Chrysanthemums are highly variable members of the daisy clan, numbering more than 200 species of ornamental plants. This perennial's leaves are typically divided and aromatic. Stems are strong, and flowers are showy. Many types form dense clusters of new shoots in spring. In the South, some types bloom in spring and fall.
How to grow: Chrysanthemums prefer well-drained, evenly moist soil in full sun. The majority of chrysanthemums are late-blooming, easily grown short-day plants with flowers initiated by decreasing day length. They benefit from pinching main stems and side shoots back several times until midsummer, which promotes bushy growth before the flower buds form. They can be trained into showy forms. Professional growers often keep stems short by chemical means.
Propagation: By cuttings, by division, or from seed.
Uses: Garden mums (Chrysanthemum x koreanum, formerly Dendrathema x grandiflorum) come in a number of flower styles and colors. Mums can be purchased as rooted cuttings from nursery suppliers to be set out in spring or as pot mums in full bloom in fall.
Related species: Chrysanthemum x superbum, the Shasta daisy, produces four-inch flowers on one- to three-foot stems.
Scientific name: Chrysanthemum species
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