Ajania, also known as gold or silver chrysanthemum or Pacific chrysanthemum, is a genus of medium-sized, mounding perennial flowers native to central and eastern Asia. It is a member of the Aster family, and bears small, daisy-like flowers during the autumn. It is an easy-to-grow plant that beginning and experienced gardeners alike may use as a ground cover, in rock gardens, along garden borders, or in groups. Ajania may also be grown in container gardens, and it makes a beautiful, long-lasting cut flower.
Many plants in this genus have grey-green or silvery variegated, lobed leaves about 2 inches (5.08 cm) in length. They are fairly hardy plants that tolerate most types of soil and summer weather conditions. These plants are usually not bothered by serious diseases or insect problems.
Although it is native to Asia, plants in the Ajania genus are popular garden flowers around the world. During late September, October, and early November, flowers bloom yellow or pale pink. They are daisy-like in appearance with small, yellow button-like centers; some gardeners grow this plant strictly for its silver foliage. Most Ajania are between 6 and 24 inches tall (15.24 to 60 cm), and have a spread of about 12 to 36 inches (30.48 to 91.44 cm).
This flowering plant thrives in US Department of Agriculture hardiness zones five through nine. It grows in well-drained clay, sandy, or average soil with a neutral, alkaline, or acidic pH level. It needs full sun or partial shade, and tolerates heat and humidity well. In hot climates, afternoon shade may be beneficial for best growth. Winter protection is advised in cold climates; extra mulch or burlap coverings can be used.
Ajania's easy maintenance and resistance to serious diseases and pests make it a good choice for beginning gardeners who want to make sure their first gardening attempt is successful. It can be grouped with wildflowers of differing heights to create an attractive, textured flower garden. It is important to note that this type of plant does not tolerate foot traffic. If the flower garden is a walk-through type, gardeners may want to include a path through the garden so that the plants do not get trampled. Planting container gardens with ajania and other types of flowers can make an eye-catching front porch display. No matter what type of garden in which one grows ajania, the plants will need to be divided in the spring every one or two years to keep the plants healthy and thriving.