Chrysanthemums (mums) are a popular flower choice for flower arrangements because they are colourful and stay fresh a long time after cutting. Growing chrysanthemums at home is a simple process since these flowers are very hardy. In fact, they are considered one of the easiest perennials to grow.
There are two ways to plant chrysanthemums, from seed or from starter plants. No matter where the chrysanthemums come from, they should be planted in an area that gets full sun for the best results. Seeds and plants should also be planted in the spring, right after the last frost.
Starting mum seeds is simple.
1. Fill small seed pots or an empty egg carton with soil.
2. Lightly press one seed into each pot or egg slot.
3. Spray water onto the soil until it is slightly moist.
4. Cover the pots or egg carton with plastic wrap or seal them inside plastic baggies.
5. Place the seeds in a dark, cool area until the seedlings push through the soil.
6. Remove the seedlings from the plastic.
7. Plant each seedling in the garden area 45 to 75 cm apart.
8. Add granular fertiliser to the soil while you bury the roots.
Starter plants are much simpler than planting seeds and the garden will have instant colour.
1. Cut the pot away from the dirt and roots.
2. Gently loosen the roots at the bottom of the dirt, but make sure not to remove all of the dirt from the root ball to reduce the chances of the plant going into shock.
3. Plant each plant 45 to 75 cm in holes that are deep enough to just cover the roots.
4. Add granular fertiliser to the soil while you bury the roots.
5. Water lightly.
Feeding and Watering
After the initial feeding, mums don't need much fertiliser. Gardeners should them once or twice during the summer with water soluble fertiliser. Mums don't need a lot of water, so care should be taken not to over water. They only need 2-3 cm of water once every week.
Once the plants are 15 cm tall, they will need pruning. Pruning will force the plant to produce more blooms and will make the plant grow more foliage. To prune, gardeners should pinch about 2 cm from the branches, and then prune it again when the plant is 30 cm tall.
Every three to five years during the spring, chrysanthemums should be divided. Dividing is done to separate plants that are crowded and will also make plants produce more blooms.
To divide a group of mums, gardeners should first water the ground around the mums so that the soil will be easier to dig and then insert a pointed shovel underneath a group of mums all the way to the handle. After pressing down on the handle, the clump of mums will pop out of the ground. Multiple plants will be seen growing from the clump presenting multiple stems. These plants can be separated using a spade. After removing any dead leaves or plants, the mums can be replanted 45 to 75 cm apart.