Silver and gold chrysanthemum
It’s an irony that just when your summer pots are looking their very best – in other words now – along comes the first frost and that’s the end of their fine display; either that or you really need the pots to plant your spring bulbs. However, my plant today turns out to be hardier than I expected and made it through last winter – which admittedly was not a hard one here in West Sussex.
This beautiful foliage plant was first recognised in Japan in 1928 and it’s (Latin) naming has since taken many twists and turns. The ‘silver’ part of its common name refers to the margined edges of each leaf, and the ‘gold’ to the brilliant button-shaped flowers that follow in late autumn: if you’re lucky!
The ‘silver and gold chrysanthemum’ forms a dense, semi-woody mound and can be gently shaped during the growing season to encourage side shoots. It likes sun and good drainage. Once you have this showy plant you won’t want to be without it, but cuttings are easy as can be: just snip off a few shoots, stick them in a pot and they are almost guaranteed to grow! Or, if your parent plant makes it through the winter just divide it up in the spring.
My stand-out combination in a pot this year was C pacificum, helichrysum petiolare and pelargonium ‘Prince of Orange’ but almost any pelargonium will look good with these two. Wherever you are, it may take a bit of tracking down, but it’s well worth the effort.
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