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2001 Paul Barlow

Chrysanthemum lifecycle

The following series of black and white drawings and photos show the various stages
in the development of a chrysanthemum flower.

The stool is the root system of the plant after the flowering stems have been removed and the foot stalk reduced in height to about four inches. The picture (right) shows new growth emerging from the root system and from the old stem.

These new growths are removed from the stool and used as propagating material for the creation of new plants.




stool.jpg (18534 bytes)
Cuttings are the new growths described above. After taking the cuttings off the stool they are trimmed to about 2 inches in length and placed in trays of rooting compost on a propagator. After a period of approximately three weeks each cutting will have developed it's own root system and can then be potted into individual pots.


cuttingsbw.jpg (12055 bytes)
Piching is simply the removal of the growing tip in order to help the plant to 'branch' or produce new growth from each leaf joint. The timing of this activity can be important for those of us who plan to exhibit our blooms in particular shows. The timing of the pinch has some influence on the date that blooms reach maturity are at their best for exhibition.

Pinching normally takes place 10-13 weeks after propagation. By this time plants will be well established in 5inch pots.



pinching.jpg (18601 bytes)
First crown
This a term uised to describe the buds that appear at the end of each lateral (flowering stem) after the plant has been pinched or allowed to for a 'natural break'.

A 'natural break' is the plant taking it's own action in order to develop laterals and eventually more blooms. The plant produces a bud that prevents any further vegetative growth in the original stem. If left on trhe plant this bud will be overtaken by the faster growing laterals and will eventually die away as the plant direct all nourishment and energy into the laterals. The  diagram (right) shows the natural break bud and three laterals, each with a first crown bud.


natbreak.jpg (28614 bytes)
This is the action of removing all buds and vegetative growth that appear below the bud that will produce the bloom. In the diagram bud 'A' is selected for flowering and all other growths 'B' are then removed from every leaf joint on the flowering stem.  



disbud.jpg (10273 bytes)
Running On
This is a variation on pinching. In this case bud 'C' will not be allowed to produce a bloom and is removed. A sidshoot 'D' is selected and will be permitted to continue in vegetative growth and will eventually form a bud. Lower sideshoots 'E' are removed in order to channel the plant's energy into the run on.



runon.jpg (10410 bytes)
Second crown
This diagram shows a plant that has been pinched once to create three flowering stems. In turn these flowering stems have also been pinched and each allowed to develop two further flowering stems giving a plant that is carrying six 'second crown' buds.
2ndcrown.jpg (30173 bytes)

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Last updated on 26 December, 2001