Chrysanthemum bonsai are very popular in Japan, and like azalea bonsai, they often have their own exhibits.
Although we may think of them as Japanese chrysanthemum, the plant is originally a native of China.
Chrysanthemum bonsai plants are not as popular in western culture, as they are in Japan.
One reason may be that they are, in general, short lived plants.
National Bonsai and Penjing Museum
Chrysanthemum (often referred to as “mums”) are woody perennials.
Although most seem to live as few as 3-4 years as bonsai.
There have been a few known to be 20-25 years old.
Another reason for their lack of popularity, may be mums are photoperiod plants.
(They bloom during months with short nights.)
In order to show the flowers, the exhibits are held in the Fall.
Most other bonsai are not blooming at this time ... a good reason for Chrysanthemum only shows.
Mums lend themselves to being trained into many different forms, including topiary. It's a little tricky to wire them, however it can be done.
As you can see on this page, many bonsai styles can be created from mums (especially after a little experience.)
The mum bonsai shown here was created by John Capobianco.
The roots are actually growing on a piece of wood, which makes the composition look like an old flowering tree.
The root systems are especially good for creating wonderful rock plantings.
I've always appreciated the beauty of mums as bonsai. However, until recently, I lived in South Florida. No place for mums!
When John Capobianco sent me photos and an article about his mum slab planting, I knew I wanted to add these bonsai to the BonsaiMary site.
When I announced I was writing about mums, I heard from Dale Cochoy with a fascinating article about his Chrysanthemum bonsai club project.
If you have an interest in Chrysanthemum bonsai you will derive valuable information about styling, varieties and care from both of these articles.
See the list of other Types of Bonsai Trees.
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