FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In the short time that my
pages have been published I have received many requests for information. This FAQ page
lists some of the most common questions. Of course when we are working with mother nature
we can't always guarantee the results!
NOTE: The following is based
on U.K. experience and common practices adopted by chrysanthemum
growers in the U.K. There will be different experience and different
practices in other parts of the world.
|Q: What should I do with my chrysanthemum plants when flowering has
|A: In most circumstances the plant will die
back naturally after flowering. At this point the old flowering stems can be reduced in
length. Plants should then be dug up and the roots trimmed back a bit. The old stems can
be further reduced as they dry out, eventually to about 6 inches. The old root can then be
'boxed up' in new compost, removing any remaining leaves and nipping back any early growth
from around the base of the root. Be careful not to pull the basal growth off the root.
They should then be kept in good light and frost free through the
winter with compost gently moist. In Jan/Feb time new growth should begin to emerge
from around the base of the old root and possibly on the stem itself. As these growths
appear more moisture will be required, and depending on the weather, more heat. These new
growths can be propagated to produce new plants by snapping them off when they are about
2-3 inches long. Alternatively it is possible to leave the shoots on the old plant and
re-plant everything in the spring. Plants created from newly rooted growth tend to be more
vigorous than those left on the old plant and they will almost always be a replica of the
Follow the 'Getting started' link for more information.
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|Q: When should I cut blooms for a show?
|A: Blooms are normally cut 24 to 48 hours
before the show date and kept in relatively deep water to allow the stems and petals to
charge themselves up. I normally cut my blooms on Thursday afternoon/evening for a
Saturday show. If I had a large number of blooms for a Saturday Show I would perhaps make
a start on Wednesday evening, but no sooner.
|Q: Do chrysanthemums need lots of water?
|A: Chrysanthemums are vigorous plants with
active root systems. As the plants grow during summertime the increase in number of leaves
and total leaf area mean that moisture loss through the leaves can be considerable. When
blooms are forming and petals elongate it is the moisture taken in by the roots that plays
a big part in influencing individual petal size and ultimately, overall bloom size. Of
course, cultural technique and previous treatment in terms of feeding and climate
conditions will also play a part in determining bloom size and quality.
So, the answer is yes, adequate moisture at the roots is required.
|Q: How do I propagate new plants?
|A: Chrysanthemums are usually propagated
from cuttings. These are new growths that appear on the old plant during winter and early
spring. When cuttings reach about 2-3 inches in length they can be snapped of and
propagated individually to form new plants.
'Getting Started' page has some pictures and more information on propagation.
|Q: How do I keep the blooms clean and pest free?
|A: Most growers use some form of control
against aphids, blackfly and earwigs. As blooms begin to form they present an ideal place
for such pests to hide. Because of this many growers resort to the use of paper bags that
are inflated and placed over the developing flower, thus keeping these pests at bay.
The 'Bloom Protection' page shows several methods for bagging
|Q: Do Chrysanthemums grow from seed?
|A: Yes chrysanthemums do grow from seeds
but it's likely that every plant grown from seed will be different both from the plant
next to it and from it's parents. Many new cultivars are created this way. The
surest way to get the types you want is to take cuttings as described above.
|Q: Could you explain Soilless Compost? Is it just pure peat or do I
have to add something to it?
|A: Soilless compost is any compost that
does not contain a soil component in it's makeup. It can be peat based, coir based, bark
based etc. These materials are generally deficient in nutrient so they have to be added as
fertilisers. When you buy Soilless compost from the garden centre or DIY shop it already
has the nutrients added and is ready for use. Garden centre soilless composts don't
usually have any grit or sand in the formula.
If you make it up a compost yourself the normal formula is 3 parts peat to 1 part sharp
sand/grit to which is added either a soilless potting base or fertilisers to your own
formula. There are a few formulae listed in the National Chrysanthemum Society
'Chrysanthemum Manual'. Most gardening books should give advice in this area.
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If you would like further information or
wish to comment on this publication please send your e-mail to: email@example.com
Last updated on 06 February, 2002