Types of Chrysanthemums

Anemone – Anemone mums display a raised center surrounded by shorter, darker petals that contrast with the radiating daisy-like petals. They aren’t always offered at garden centers, but are often available at specialty nurseries. Examples include Mansetta Sunset and Daybreak.

Cushion – Chrysanthemum varieties include hardy cushion mums, which are bushy, low-growing plants that produce masses of mid-sized blooms. Examples include Chiffon, Valour and Ruby Mound.

Decorative – This type consists of short plants and big, showy blooms with several rows of full, curved petals. Examples include Tobago and Indian Summer.

Pompom – Of all the different types of mums, pompom mums are among the smallest, and the cutest. Pompom mums produce several colorful little globe-like blooms per stem. The tiniest pompom mums are called button mums. Examples include Moonbeam and Pixie. Button mums include Small Wonder and Baby Tears.

Single – Single chrysanthemums, one of the most common varieties of mums, are distinguished by a flat center and up to five radiating rows of long, daisy-like petals. The leaves, which are lobed or toothed, have a distinct aroma when crushed. Examples include Amber Morning, Daisy and Tenderness.

Spider – Appropriately named for their long, curling petals that look like spiders sitting on top of stems, spider mums are one of the more unusual chrysanthemum plant types. Examples include Anastasia and Cremon.

Spoon – As the name suggests, spoon mums are easy to spot by the long, spoon-like petals that radiate from the center. Examples include Starlet and Happy Face.

Quill – Quill mums display long, straight, tube-shaped petals. This type requires a bit of extra care and may not survive cold temperatures. It is often grown as an annual. Examples include Matchsticks and Muted Sunshine.


It is impossible to have a healthy and sound society without a proper respect for the soil. – Peter Maurin

Scale 2

Many gardeners prefer to use homemade control of plant scale. Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective alternative to conventional insecticides. You can use bleach-free dishwashing liquid (1  1/2 teaspoons per quart of water) in place of commercial insecticide soaps. Homemade control of plant scale can also be achieved with oil spray. Mix 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and 2 tablespoons of baby shampoo in 1 gallon of water. This can also be mixed with 1 cup of alcohol to help penetrate the insect’s shell.

If a fungus is also present, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Shake well before and during application. Spray every five to seven days as needed, covering both sides of the foliage. Wash the leaves individually with the soap/oil mixture and rinse well.

Anytime you use a home mix, you should always test it out on a small portion of the plant first to make sure that it will not harm the plant. Do not spray on hairy or waxy-leaved plants. Also, avoid using any bleach-based soaps or detergents on plants since this can be harmful to them. In addition, it is important that a home mixture never be applied to any plant on a hot or brightly sunny day, as this will quickly lead to burning of the plant and its ultimate demise.


The armored and soft scale bug is the most destructive. Armored scales are more difficult to control once mature. Soft scale bugs excrete large amounts of honeydew, which enables the growth of sooty mold, a black-colored fungus that interferes with photosynthesis. Mealybugs are easier to control. Scales cannot fly; therefore, dispersal depends on the movement of crawlers. Crawlers may be detected by placing double-sticky tape on plant branches.

Scale-damaged plants look withered and sickly. Leaves turn yellow and may drop from the plant. They may also have sticky sap or a black fungus on the leaves and stems. Heavily infested plants produce little new growth. If scale insects are not controlled, death of infested plants is possible. Scale insects are invasive and will infest other plants so move infested plants away from healthy ones.

Several well-known remedies can be used to eliminate scales from a houseplant. However, there is no easy cure for a scale bug infestation. One possibility is to pick off or gently scrub them loose from the leaves and stems. Dabbing each scale with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab is another possibility for lightly infested plants.

There are also numerous chemical products available for the control of scale bugs. Insecticide sprays, like neem oil, are available at garden centers. Spray applications should be timed to coincide with the crawler stage, which is most susceptible to insecticides. Insecticides must be applied thoroughly each week for a month or more for the greatest results.

For heavy infestations, it is sometimes best to throw away infested plants.



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Beetnik Martini


  • 6 medium red beets (about 2½ lb.), scrubbed, trimmed
  • 1 750-ml bottle vodka
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
  • 3 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 12 slices lemon slices


Cook beets in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, 1–1¼ hours. Drain; let cool slightly. Peel and slice. Combine warm beets and vodka in a large 1½-qt. jar (save vodka bottle to store finished product). Cover; chill for at least 5 days and up to 1 week. Strain into a medium bowl; discard beets. Pour beet vodka back into reserved bottle. Cover and chill.

Bring sugar, ginger, and ¾ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Strain ginger syrup into a medium jar; discard ginger. Cover and chill. Beet vodka and ginger syrup can be made 1 month ahead. Keep chilled separately.

For each cocktail, combine 2 oz. beet vodka, ½ oz. ginger syrup, ¼ oz. lemon juice, and ¼ oz. lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until cocktail shaker is very cold. Strain drink into a coupe or Martini glass. Float a lemon slice on top. This recipes offers 12 servings.

Beet Sugar

The beets are harvested in the autumn and early winter by digging them out of the ground. They are usually transported to the factory by large trucks because the transport distances involved are greater than in the cane industry. This is a direct result of sugar beet being a rotational crop which requires nearly 4 times the land area of the equivalent cane crop which is grown in mono-culture. Because the beets have come from the ground they are much dirtier than sugar cane and have to be thoroughly washed and separated from any remaining beet leaves, stones and other trash material before processing.

The sugar processing starts by slicing the beets into thin chips. This process increases the surface area of the beet to make it easier to extract the sugar. The extraction takes place in a diffuser where the beet is kept in contact with hot water for about an hour. Diffusion is the process by which the color and flavor of tea comes out of the tea leaves in a teapot but a typical diffuser weighs several hundred tons when full of beet and extraction water. The diffuser is a large horizontal or vertical agitated tank in which the beets slices slowly work their way from one end to the other and the water is moved in the opposite direction. This is called counter-current flow and as the water goes it becomes a stronger and stronger sugar solution usually called juice. Of course it also collects a lot of other chemicals from the flesh of the sugar beet.

The exhausted beet slices from the diffuser are still very wet and the water in them still holds some useful sugar. They are therefore pressed in screw presses to squeeze as much juice as possible out of them. This juice is used as part of the water in the diffuser and the pressed beet, by now a pulp, is sent to drying plant where it is turned into pellets which form an important constituent of some animal feeds.      Sorry, no Picture Yet

The juice must now be cleaned up before it can be used for sugar production. This is done by a process known as carbonatation where small clumps of chalk are grown in the juice. The clumps, as they form, collect a lot of the non-sugars so that by filtering out the chalk one also takes out the non-sugars. Once this is done the sugar liquor is ready for sugar production except that it is very dilute.

The next stage of the process is therefore to evaporate the juice in a multi-stage evaporator. This technique is used because it is an efficient way of using steam and it also creates another, lower grade steam which can be used to drive the crystallisation process.

The final stage, the syrup is placed into a very large pan, typically holding 60 tons or more of sugar syrup. In the pan even more water is boiled off until conditions are right for sugar crystals to grow. You may have done something like this at school but probably not with sugar because it is difficult to get the crystals to grow well. In the factory the workers usually have to add some sugar dust to initiate crystal formation. Once the crystals have grown the resulting mixture of crystals and mother liquor is spun in centrifuges to separate the two, rather like washing is spin dried. The crystals are then given a final dry with hot air before being packed and/or stored ready for delivery.