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Chrysanthemums

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The classification by shape and arrangement of the petals and florets will include the following types: incurved – fully double flowerheads with incurved petals closing tightly over the crown, fully reflexed – fully double flowerheads with curved petals reflexing back to touch the stem, reflexed – fully double flowerheads with partly reflexed petals and a spiky outline, intermediate – fully double flowerheads with loosely incurving petals and a regular shape, spider – fully double flowerheads with pendent, long, fine florets with hooked or coiled tips, quill – fully double flowerheads with straight, tubular florets that open at the tips to form spoon shapes, anemone-centred – single flowerheads each with a dome-shaped disc and flat, or occasionally spoon-shaped petals, pompon – fully double, dense flowerheads bearing tubular florets with flat, rounded petals, single – flowerheads with prominent central discs and 5 rows of flat-petalled florets, spoon – single flowerheads with straight, tubular florets, petals open at the tips to form a spoon shape.

Chrysanthemum Image Chrysanthemum Image Chrysanthemum Image

If you decide to plant early-flowering chrysanthemums, you should find a fairly sunny, sheltered site, with a well-drained, slightly acid soil with a pH value of 6.5. You should prepare the soil in late autumn or early winter by adding plenty of organic matter on the site where you intend to plant early-flowering chrysanthemums in the next spring. Plant them in late spring, each plant next to a cane, with the root ball just covered with soil and then tie the stem of each plant to the cane.

For encouraging flower-bearing laterals you must ‘stop’ your chrysanthemums by pinching out the growing tips soon after planting. When the laterals are about 8 cm long reduce them to four laterals to each main stem. About one month after ‘stopping’, hoe and water in a balanced fertilizer at a rate of 70 g/sq m. Repeat this feed after one month to encourage strong growth. Remove any sideshoots that develop from the laterals as soon as possible so that all the plant’s energy is concentrated on the laterals.

Chrysanthemum Image Chrysanthemum Image Chrysanthemum Image

Water plants regularly and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer weekly or at every 10 days in the period that buds are developing. Stop fertilizing when the buds show color so the bloom do not become soft and prone to damage.

In mild climates that are frost-free you can overwinter early-flowering chrysanthemums in the ground and cut down their stems only in spring. In temperate climates they will be lifted and store. Before the first frosts, cut the stems at about 22 cm and remove all shoots. Lift the plants, wash the roots and store in stools in batches of 6 to 8 in a shallow box of loam-base potting compost. Make sure the compost is slightly moist and the stocks are not buried too deeply. Do not water them to minimize the risk of rot. Keep the containers in a frost-free cold frame for 2 month, then bring them into a greenhouse in mid-winter, water them and keep them at around 7 degrees Celsius (45 F).

You can propagate early-flowering chrysanthemums by taking cuttings 4 to 6 weeks after new shoots have appeared. Choose close-jointed shoots near the base of the stem and remove them with a knife. Trim them at about 4 cm cutting just under a leaf node, then dip the base of each cutting in a rooting hormone and insert them in standard cutting compost. Place them in a propagator with bottom heat at 10 degrees Celsius (50 F). In two to three weeks the cuttings will root and then you can move them to slightly cooler conditions for a week then plant them separately in pots filed with moist loam-based or loamless potting compost. Keep them slightly dry for few weeks in frost-free conditions and after a month transfer them to a cold frame, frost-free and well ventilated.

Late-flowering chrysanthemums are grown in containers and are brought into a warm greenhouse to flower over the frost periods. They require the same cultivation conditions like early-flowering chrysanthemums. So enjoy your chrysanthemums in the garden, in pot or into your house.

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