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Chrysanthemums

Growing Chrysanthemums

In the world of floral elegance, few blooms can rival the versatility of chrysanthemums  with their remarkable vase life and their enchanting ability to bloom right in to mid winter.   Imagine a garden adorned with an array of chrysanthemum blooms, each petal unfurling like a delicate work of art. These captivating flowers come in a kaleidoscope of colors, from fiery oranges to soft pastels, offering endless possibilities for floral arrangements that enchant the senses, and as the days grow shorter and the air turns crisp, chrysanthemums emerge as beacons of beauty, defying the onset of winter with their late-blooming splendor. I have been cutting them protected from the rain in the greenhouse the week before Christmas ! 

 

Heirloom Mums
Crysanthemim bigoudi red
Growing Chrysanthemums
Growing Chrysanthemum cuttings

Variety Selection

Choose chrysanthemum varieties specifically bred for cut flower production. Look for types with long stems and sturdy blooms suitable for arrangements. Some particular beautiful varieties for florists  are the ones from Chinese & Japanese breeders which are fantastic in the late season .  Some of my favourites are the Allouise and Avignon types which come in beautiful salmon and pink shades. 

Site Selection

Plant chrysanthemums in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Adequate sunlight is crucial for flower development.

Soil Preparation

Ensure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Incorporate compost or aged manure into the soil before planting to provide nutrients for healthy growth.

​​Watering

Keep the soil evenly moist, especially during dry periods. Avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases.

Fertilization

Apply a balanced fertilizer regularly according to package instructions to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering.

Pinching Out

Chrysanthemums will grow taller and taller until the terminal bud is formed at the tip so to give more blooms pinch back the growing tips of young chrysanthemum plants when they reach 6-8 inches tall to encourage branching and more flower buds. It also prevents them from becoming too tall and leggy.  Pinchings can be use to propagate more plants. see below.....  

Disbudding

To produce large flowers it is essential that each flower stem  is disbudded by removing all buds and side-shoots, just leaving the terminal (top) bud. Remove side-shoots when they are about 2cms (¾") long. To produce a spray, do the opposite, remove the terminal bud and leave all the side buds.

Support

Provide support for chrysanthemum stems to prevent them from bending or breaking under the weight of the flowers. 

Pest and Disease Management

Monitor plants regularly for pests and diseases. Treat any issues promptly to prevent damage to the flowers.

Harvesting

Harvest chrysanthemum flowers when they are fully open but before the petals start to droop. Cut stems in the early morning or late afternoon and immediately place them in water to prolong vase life.

Taking Chrysanthemum Cuttings 

Chrysathemum cuttings

To produce the best blooms and vigorous plants Chrysanthemums need to be renewed each year. This can be done by saving the pervious years plants either in pots or in the ground over winter in the greenhouse. In the new year, weather dependent they will start to grow and it is these "old season" plants which can be used as mother plants. Leave the shoots to grow to at least 10 cm, if longer you can take multiple cuttings. 

Growing Chrysanthemums from Cuttings

Trim off the lower leaves and leave the growing tip on as later once rooted this growing tip can also be used to take more cuttings. Dip the end into hormone rooting powder and then into your pot or cell tray with well drained damp compost. 

Taking chrysanthemum cuttings
How to grow Chrysanthemums

Trim off the lower leaves and I leave the growing tip on as later once rooted this growing tip can also be used to take more cuttings. Dip the end into hormone rooting powder and then into your pot or cell tray. They should be placed into a sheltered location in a greenhouse  or cold frame out of direct sunlight, spraying periodically with water will help to keep them well hydrated, and water as necessary to prevent from drying out and from getting waterlogged. Cuttings should root in 2-3 weeks. 

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