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Do You Know This Flower?

Do You Know this Flower?

The Answer: Yellow Mums Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums come in a wide variety of colors, including white, off-white, yellow, gold, bronze, red, burgundy, pink, lavender and purple. Mum plants can grow to be 2-3 feet high, depending on the cultivar and growing conditions. Chrysanthemums also come in many flower forms; that is, chrysanthemums are often grouped by the shape and arrangement of their petals. The most popular flower form is the "decorative," which is so packed with long, broad petals that you can hardly see its center.

Plant chrysanthemum flowers in full sun and well-drained soil, enriched by compost. Chrysanthemums are "photoperiodic"; i.e., they bloom in response to the shorter days and longer nights experienced (in the Northern Hemisphere) in fall. Therefore, do not plant chrysanthemum flowers near street lights or night lights: the artificial lighting may wreak havoc with the chrysanthemums' cycle. Also, don't overcrowd chrysanthemums: good air circulation reduces the chance of disease.

By every 3rd spring, divide chrysanthemums to rejuvenate them. Fertilize chrysanthemums once per month through July (any growth after that is too late to harden off for winter). Chrysanthemums profit from winter protection. Mulch them and create a microclimate to shelter them from winter winds. If you can't plant them on the south side of your house, build a modified version of the shrub shelters used for winter protection. Don't prune in fall: existing branches offer the roots protection.

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"What is a weed? I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions. For me, a weed is a plant out of place."

Donald Culross Peattie



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