Growing Chrysanthemums and Chrysanthemum Classification
Outdoorare also known as early-flowering chrysanthemums, and are grown in the open ground without any protection. Some gardeners, however, especially exhibition growers, when growing chrysanthemums, like to give them some protection against rain by supporting frame lights or polythene sheeting over them, but I would not say this is essential by any means if growing them for normal garden decoration.
Chrysanthemums are herbaceous perennials that produce the most beautifulwhen they are planted, provided they are subject to plenty of sunshine. You will find there are many varieties of Chrysanthemums and they vary in height, colour, bloom size and the timing of when they flower.
These plants have a fairly long flowering season – from about the end of July until mid-October – provided there are no frosts before then. The National Chrysanthemum Society states that ‘An early-flowering chrysanthemum is a cultivar (variety), which blooms in a normal season in the open ground before 1st October without any protection whatsoever.’
Chrysanthemum varieties are grouped into various sections according to the shape and formation of the flowers. This chrysanthemum classification is not as confusing as it may seem at first glance, and I would recommend anyone growing chrysanthemums to study the classifications in the National Chrysanthemum Society’s Classified Catalogue of Cultivars and Rules for Judging, which is available from the Society’s Secretary. Each section is numbered and in some cases is divided into sub-sections, each of which is denoted by a letter.
Of the outdoor types, the Decoratives, with their large flowers, are probably the most popular of all. This is mainly because of the very wide range of colours available and the fact that they are ideal for cutting for use in flower arrangements. There are the Incurved Decoratives (Section 23), in which the florets turn in towards the centre of the bloom, and this section is divided into (a) large-flowered, and (b) medium-flowered varieties. Reflexed Decoratives (Section 24), have florets which grow outwards and downwards from the centre of the bloom, and these are divided into (a) large-flowered, and (b) medium-flowered varieties. Finally, the Intermediate Decoratives (Section 25), have flowers which are midway between the first two in some varieties, or they may be partially reflexed or incurved. There again we have (a) large-flowered, and (b) medium-flowered sorts.
Section 26 contains the smaller-flowered Anemones, which are appropriately named, and the blooms have the most attractive centres. These are very easy to grow and are good for cutting. Singles (Section 27) are a popular, smaller-flowered group which contains (a) large-flowered and (b) medium-flowered varieties. They are graceful plants in habit and produce masses of dainty flowers which are very attractive in floral arrangements. The Pompon varieties (Section 28), are free flowering and ideal for cutting We have the true pompons (a), the blooms of which form a perfect ball of compact hard florets, and the semi-pompons (b), with compact florets which form a cone with a flat base. The flowers of all pompon varieties are small.
The Spray varieties (Section 29) probably rival the Decoratives in popularity as they produce an abundance of flowers in many colours. This section is divided into (a) anemones, (b) pompons, (c) reflexing, and (d) singles. All of them have fairly small flowers which make attractive floral arrangements. Finally we have Section 30 which includes Any Other Types. The best-known varieties in this section are the Koreans which form very bushy plants, the small flowers being similar in appearance to the Singles, although some varieties are double, and in a wide range of very good colours. Here again, they are favoured by flower arrangers.