Chrysanthemum Growing Tips

Plants & Flowers
Chrysanthemum Blooming

Chrysanthemums are plants that are very easy to grow, so they are good even for beginner gardeners without much experience. These are among the easiest perennials to grow in your home.

To make them thrive, plant them early in spring after all the danger of frost has passed. However, it is important to remember that you can plant them basically any time. The only thing to keep in mind is that you need to give them enough time to establish their roots before the hot weather hits.

Ideal Chrysanthemums Growing Conditions and Tips

Chrysanthemums are not difficult to grow but it is important to provide them with certain growing conditions. This is the only way to make them thrive and produce flowers. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to grow these plants in your garden:

  • Chrysanthemums will produce the most blooms if you plant them in full sunlight. Keep this in mind when choosing the best spot in your garden to plant Chrysanthemums.
  • These plants need plenty of moisture and respond well to nutrients so this is something you need to provide.
  • There are many varieties to choose from, which gives you plenty of options. You can choose Chrysanthemums based on height, time of bloom, color, size of flowers, time of bloom and other parameters. Simply choose what you require and you will be able to find a good variety that fits your criteria.
  • Take your climate into account. With so many different varieties, it is important to choose the ones that will respond well to your climate conditions. For example, if you live in cold areas, make sure to opt for early bloomers.
  • Keep in mind that you can start these plants from seed or from cuttings and dividing. You may also purchase them at a nursery. There are many different sizes available in nurseries, from begging plants to the much larger ones.
  • Plant Chrysanthemums in a fertile, sandy soil that is well-prepared. They don't like to sit in water so make sure that the hole you dig for them is deep enough.
  • It is best to avoid planting Chrysanthemums in the same spot for more than two or three consecutive years. Avoiding this will prevent any potential pest and disease problems that you may otherwise encounter.
  • When planting, make sure to leave at least 18 to 30 inches space between individual plants. This will give them enough space to grow properly.
  • To make your plants thrive, feed them lightly every 2 weeks using a well-balanced, all purpose fertilizer.
  • Once the Chrysanthemums are about 6 inches tall, gently pinch about 3/4 of an inch from each branch. This will promote it to grow more blooms and it will result in a bushier plant. When the plant reaches one foot in height, pinch it again.
  • Keep in mind that you need to move your Chrysanthemums to a new location every 2 or 3 years to prevent pest and disease problems. If this is not possible due to the lack of space or another issue, make sure to sterilize the soil chemically. This will reduce the risk of potential problems.

Dividing and Transplanting Chrysanthemums

It is best to divide your Chrysanthemums every 3 to 5 years. This will prevent overcrowding and it will make the plant bloom more. It is best to divide them in spring, right after the new growth appears.

To divide, simply dig entire clumps and carefully separate the plants with a clean, sharp knife. You may also use a spade. While doing this, don't forget to remove all of the dead and diseased plant parts.

Replant divisions straight away in a well-drained, loose soil rich in organic content. These divisions tend to grow very fast and will often e healthier and stronger than the old clumps. When the new shoots appear and are 1 to 3 inches tall in early spring, dig up the old clumps and pull them apart carefully. See which parts are healthy and separate them from the rest. Plant these divisions in a newly prepared, fertile soil. Discard the rest.

Propagating Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are not difficult to propagate but you will not always have the same luck doing this. To propagate, simply remove the lower part of the leaves from a healthy and fresh cutting that is at least 4 to 6 inches long. To remove the leaves, use a sharp and clean knife.

Dip the cut end about 3/4 of an inch into a rooting hormone. After this, insert the cutting about one inch deep into a sterile moist sand, sphagnum moss or vermiculite. Place a poly film over a wire frame to cover the cuttings and create a mini greenhouse. It should be kept in a bright spot but not in full sun until the roots form.

You may also start Chrysanthemums from seed. The seeds should be planted in a prepared soil and leave them to grow for at least 2 months before the first frost. You may also start seeds indoors in the early spring and transplant them to your garden when it gets warmer outside.

Photo credit: Todd Petit

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