I don’t use the word “hate” much. I am pretty sure that I can count on one hand the things that I hate. Right now I can only think of 2, in fact: ice–the kind that is caused by winter storms, not the kind that is made my home freezer; and chrysanthemums.
I used to blame my hatred of mums on working in retail gardening, but even as I thought about it, that didn’t really explain it. I would say that it came from the gazillion of hours that I was forced to spend deadheading the things so that they would always look good for customers.
But there are 3 types of seasonal flowers that we would get in, pansies, geraniums (pelargoniums) and mums, all of which needed deadheading to look good. And besides, as a general rule, I don’t mind deadheading.
But there’s this. Every year we get these for the office. And every year we get infested with aphids. This is the nymph stage.
As you may know, aphids don’t grow wings and leave the plants until there are so many that the plant is overwhelmed. So for them to actually be on the wall behind the plants, it’s pretty bad.
Needless to say, all the mums went into the dumpster and everything else in the office is under observation. We have a cyclamen in the same room that gets infested if you breathe on it the wrong way. It’s been there longer than I have and I have been there 12 years, so it is ancient, in plant years.
But just seeing the aphids on the mums–and remembering that this is exactly what happened last year–makes me realize where my true hatred of these plants comes from. It’s not the deadheading. It’s the constant insect issues.