Chrysanthemum: Holiday Gift Plant

The chrysanthemum is a perennial that is native to Asia and northeastern Europe.

It is closely related to the daisy and comes in bright blooms of yellow, gold, rust, white, and lavender -- all to add beauty and warmth to your home in the fall.

They are more tolerant of dry air indoors than many other plants, but they prefer not to be near heat vents or cold air returns. This plant is very beneficial because it has air cleaning properties and is considered one of the best plants for reducing air pollution. It removes formaldehyde, benzene, and other common household pollutants.

This plant will prosper and bloom if you give it proper lighting. You should also give the plant 14 hours of darkness a day for 10 to 12 weeks to help to encourage them to bloom.

Care Tips for the Chrysanthemum

Light: Keep plant in bright light and in bright indirect sunlight when they are in bloom.

Water: Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Make sure plant pot has good drainage and always empty saucer to make sure plant is not left standing in water. This is necessary to prevent root rot.

Humidity: Moderate. This is an easy care plant; therefore, it can tolerate the dry indoor air.

Temperature: It likes around 70 degrees during the day and around 60 degrees at night. Cool temperatures help to prolong the blossoms.

Fertilizer: Feed weekly with a diluted water-soluble fertilizer. This will help buds to bloom.

Soil: This plant prefers a good quality potting soil that has good drainage. African violet soil is an excellent soil mixture for this plant.

Propagation: Take the new shoots that appear at the base of the plant after the blossoms fade. Root in moist vermiculite in a warm place.

Repotting: Pot cuttings in fast-draining potting mixture that contains lots of humus. Humus can be bought as peat moss to control the moisture. It absorbs the moisture and slowly releases it helping to retain even moisture for the plant.

Pests: Inspect plant for signs of aphids, spider mites, and white flies. Use insecticidal soap to control them.

To keep them looking their best, remove dead blooms as soon as they fade so they won't detract from the other flowers and buds just beginning to open. If the leaves begin to get a little dusty, clean the plant with a gentle shower of water.

Tip: Buy plants full of buds that are just beginning to open and Remove foil wrapping as soon as you get them so water won't accumulate and rot the roots.

› Chrysanthemum

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