Chrysanthemums, commonly known as mums, are beautiful and colorful flowers that bloom in the fall, making them a popular choice for fall decorations. Growing them in pots is a great way to add color and beauty to your garden, patio, or balcony. In this blog, we'll go over the step-by-step process of how to grow chrysanthemums in pots.
Methods of propagation of chrysanthemum:
Chrysanthemums can be propagated through several methods, including seeds, stem cuttings, and division. Here's a brief overview of each:
Chrysanthemum seeds can be sown indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost or directly in the garden after the danger of frost has passed. Sow the seeds in a well-draining potting mix and keep the soil moist. Germination usually takes 10-14 days. Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted into larger pots or the garden.
2. Stem cuttings:
Take a 3-4 inch cutting from a healthy chrysanthemum plant in the spring or summer. Remove the lower leaves from the cutting and dip the cut end in the rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix and keep the soil moist. The cutting should root in 2-4 weeks and can be transplanted to a larger pot or the garden.
Divide chrysanthemum plants in the spring or fall when they become overcrowded. Dig up the plant and gently separate the roots into smaller sections, each with a few stems and leaves. Replant the sections in a well-draining potting mix or in the garden.
Light requirements of chrysanthemum:
Chrysanthemums require a lot of direct sunlight to grow properly. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day to produce healthy blooms. It is best to place them in a sunny spot that gets morning sunlight and afternoon shade, as this will help protect them from the harsh midday sun. If you live in a hot climate, it is important to provide some shade during the hottest part of the day to prevent the plants from getting scorched. In general, chrysanthemums prefer the full sun to light shade.
Growing Chrysanthemums as potted plants:
1. Choosing the Right Pot
The first step in growing chrysanthemums in pots is to choose the right pot. Chrysanthemums require well-drained soil, so it's important to select a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. The pot should also be large enough to accommodate the plant's root ball.
2. Soil Mix
Chrysanthemums require well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. You can use a mix of equal parts garden soil, sand, and peat moss or coco coir. Alternatively, you can use a commercial potting mix formulated for flowering plants.
3. Planting the Chrysanthemum
Once you have your pot and soil mix ready, it's time to plant the chrysanthemum. Fill the pot with the soil mix and create a hole in the center. Place the chrysanthemum in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the surface of the soil. Then, fill the pot with more soil mix, pressing it firmly around the base of the plant.
Water the chrysanthemum thoroughly after planting. Then, water the plant regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Chrysanthemum plants have shallow roots. Therefore they require they require regular watering. It's important not to let the soil dry out completely, as this can cause the plant to wilt and die.
Chrysanthemums are heavy feeders and require regular fertilization to thrive. You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, every two weeks during the growing season. Alternatively, you can use a slow-release fertilizer that lasts for several months.
To keep your chrysanthemum plant looking its best, it's important to prune it regularly. It also promotes healthy plant growth. Pinch off the tips of the stems, and the side shoots to encourage bushy growth and more flowers. You can also remove any dead or discolored leaves to promote healthy growth.
7. De budding
Removing flower buds in chrysanthemums, also known as de-budding, is a common practice that can help improve the quality and quantity of blooms. De-budding involves removing some of the smaller or less developed flower buds on the plant to encourage larger, more robust blooms on the remaining buds.
To remove flower buds, first, identify which buds are the strongest and healthiest. These buds will typically be larger and more developed than the others. Use a pair of scissors or your fingers to gently pinch off the smaller or weaker buds, taking care not to damage the larger ones. It's important to do this early on in the growth process, as removing buds later on can lead to stunted growth and weaker stems.
Debudding can also help improve the overall shape and appearance of the plant. By removing some of the buds, you can prevent the plant from becoming too top-heavy or lopsided. This can also help ensure that the plant has enough energy to produce large, healthy blooms throughout the growing season.
8. Protecting from Pests and Diseases
Chrysanthemums are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, including aphids, mites, and fungal diseases. To prevent these problems, you can spray the plant with a mild insecticidal soap or neem oil. It's also a good idea to remove any infected or damaged leaves and to keep the area around the plant clean and free of debris.
Dr. Vandana K.