Andy Cabe is the botanical garden director at Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden in Columbia, S.C.

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Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’
by Andy Cabe       #Flowers   #Plant Profile

When it comes to mums, I have a love/hate relationship. I’m not a fan of the potted varieties you buy in the fall that are perfect, round meatballs of a plant. That being said, I absolutely love the old-fashioned garden mums that have been passed along for generations.

One of my favorite garden mums has to be the Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’. In the fall, ‘Cathy’s Rust’ rewards the patient gardener with a myriad of rust-red daisies with yellow centers. Mums like ‘Cathy’s Rust’ are excellent choices to provide color in the garden during the somewhat “dead zone” period when summer annuals are gone and winter crops such as pansies have not quite come into their own.

Old-fashioned garden mums have a much more relaxed feel than their modern-day counterparts. They can be floppy, but floppy isn’t always bad. An untouched mum cascading down a slope works nicely. However, if you need your mum to be somewhat tidier, it can be cut back several times throughout the summer.


Common Name: Garden mum.

Botanical Name: Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’.

Color: Rust red.

Blooming Period: Fall.

Type: Perennial.

Size: 2 to 3 feet tall, 2 feet wide.

Exposure: Full sun.

When to Plant: Spring or fall.

Soil: Average.

Watering: Average.

In Your Landscape: Use ‘Cathy’s Rust’ to add a punch of color to the fall garden.



Posted: 11/11/11   RSS | Print


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Doug - 04/12/2012

Where is Cathy’s Rust available?  I’m familiar with several mail-order mum suppliers and have never heard of this variety.

I’m also trying to build a collection of older varieties.

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