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This florist’s favourite offers striking colours and various habits. It makes a welcome late summer and autumn show in borders and beds, with the added benefit of providing perfect cutting material for floral arrangements.
There are many different forms of chrysanthemum and ways of growing them. Some methods of cultivation are easy, others more complicated. For example, late chrysanthemums need to be grown under glass to bring them into flower later in the season. Likewise cut-flower production under glass uses curtains and lights to mimic the correct season to produce flowers all year round – a whole world of technical complexity in itself. Over the years the RHS has conducted numerous chrysanthemum trials, and the reports of these are available free on-line; an invaluable resource for chrysanthemum growers.
So, in order to be straightforward, this advice page covers what is known as the early chrysanthemums. As well as taller ones (often grown for cut flowers) that will need staking, many dwarf cultivars are available for use in containers and borders. These can be grown outside all year round in mild areas. On cooler sites, however, they do need to be lifted and protected from wet, cold winters.
There are several methods of propagation for chrysanthemums.
Some types of chrysanthemums, charm and cascade for example, are available as seeds. These should be sown at 15°C (59°F) and germinate within two weeks. Plants flower in the same year.
Named cultivars are best produced from divisions or basal cuttings (see below).
Old root stocks (stools) can be divided in the spring, once new growth has started. However, for stronger healthy plants, it is recommended that fresh stock is propagated each year from basal cuttings (see above) in spring from last year’s stock.
In spring as crowns come into growth, take 5-8cm (2-3in) cuttings, cutting as close as possible to the crown. Rooting and growing on should be done at 10°C (50°F).
Preparation for taking cuttings:
Here is a selection of those listed on the RHS Find a Plant.
Because of the wide variety of form available, The National Chrysanthemum Society has a classification system for chrysanthemums. Early chrysanthmums are mostly in the groups 28-29, the number is listed after the cultivar;
RHS Find a PlantAGM Plants
Here is a list of pest and diseases that commonly affect chrysanthemums.
PestsAphids and leaf miners are common pests. Leaf and bud eelworms can damage stock that has not been heat-treated. Earwigs sometimes damage blooms. Capsid bug and glasshouse red spider mite are occasional pests.
DiseaseRust diseases, especially Chrysanthemum white rust, can be very damaging and hard to control. Powdery mildew can be damaging in dry conditions. In wet weather grey moulds and other fungal rots can be severe. Several virus diseases may cause stunting and leaf markings.
Chrysanthemum trialsChrysanthemum leaf minerChrysanthemum white rustCut flowers: growing and selectionDahliaNational Chrysanthemum SocietyOverwintering tender plants; lifting or mulching
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