Plant Guide: Chrysanthemum

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Botanical Name: Chrysanthemum

Common Name: Mum

Description: Chrysanthemum plants are just about the easiest of all of the perennials to grow. Mums should be planted in early spring after all danger of freezing, however they can be planted almost any time, as long as they have time to establish their root system before the hottest weather.

Maintenance: Chrysanthemums grow best and produce the most flowers if they are planted in full sunshine. They respond to plenty of food and moisture. There are hundreds of varieties of Chrysanthemums, giving you a multitude of options for height, color, flower size and time of bloom. You can pick and choose to fit your wants and needs when you visit the nursery. In northern climates it is wise to purchase the earlier bloomers.

Mums can be started as seeds, from cuttings and dividing, or can be purchased at a nursery in sizes from bedding plants up to gallon size and larger plants. They should be planted into well prepared, fertile, sandy soil. Mums resent ‘wet feet’ so the hole should be dug extra deep.

Caring for Mums in the Winter: After your plants have been killed back by hard frost, cut them back to the ground and provide a light airy mulch of evergreen branches or similar material. The most dangerous hazards for Chrysanthemums in the winter are constant wetness or ice on the leaves.

Frost heaving caused by alternate freezing and thawing of the soil can also a major problem. To help with these problems and keep the plants somewhat protected and dry, you can mound the soil up around each plant, as well as creating a simple drainage ditch alongside. To help avoid the heaving try to keep the plants somewhat shaded and insulate their roots with a light airy mulch.

 

  

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