Gardening doesn’t have to stop at the back door, you can bring a little pet from Nature indoors with you to enjoy throughout these wet, cold winter months.
“Pet” flowers in pots are great for people without room for a garden outside or perhaps without time or health to create one.
Or maybe you are the type that just loves flowers so much that you’d like to be able to cuddle them inside as well as out in the garden.
Probably the best value for potted colour right now would be the chrysanthemum. They are so hardy and easy to grow!
Late autumn is their natural flowering time so there is an excellent selection of them on the market at really affordable prices right now.
When buying your own “pet” chrysanthemum, its always tempting to buy one with lots of big blooms but its best to buy one with lots of big buds that will open over successive weeks.
Pet chrysanthemums really love a sunny, moderately cool window but avoid scalding sunshine that could burn flowers and foliage.
They will also reward you if placed under strong artificial lighting like that found in a modern
office, but in this case keep your pet on the dry side.
Chrysanthemums really resent wet feet at the best of times and if in low light they are certain to rot.
Feed them each week with a liquid food like phostrogen to keep new blooms developing.
Pick off faded blooms and cut back the flowering stem to the next major bud.
By caring for your pet with continual feeding and cutting back they will reward you with flowers for many weeks if not months.
Once flowering has finished they can be returned to the wild, well actually any sunny, well-draining garden border close to home will suit them fine.
They will reward all your love and devotion by blooming for you again about this time next year.
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