Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chrysanthemums


Chrysanthemums, or mums, are one of my favorite fall flowers.  They are native to Asia and northeastern Europe.  Their flowers are daisy-like in appearance, and come in a variety of colors such as red, yellow, orange, and purple.  The name itself comes from the Greek words, "chrysos," which means "gold," and "anthemon," which means "flower."

There are two basic groups of chrysanthemums:  garden hardy and exhibition.  The first can survive winters in northern latitudes, the second cannot.  Generally, garden hardy mums have smaller flowers, are shorter, and are less showy than the exhibition varieties.

Chrysanthemums have all kind of uses besides looking pretty in a garden.  In Asia, the flowers of one species are used to make tea.  The leaves are also boiled and eaten much the same way as we might boil spinach.  The flowers can be used as an insecticide, too, when pulverized and mixed with oil.  Having a pot of chrysanthemums in your house, according to the NASA Clean Air Study, can help reduce indoor air pollution.

To care for your chrysanthemums, keep them in an area where they can receive a lot of sun. Don't overwater. For hardy mums, once they turn brown from a hard frost, cut them down to ground level and cover with a light mulch, such as pine needles. In the spring, give them a fertilizer to promote blooms.

14 comments:

  1. Or ignore them and watch them die.
    I know - I need to do better with our mums this year.

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    1. Maybe you can play your music for them. They might like that. ;)

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  2. That's interesting. I had no idea you could use them to clean the air or make a tasty tea. Thanks for the tidbits, Sherry. I hope you're having a nice weekend.

    xoRobyn

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    1. Many plants have little known uses. I think it's fun to learn about them.

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  3. They are so pretty, but don't ask me to say the name.

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    1. That's why everybody calls them mums. ;)

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  4. i have some right now in a pumpkin vase

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  5. My human has been lucky and had some hardy mums. Of course, in America, you'd figure they called them "moms" :)

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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  6. I love mums but they just don't seem to like me. They look great, but then don't stay around long. I have trouble with the right amount of water, I think. But I agree - they are so pretty in the fall. I go to the Dallas Arboretum and enjoy their bounty

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    1. Texas might be a tough place to grow them.

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  7. Lovely photo and post! I love mums, such a pretty Fall flower. :)

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