At one time, all Chrysanthemum flowers were yellow. Thankfully, today, in addition to yellow, we can find mums in shades of pink, white lavender, and red, and in many shapes and sizes. Native to Asia, this perennial plant is grown as a garden ornamental and for cut flowers. The Chrysanthemum is also important commercially as the source of the insecticide, pyrethrin. These easy-to-grow perennials bloom in the fall and are cold hardy.
Grow your Chrysanthemum in a sunny area of the garden in well-drained soil. When planting, mix compost or rotted manure into the soil. The Chrysanthemum does best in temperatures between 50 to 75 degrees F.
Water the Chrysanthemum to keep the soil moist, but not soggy, with more frequent waterings during hot or dry periods. As a rule of thumb, 1 inch of water a week is sufficient.
Fertilize your Chrysanthemum every three to four weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Discontinue fertilizer applications when the flower buds are ready to open.
Protect your plant from garden pests such as aphids, earwigs, and whiteflies by keeping the planting area free from decaying organic matter. This plant is also subject to fungal rot, powdery mildew and white rust.
Pinching new growth helps to make the plant bushier and encourages new roots to grow. Start pinching back in the spring when the plant is 5 to 6 inches tall and then every two to three weeks, stopping in the middle of June. After the blooming period, cut back the Chrysanthemum plant to 1 inch and cover with mulch.