This post is part of a 12-month series exploring birth flowers. Start here for an introduction and for a full list of all months.
November is here in all its spectacular glory! Brightly colored leaves, boldly shaped gourds, striking stalks of Indian corn. It’s hard not to love a month that offers so much unique natural beauty, from the colors of its blooms to the texture of pinecones and tiny acorn caps, the motion of golden, swaying grasses and of course the scent of a wood burning fire to warm up the cooling days.
If you were born during this incredible month, your star sign is either Sagittarius or Capricorn, and your gemstone is either golden topaz or burnt-orange citrine. And unlike other months that have two birth flowers, November babies get just one. But that’s ok, because November’s birth month flower is the most iconic of the season, and one of the most widely grown in the world: the richly colored, pom-pom shaped chrysanthemum.
November Birth Month Flower: Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemums, also commonly called mums, are an autumn staple. It’s almost impossible to get through the season without seeing a pot of these on a porch or walkway, as part of a front door display or gracing a patio. They bloom in myriad colors, from deep pink to golden yellow, bright orange, deep mahogany red, white, purple, and even multicolored!
These gorgeous blooms have a lot to say about your personality, too. If you’re fortunate enough to be represented by this flower, you’re said to embody loyalty, friendship, and joy. Like the hardy mum, you’re tough and resilient on the outside, but your true colors shine in your friendly, cheerful nature.
Different colors have different meanings, so you can choose the ones that speak to you most. White symbolizes honesty and loyalty, red means, not surprisingly, love and passion, and yellow stands for friendship and good fortune.
Whichever hue you select, the predominant symbolism is joy. You are said to be honest, kind, and optimistic, a true beacon of happiness that surrounds and warms others wherever you go.
Chrysanthemum Through History
The chrysanthemum dates back to 15th century China where it was cultivated as an herb used in salads and teas. It has long been used as a remedy for curing headaches and reducing inflammation. It was also offered as a symbol of good fortune and longevity to the elderly.
In Japan, it has long represented royalty and is even on the Emperor’s official seal and crest. In fact, it is the national flower of Japan, and is celebrated each year with a national Festival of Happiness!
Confucius suggested using the chrysanthemum as an object of meditation because of its intricate detail, and it has traditionally been used as an offering in Buddhist temples.
Both the Chinese and Japanese view the chrysanthemum as a sign of youth and it was believed that placing a single petal at the bottom of a glass of wine would promote good health and longevity.
In Greek mythology, chrysanthemum is said to protect against evil spirits.
Today, its petals are still used in teas, soups and salads, and have been shown to contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Want To Plant Them?
This quintessential fall flower is actually best planted in spring! These flowers are hardy perennials that will grace your garden for many years if you plant them early and give them plenty of time to grow strong roots. However, you may also choose a semi-hardy variety and treat them as annuals. The potted autumn colors you’re most familiar with can be planted during late summer and autumn and enjoyed for a single season.
Chrysanthemums love moist, well drained soil. In fact, too little water can stunt their growth, so keep them well hydrated without overwatering. They will do best in a sunny, sheltered spot where they will thrive just as well in a border garden as they will in planters. You can even grow some varieties as houseplants!
November is the only month of the year with a single birth flower and now you know why. It is one of the most iconic, striking, hardiest, and deeply meaningful flowers in the bunch. It’s an autumn garden favorite, rich in history and ready to beautify your gardens and enrich your fall displays.
Whether you were born in November and want to add this classic bloom to your landscape, or you simply love its story and bold colors, book a consultation with us and let’s talk about adding some to your space. We’re here to design and build your best outdoor space – one that reflects your unique personality and lifestyle most.
More In This Series
Stay tuned for a new flower each month throughout the year!