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Dendranthema (den-DRAN-theh-muh)

Common Name:  Garden mum, chrysanthemum

Light:  - Full sun to part shade

Soil:  Average to rich, well-drained

Moisture:  Average in summer, dry in winter

Blooms:  Fall

Zones:  5 - 9 for the hardy types, florist mums are often treated as annuals


Dendranthema 'Harmony'

Dendranthema 'Rhumba'

Dendranthema Description and Cultural Information

Formerly known as Chrysanthemum, the genus Chrysanthemum was separated into several unique genus in 1961. Although it has switched back and forth over the years, today the individual genus are commonly used in botanical nomenclature. The "corrected" genus for these common garden plants are:

Dendranthema - hardy garden mums
Leucanthemum - oxeye daisies, shasta daisies
Tanacetum - feverfew, painted daisies, tansy

Chrysanthemum is still commonly used for marginally hardy florist mums to differentiate from the true hardy Dendranthema

Dendranthema x grandiflora, garden mums. (12 - 24") Garden mums have medium green, 3 to 5 lobed foliage. They grow in a radiating, spreading clump with daisy-like flowers that branch out from the ends of each stem. Flowers come in a wide variety of colors, with the exception of blue, and range from single petaled with a yellow center to semi-double or fully double blooms. Most of the pot bound mums sold in the fall at garden centers, greenhouses, and even grocery stores are annuals, intended solely for adding a single season of fall color. On the other hand, there are many mums that truly are hardy, and if planted in good well-draining soil and established early enough they will grow well and have a tendency to spread rather efficiently in the garden. Zone 5 when hardy, otherwise treat as an annual or short lived perennial.

How to Grow:  Plant Dendranthema in rich, moist but well-drained soil in full sun to part sun and mulch lightly after planting. Avoid waterlogged conditions to prevent rot and keep dry in winter for the best survival rate. For compact growth and a rounded form you will want to shear them back to the ground in late spring, then pinch back the earliest buds for the largest fall flowers. However, if you let the plants go they will flower fine, just make sure you deadhead the spent blooms to extend the flowering season. Propagate by cuttings or by division. Hardy mums may need thinning every 2 to 3 years to control their spread.

Landscape uses:  Plant fall blooming mums along the border and combine them with ornamental grasses, asters, sedum, and other late blooming perennials.

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