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Growing Tips

Best Planting Time / Soil Preparation / Planting / Cutting Back / Pinching

Lateral Removal / Disbudding / Fertilizers / Insects and Disease / Winter Care / Cascade Culture

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Can I Grow All of These Mums in My Area?

All of our large, exhibition style varieties are as easy to grow as any ordinaryWindDancer - Spider chrysanthemum. They can be grown in ANY area if suitable protection from freezing can be provided.

Chrysanthemums are sun lovers, and can be grown in pots or in the ground, in a location which receives at least a half a day of sun.

In colder areas where the bloom season may be shortened by cold weather, potted mums should be moved to a protected area. In cold locations, chrysanthemums growing in the ground can be potted up in September and moved into a sheltered area. They suffer little setback with this procedure, and you can have beautiful blooms through Thanksgiving!

If you live in a hard freeze zone, choose varieties with earlier bloom dates. The Norton Vick - Intermediate Incurvebloom date for each variety is listed along with the description. The earliest bloomers are from September to mid October and include the Garden Cushion mums as well as some early blooming taller types, in the various classes. The bloom dates provided are based on central California, and can vary as much as two weeks depending on latitude and temperature. For instance, blooms will flower earlier in the northern latitudes and later in the South. Also, cool fall temperatures will hasten blooms, while prolonged heat will delay the bloom.

With just a few provisions, our customers have enjoyed beautiful fall chrysanthemums in climates as diverse as Arizona and Michigan!


Growing Instructions

Best Planting Time: The largest flowered types should be planted as soon as weather and soil conditions permit.   Small flowered types can be planted as late as July.  Top

Soil Preparation: Chrysanthemums will grow in almost any soil type.  But, the addition of humis materials such as manure, compost, leaf mold, or peat moss is very beneficial.  Superphosphate at the rate of 3 lbs. per 100 square feet isFleur De Lis - Spider recommended.  Gypsum or Dolomite lime is also recommended at a rate of 10 lbs. per 100 square ft. Top

Planting: Shallow planting, no deeper that the plant was in its rooting mixture.  Initial planting should be into small pots until established and growing well.  Space 15 inches apart in all directions. Good drainage is most important. Top

Cutting Back: If your plants are more than 10" tall on July 1st, we recommend cutting back to 4" or 6", leaving some good green foliage or growth below the cut.  The result will be shorter plants and better foliage at bloom time.  On large flowered cultivars, select the most vigorous growth that results after the cut and make no further stops or pinches. Top

Pinching: When growth resumes after cutting back, removal of the very tip growing portion of the stem will promote more branching and flowers, and in some cases help determine bloom date.  Large flowered types should not be Obsession - Decorativepinched after July 5th.  Small flowered types can be pinched up to Aug. 5th. An earlier pinch date will be necessary for September blooming types. Top

Lateral Removal: Large flowered types will onlyachieve their full potential of size and form if growth is restricted to several stems, three being an average.  All side laterals or branches must be removed as they occur.  Remove them when they are short and soft so they do not rob the stem and developing buds of potential growth. Top

Disbudding: Large flowered types will only reach their maximum size if flower buds are restricted one to a stem. For best results, remove all but the largest center bud in a terminal bud cluster when bud clusters are still very small.  Terminal bud clusters will contain from 3 to as many as 5 buds. Crown budsEquinox - Spider which are the first to occur and are born singly, produce the earliest blooms. Top

Fertilizers: The regular use of a high Nitrogen and Potassium fertilizer will greatly increase flower size and numbers,   We recommend incorporating a slow re-lease fertilizer such as Osmocote 14-14-14 at planting time plus a weekly feeding of a high analysis liquid fertilizer such as Rapid Grow, after August 1st and until flower buds show color.  Change to a 10-10-10 fertilizer, or no fertilizer, after this date. Top

Insects and Disease: Careful monitoring of your insect population is Redwing - Spoonimportant. Don't let development spread from a few plants.  Spot treatment of individual plants, particularly in the case of aphids, can often prevent spread to a general infestation.  Lack of thoroughness in treating the underside of leaves is usually the reason for rapid reinfestation.   Don't use the same type of insecticide more than three successive times or insects may become resistant.  Soap and light oil spray are quite effective, but the target insect or mite must be contacted to be effective.  Don't use soap sprays on blooms. Top

Alexis - Intermediate Incurve Winter Care: Chrysanthemums on the whole are not entirely winter hardy in areas of hard freeze.  In cold winter areas, dig up plants, prune back, and store in a protective area such as a cold frame, basement, or any area where they can be protected from freezing.  If left in the ground, mulch heavily with straw, decomposed manure or similar materials.  In warmer areas, don't be hasty to cut back old stems until signs of new growth begin at base of plant. Top

Chrysanthemum Cascade Culture

New Cascade Mum

No, chrysanthemums do not naturally grow in the cascade style. They will require your devoted attention through a rather long growing season. However, the thrill and joy of a splash of jubilant color tumbling over a patio wall or cascading down the edge of the front steps, will more than repay you for all your efforts. The cascade cultivars differ from most chrysanthemums in possessing rapid growth response and limber stems which are free branching with a multitude of small blooms. Blooms are typically single daisy or anemone types, although there are spooned and decorative types also.

