How to Grow Chrysanthemum — Dendranthema

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Dendranthema is a genus of perennials that produce daisylike flower heads that can be white, yellow, pink, or purple. The ray florets (petals) are borne singly or in loose clusters. Dendranthema is a genus of 20 species that were once classified as chrysanthemums.

Dendranthema bears aromatic, somewhat fleshy dark green leaves that are lobed or palmate. Flowers are .5 to 3 inches (1-8cm) across and are produced singly or in loose corymbs.

Grow Dendendranthema in herbaceous or mixed borders or in a rock garden.

Dendranthema are native to Europe and Central and East Asia.

Dendranthema morifolium
Dendranthema morifolium

Get to know Dendranthema 

  • Plant type: Pernnial 
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 5 to 9 
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 5
  • Height and width: 12 inches (30cm) tall and 18 inches (45cm) wide
  • Form and habit: Erect perennials 
  • Foliage: Aromatic, somewhat fleshy leaves that are lobed in a palmate fashion appear alternately.
  • Flowers: Daisylike flower heads have white, yellow, pink, or purple ray florets (“petals”) and are borne singly or in loose clusters 
  • Bloom time: Mid- to late summer and fall 
  • Uses: Add to herbaceous or mixed border or rock garden  
  • Garden companions: Vertical plants, such as purple coneflower, crocosmia, gas plant, ironweed, and ornamental grasses 
  • Common name: Chrysanthemum 
  • Botanical name: Dendranthema 
  • Family name: Asteraceae 
  • Origin: Europe and Central and East Asia

Where to plant Dendranthema 

  • Plant Dendranthema in full to half sun. 
  • Plant Dendranthema in rich, moist, well-drained soil; sandy soil is ideal, and plants tend to be short-lived in heavy clay. 
  • Dendranthema do not tolerate wet soil but will grow well in windy locations if they have plenty of moisture.  

When to plant Dendranthema 

  • Plant Dendranthema blooms in mid- to late summer and fall, depending on the variety and your maintenance practices.  
  • Plant Dendranthema 4 to 6 weeks before the first expected freeze in your area.  

Planting and spacing Dendranthema 

  • Space Dendranthema 18 inches (45cm) apart.
  • Start seed indoors in early spring.

How to water and feed Dendranthema 

  • Give Dendranthema average water. 
  • Feed Dendranthema with an all-purpose organic fertilizer in spring; apply 50% more fertilizer than for average perennials. 
Dendranthema indicum, Chrysanthemum indicum
Dendranthema indicum, Chrysanthemum indicum

How to care for Dendranthema 

  • Pinch Dendranthema several times between midspring and midsummer for bushy, short, later-blooming plants. 
  • Northern gardeners should stop pinching by mid-July; southern gardeners, by early August. 
  • Unpinched plants may need staking.  
  • In Zones 5 to 6, wait until early spring to cut back plants or cut them down in fall and cover roots with an airy mulch over winter.  
  • Divide plants every 2 years in spring to keep clumps vigorous; they have offsets.  
  • Replant divisions in a different location to prevent pest buildup. 

Dendranthema pests and diseases 

  • Dendranthema is susceptible to attacks by aphids, Japanese beetles, mites, slugs, snails, and nematodes.  
  • Dendranthema can develop leaf spot, mildew, and rust, especially on older, crowded clumps.  
  • Rabbits, deer, and woodchucks graze on the flower buds.  

Dendranthema propagation 

  • Propagate Dendranthema by dividing plants in spring or after they flower in fall, or by sowing seeds.  

Dendranthema varieties to grow 

  • Dendranthema weyrichii, formerly chrysanthemum weyrichii, a 1-foot (.3m) tall species that forms 1.5 foot (.5m) wide mounds of five-lobed leaves topped with 2 inch (5.1cm) wide daisies in late summer and fall with white or pink ray florets and yellow centers.  
  • ‘Pink Bomb’ bears pink flowers.  
  • ‘White Bomb’ has pink-tinged ray florets. Zones 3 to 8.   
  • Nipponanthemum nipponicum, Montauk daisy, is a semievergreen woody perennial that grows 2-3 feet (.6-.9m) tall with white daisies in fall. It tolerates wind and salt in Zones 5 to 9; do not pinch in Zones 5 to 6.  

Related article:

How to Grow Chrysanthemum

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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