Chrysanthemums are versatile garden flowers which are brimming with color. With hundreds of varieties available, it’s no wonder that chrysanthemums are one of the most popular flowers. Use the following rules as a guide when learning how to grow chrysanthemums.
When to Grow
Begin growing chrysanthemums in the springtime before the 1st of April. Start the seeds indoors if the temperature is abnormally high.
Chrysanthemums germinate best in temperatures ranging from 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. A heat mat may be used to maintain ideal temperature from below the seed plot. The seeds are very small and can be difficult to handle. Once 4-5 leaves are spotted on the stem, the seedlings can be carefully moved to peat pots for about a month before transplanting them into the garden.
Chrysanthemums like full sun, but can survive well in partial sunlight too. If full sun is not available, plant them in a spot which receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. Plant them far away from areas which are lit at night, as this light set offset their natural cycle and hinder blooming.
There are two main varieties of chrysanthemums: Florist mums and Hardy mums. The Florist mums are ideal for growing in mild weather and can be grown in pots. Hardy mums can better withstand harsher climates with cold winters.
Water retention in the soil should be avoided. When growing mums, use only well-draining soils. Cut holes out of the bottom of all containers. This prevents mold from forming in the soil and roots.
Plant the chrysanthemum seedlings in rows at 18 inches apart. Give each plant enough room to grow to full size without overwhelming the other flowers around it. When transplanting chrysanthemums bought from the gardening center, dig a hole and cover the exposed roots with 0.5 inches of soil and water thoroughly. Prevent shock by placing a partially transparent garden shade over the plants for several days.
Weekly watering is required for healthy chrysanthemums. It is better to water thoroughly once a week than to water lightly every day or two. Watering can be reduced in shaded areas or milder climates.
You can encourage chrysanthemums to grow large and bushy by removing most of the new growth as it appears in the spring. Once summer hits, stop removing growth to witness rapid growth of the plant. When the season is over and winter arrives, cover the chrysanthemums with a couple inches of mulch to protect them from frost as they enter hibernation.