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Colour your home and garden with chrysanthemums

Not all flowers are created equal. Some don't like to be picked. Some don't flower easily or for a couple of seasons. Some require lots of ongoing maintenance. Fortunately, chrysanthemums are not like some flowers. They are easy to grow and their flowers are long-lasting.

If you like to have colour in the garden and flowers in your home, stop buying flowers and grow your own chrysanthemums. At Awapuni, we sell three varieties of chrysanthemum. Merry mix, also known as love daisy, which grows to a height of 50cm and produces single flowers in a lovely combination of tri-coloured blooms.

Our other two varieties of chrysanthemum, snowland and moonlight, will grow to a height of 20cm and are good for growing in cooler climates. Snowland produces single flowers with white petals and a striking yellow centre, and moonlight produces all over yellow single flowers.

Chrysanthemums like well-drained and dry soil with plenty of lime. This means they grow well with plants like roses, lavender, bedded irises and gypsophila as they all like the same conditions. If you're planting tomatoes in a month or two and want to add some colour around them you could try planting chrysanthemums there too as, again, tomatoes like the same growing conditions.

Chrysanthemums will grow well out in the open but they also like to be planted next to the house as the soil there typically has quite a lot of lime from the foundations of the house.

Another place these colourful flowers grow well is hanging baskets. Try planting our snowland or moonlight varieties in the middle of a basket and then strawberries around the outside. The strawberries will hang over the side for easy picking.

Order some chrysanthemum seedlings from our online store. Or pick some up next time you're at your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse.

When you've got your seedlings, dig in some compost or organic matter to the soil first. This will provide the plants with some food to keep them going. Then plant each one about 20cm apart from the next. Plant merry mix chrysanthemums a little further apart at 30cm.

Because they like it quite dry, they don't need much watering. In fact, if they're watered too much they become susceptible to getting rust. Pick off the dead heads to encourage more flower growth. And enjoy your colourful garden and home.

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