very prolific bloomer!

Apricot Alexis and Seaton's Ruby look wonderful together.

The new varieties I want to try, based on seeing real life blooms at our local chrysanthemum show:

Gertrude, King’s Delight, Rosedew, Lola, Evan’s Dream

Varieties that probably won’t make the cut for 2022:

Kokka No Waza – its bright yellow color is difficult to combine in bouquets and seems too spring-like for fall bouquets.

Heather James – it’s early and prolific, but I don’t like it enough to prioritize it above the long list of must-have varieties.

Coral Daisy – not exotic enough! With so many exciting shapes and colors, this looks too much like something straight from Home Depot. The same could be said for Mankato, but it was so prolific and useful in early fall that I’m keeping it.

The two growing notes I need to remember for next year are about staking and disbudding. We definitely need more staking! We didn’t start early enough, and mums need to be carefully corralled or they want to lie down on the ground. Disbudding means removing side buds to encourage larger flowers; we need a little more for the large flowered varieties, but not too much. I can’t use humungous blooms in most arrangements, but some disbudding can give better quality blooms. We need to find the best approach for each variety.

If you’re new to growing chrysanthemums, be sure to read my other posts on this topic for basic information – here and here and here. Let me know about your own favorite varieties in the Comments section.

Mums in dappled sunlight - Senkyo Kenshin is the spider form at the top.

A mixed bouquet of Seaton's Je'Dore (top center), Mystery Mauve and small flowered Peter Magnus at the bottom.

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