How To Grow And Care For Chrysanthmums

How to grow and care for chrysanthemums in the garden.

Chrysanthemums are a popular addition to the perennial garden. They range in height from one foot to three and a half foot tall. They come in a brilliant array of colors including, red, pink, orange, purple, yellow and white. The genus chrysanthemum includes garden mums, Shasta daisies and painted daisies.

Garden mums are extremely popular in the fall. They bloom abundantly for many weeks. When cut the flowers can last for up to two weeks in a vase. Garden mums have a pleasant fragrance that is not overbearing.

Shasta daisies bear a resemblance to the common white wildflower daisy. They are white with a yellow center. Shasta daisies come single or double flowered. They have strong stems that don't require staking.

Painted daisies also known as pyrethrum daisies, have feathery looking foliage. They also come single or double flowered in various shades of red., pink, lavender and white. They are the most able to withstand poor soil conditions.

Chrysanthemum seeds can be sown directly into the garden in early to mid summer. Make sure they are in a protected area where they will receive plenty of sunshine. Loosen the soil with a rake or hoe and sprinkle the seeds on top. Lightly cover the seeds with approximately 1/8 of an inch of soil. Be sure to keep the area moist until the seeds germinate.

Once the plants are two or three inches tall, thin them to one plant per twelve inches of space. Water only when they appear dry. The young plants can be transplanted to their permanent spots in early fall or the following spring.

You can also purchase young plants from your local gardening center. They are best purchased in the spring. Be wary of the chrysanthemums sold in the fall that are in full bloom as they may not be of a hardy variety.

Place the purchased chrysanthemum plant into a hole no deeper then it was already growing in the pot. Leave about twelve inches between plants. Water newly planted mums thoroughly until they take root. Afterwards weekly watering should be sufficient unless there is a drought.

All types of the chrysanthemums like rich, well-drained soil and full sun. Shasta daisies can tolerate a light shade. Chrysanthemums should be divided every two or three years to insure bushy, healthy plants. To divide, simply dig them up leaving space around the roots and split the plant into two. Replant both halves separately, making sure to keep them both growing at the same depth as the original one.

In early spring you need to cut back any remaining stems from the previous year. Add a light dose of organic fertilizer and mulch around the plant. To encourage late blooming flowers and compact growth of your chrysanthemums, you will also need to trim the plants twice during the growing season. The first time should be around Mother's day and the second time should be around the fourth of July. Take the plant down two or three inches each time.

Followers of Feng Shui believe that having chrysanthemums around will bring laughter and happiness to your home.

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