Chrysanthemums Info and Care

Chrysanthemums Info and Care

Chrysanthemums are plants with vividly colored flowers that are a symbol of autumn. They are among the most popular flowers globally, commonly decorating our homes in pots, backyards, or vases as cut flowers when many other plants have long withered away.

Chrysanthemums are perennials belonging to the Asteraceae family. Their name comes from Greek and means golden (chryosos) flower (anthemon) since the first known chrysanthemums were exclusively yellow. In English, the common name for the plant is garden mums or mums.

Chrysanthemums Care - Mums

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Chrysanthemums Symbolism

What is interesting about chrysanthemums is that they symbolize different things from country to country. In its native land, China, mums represent joy, peace, and vitality, while in some European countries such as Belgium and France, they symbolize regret, death, and transience. In Japan, where Buddhist monks brought them, the meaning of these prolifically blooming plants is power, eternal life, and perfection. In Australia, they are traditionally used as a gift for Mother’s Day.

Chrysanthemum Plant Profile

Chrysanthemum leaves are ovate or lanceolate, deeply incised. The upright stem bears a flower that is an inflorescence composed of tiny flowers surrounded by petals. The formation of the flower bud begins when the day becomes shorter and the night longer than 13 hours.

Flower heads of different shapes, colors, and sizes make chrysanthemums so charming. They can have various shades of white, yellow, red, pink, orange, dark red, and bronze, and there are even varieties with multicolored flowers.

Although the versatile plants grow several forms of flowers, species with sphere-shaped heads are most famous, and for many, they are synonymous with chrysanthemums.

Planting in Garden

The best time for planting young Chrysanthemums is spring. Here is the procedure: 

  • Dig a hole one inch wider and deeper than the volume of the rootball,
  • Place the plant so that the roots are not compacted or bent.
  • Bury the rootball and squeeze the ground with jour hands.
  • Water the plant to expel the air around the bases and allow better contact between the soil and the root veins.
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  • Brachycome iberidifolia, also known as Swan River Daisy reaches a height of 8 - 10 inches with blue, pink, purple, yellow and white blooms from early summer until fall.
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First Winter

Chrysanthemums are primarily sold in the autumn as that is the time when they flower. However, a widespread mistake of first-time mum growers is to plant them at the end of the season or while they are still in the flowering stage. 

Chrysanthemums grown in this way will not survive the first winter because, during this phase, they don’t direct energy to the roots, which is essential for maintaining the plant over the winter, but to the flower.

 To prevent this from happening, bring them to a cool and dark place after they have bloomed. The leaves and flowers will dry up and fade, but the root will not suffer much damage, which will allow you to plant them outside in the spring after the last frost has passed.

Watering

Garden mums are thirsty plants and grow poorly in dry soil. Therefore, properly wet soil is essential in the early stages of growth since the lack of moisture reduces branching and the overall development of the plant.

Later on, when the plant strengthens and develops, it can withstand a short period of drought because a well-developed root can draw moisture from deeper parts of the surrounding soil. 

For that reason, do not go overboard with watering – too soggy soil will cause root rot and yellowing of leaves!

Soil

Whether growing in a pot or garden, chrysanthemums prefer well-drained, loose soil rich in organic material. 

Heavy, compacted clay soils prevent root development resulting in poorly developed plants and sparse flowering. Therefore, if your garden soil is not of good quality, enrich it with compost, worm castings, or manure before planting. 

Light

Although they can tolerate places with partial shade, chrysanthemums prefer well-lit positions. Therefore, if you want to achieve a radiant, bushy appearance for which chrysanthemums are most famous, it is best to provide them with five to six hours of direct sunlight.

Fertilizer

If you grow chrysanthemums in well-prepared garden soil with plenty of organic material, you do not have to fertilize the plants. 

However, suppose you grow chrysanthemums in a pot. In that case, you can apply additional supplementation with a balanced liquid fertilizer ( NPK 15:15:15) or one with increased phosphorus content ( NPK 10:15:10), which stimulates the formation of buds.

Propagation

Here is how you can effortlessly propagate your favorite Chrysanthemums:

  •  First, take cuttings two to three inches long from the parent plants from April to late June.
  •  Remove the lower leaves and plant the cuttings in a mixture of peat, sand, and perlite to provide favorable conditions for root development.
  • Thoroughly water and cover them with plastic wrap, ensuring good air humidity and faster rooting. 
  • Finally, during the summer, protect the young plants from the intense sun.

Under ideal conditions, the cuttings will take root in 15 to 20 days, after which you could transplant the young plants to flower beds in a protected area or outdoors.

Another propagation method is by sowing seeds in the spring directly on the flower bed in the second half of April or in March in a heated area.

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