Perennials - plants that come up year after year - become dear friends after a season or two. And like any good friendship, they grow richer and more beautiful as years go by.

However, don't expect perennials to provide the instantaneous bursts of bushy foliage and color that annuals are famous for. One old adage says of perennials: "The first year they sleep; second year they creep: third year they leap." This means you might not get a large number of blooms right away.

In late Autumn or early winter. take the Planters out of their Wells, empty the water and let Planters drain. Then store Planters in a dark, unheated space where temperatures don't drop below 0 degrees C. Moisten the Medium about once a month to keep it from completely drying out.

How to get bushier plants and force mums to bloom
For lusher chrysanthemums, pinch back growing tips every ten days to two weeks up to the middle of the summer.

Late bloomers can be hurried along by covering them with a bushel basket from 5 pm to 8 am. This fools them into thinking that fall's shorter days have arrived. You also can use this technique to force mums into early bloom.

How to plant a chrysanthemum
You can start a new mum by dividing an older one's roots, or with stem cuttings. First, clip off a healthy stalk that measures about four to six inches long.

Insert the cutting in moist planting medium. For best results, root three to five cuttings spaced about three inches apart

in a large round planter. Pinch tips for denser plants.