The Q&A Archives: Care of Chrysanthemums & Hyacinths

Question: What is the recommended way of treating and caring for Chrysanthemums and Hyacinths? (Phila suburban area)

Answer: Chrysanthemums do well in a rich, moist yet well drained soil in full sun. To produce nice bushy plants with lots of blooms they should be pinched back regularly until July when they should be allowed to set buds which will eventually open in the fall. Note that some varieties of mums are reliably hardy and some are not. Overwintered mums often require division each spring so that the old center can be discarded and the newer more vigorous outer edges of the plant can be replanted and grown on. This is also a good way to increase the number of plants in your garden. These plants will appreciate an annual topdressing of compost, a few inches of organic mulch year round (around but not touching the crown) and an early spring application of a balanced granular fetilizer according to the label instructions.

Hyacinths are hardy bulbs and are planted in the fall for bloom the following spring. After blooming, the foliage should be left to grow and eventually wither naturally so that the bulb may replenish itself in order to bloom again the next year. There are different varieties of hyacinths, but the smaller grape hyacinths are reliably perennial and will often increase over the years without special care.

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