Some of the recommended cascade cultivars are: the Daphne's (white, pink or yellow daisy's), Gum Drop (white and yellow anemone), Biko (violet purple anemone), Kurume (deep red anemone), Maiko (rose-lavender anemone), Megumi (yellow anemone), Red Burst (red and bronze anemone), Seizan (yellow anemone), and Sozan (rosy purple anemone).

Most any light well draining potting mix can be used. Be sure the potting mix drains readily, as one which holds too much water can be a source of problems. If you prefer to mix your own, combine 2 parts fibrous loam, 2 parts leaf mold or aged fine fir bark, 1 part rotted manure, 1 part course sand, and 1 part peat moss

Cascades must have a long growing season to achieve the necessary long cascading effect. In order to get the earliest start, many growers remove a stolen growth from the base of the mother plant (Dutch cutting). These will have enough root to get them growing immediately. Otherwise root tip cuttings as soon as new growth permits. Well rooted cuttings can be obtained from King's as early as the end of February. Pot initially to 4 inch pots and repot to a 6 inch pot after 4 to 6 weeks. Make final potting in 10 to 12 inch pots (with attached trellis) as roots fill the container. Up until the time of final re-potting, your cascade is allowed to grow naturally in the upright position with an occasional pinch to stimulate lateral branching. It's a good idea to tie this new growth to a bamboo stake. When planting to the final trellised container (see photo), plant the cascade leaning over sideways, pointing toward the trellis, so it can be immediately tied in place without bending the stem. ( NOTE: During most of the growing season, the easiest way to grow cascades is with the trellis in a FLAT (horizontal) position on a raised bench. An empty pot can be placed under the terminal end of the trellis to make it level. It is easier to train the plant over sideways than to force it straight down. Final lowering to the cascading position is delayed until buds begin to form.

Proper training and tying to a wire trellis is the most essential part of growing cascade chrysanthemums. To make the trellis, begin with a length of 12 gauge galvanized wire, approximately 7 feet long, which is bent to form an elongated U shape. Bend the ends to form hooks which will be placed down inside the bottom of the pot and prevent the trellis from working loose. The center of the wire frame should be covered with 2 inch grid wire poultry netting. This will allow the maximum area for tying down the new growth. The hooked ends of the wire trellis are inserted into the final 10 to 12 inch growing container on either side of the cascade plant. The plant is immediately tied in place on the trellis. We use paper covered 4 inch twistems for tying. The container, with trellis attached, is kept in a flat (horizontal) position on a raised bench for ease of training. An empty pot may be placed under the terminal end of the trellis to keep it level. The cascade is placed in the final hanging display location and the trellis lowered into position when buds begin to form.

All new stems, except the leading growing tips, are pinched or stopped when they have reached three or four leaves in length. Do not allow lateral growth to elongate beyond this, as a rather dense, flat appearance is more desirable. All new growth is kept tied down and this should be done at least weekly and while stems are soft and supple. If tying down has been neglected, there is a chance of breakage when tying. In this case, withhold water until the plant wilts, making the stems more supple, and then tie. As buds form, generally by mid September, pinching is stopped and your cascade is placed in the final elevated display position where the trellis can be slowly bent downward until the desired cascading effect is reached. This may take several days. Allowing the cascade to wilt during this bending process will help prevent breaking any main stems.

The cascade chrysanthemum requires constant feeding to produce rapid growth. We use Osmocote 14-14-14 with each re-potting plus a liquid feed of a high nitrogen and potassium content such as a 20-5-20. This is applied at least weekly. Continue feeding until buds show color then 0-10-10 for the remainder of the season. Watering is very demanding, especially as your cascade matures. It may be necessary to water as often as twice a day during warm summer whether. As wilt occurs, don't neglect the watering as leaf scorch and poor growth are the result. Top dressing the soil with peat moss will help conserve moisture. Do not feed or spray insecticide when plants are in a wilted condition. A fine spray of clear water is O.K. and revives wilted plants.

Aphids will be the main problem. Establish a regular schedule of once a week spraying or dusting with a general purpose spray or rose dust until buds show color. After this time dust lightly only, or flower injury may occur. If insecticide resistance is encountered, change to an entirely different unrelated chemical or insecticidal compound.

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