Chrysanthemum



Top Tips

  • Keep the soil evenly moist whilst in flower, using the bottom-up method of irrigation.
  • Average room humidity is more than acceptable for Chrysanthemums - do not situate it within three metres of an operating heat source.
  • Bright, indirect light is best - avoid direct sunlight and excessively dark locations for best results.
  • Supplement fortnightly using a potassium-based feed whilst in bloom, reverting back to a general plant fertiliser at monthly intervals, soon after.
  • Scroll down to the 'Dormancy Care' section to learn about annualising blooms.

∙Water - 🔸🔸🔸

Chrysanthemums mustn't endure droughts at any point during the year, especially whilst it's in bloom. Once the top third of the soil has dried out, rehydrate by using the bottom-up method to reduce the chance of fungal diseases associated with excess moisture on the foliage. Submerge the bottom fifth of the pot in a saucer of water until thorough absorption. Repeat this step weekly, especially with those grown in bright, warmer locations. Whilst the plant is in bloom, it's important not to use cold water as this will quickly shock the roots, causing multiple issues down the line. Under-watering symptoms include rapid flower loss and dry, sunken leaves; these issues are usually due to either forgetfulness, too much sunlight or too much heat. Over-watering symptoms include rotting lower leaves, yellowing leaves, a loss of buds or flowers, and root rot. Allow the majority of the soil to dry out in between waters, preventing a pool of standing water to accumulate beneath the pot.


∙Humidity - 🔸🔸

Average room humidity is more than enough to occupy a Chrysanthemum, as too high humidity and poor air circulation will result in powdery mildew. Do not mist the flowers as this will cause botrytis petal blight that can spread quickly if not dealt with accordingly.


∙Location & Light - 🔸🔸🔸

A location with little to no direct light is the ideal setting for this species. If you're worried about its location being too dark, if a newspaper can be read while having your back towards the light source, you're good to go.

In terms of the ideal room around the house, as long as the desired location is above 15ºC (59ºF) and is at least four metres away from an operating heat source, it should be accepted by the Chrysanthemum. Do not place the plant in direct sunlight as irreversible damage may occur.


∙Fertilisation - 🔸🔸

Use a fertiliser high in potassium to prolong its flowers during the festive period - an excellent example would be a Tomato Feed. Regular fertilisers, for instance, BabyBio or Miracle-Gro, will still do the job but will favour foliar growth instead. For the rest of the year, a standard fertiliser can be used to supplement the plant.




Common Issues with Chrysanthemum

Under-watering is the biggest issue when it comes to a Chrysanthemum. Typical signs of this include wilting, sunken leaves, rapid flower or bud drop and stunted growth. Not only will you have to be mindful of persistent droughts, think about which plant parts to keep dry. Its foliage must also remain dry at all times to prevent the development of diseases and blights. Chrysanthemums situated in direct sunlight or within four metres of a radiator are more likely to suffer from under-watering related issues.

Too much sunlight will lead to sun scorch, with typical signs including browning or crispy leaves, dry leaf-edges, sunken leaves or stunted growth. Although too little light will cause over-watering issues, too much sunlight will be a detriment, too. If yours has fallen short of this, reduce the amount of sunlight considerably and always be mindful of environmental shock (when too locations offer too different growing conditions). Remove some of the affected leaves and increase waters slightly. Only hydrate the plant using the bottom-up method.

As mentioned before, powdery mildew and botrytis are major threats among heavy foliage plants due to the compact nature that aids the spread of the diseases. Watering above the foliage will allow excess moisture to sit in the cubbyholes of the stem, enticing harmful bacteria to thrive. Remove the affected areas and improve the growing conditions by situating the plant in a brighter location with the use of the bottom-up method of irrigation.

Never situate a Chrysanthemum in direct sunlight or within four metres of an operating heat source, for instance a radiator or fireplace. Due to the heightened temperature, the plant will soak up far more moisture than those situated in cooler locations, increasing the chance of droughts.

Sudden flower loss can be caused by an array of different issues, including an change in location, too little hydration, too hot or cold temperatures or droughts and pests. Whilst the plant is in bloom, keep the soil evenly moist, to hydrate the thirsty work of producing flowers. Locations that are outside of the recommended temperature bracket, or have drastic fluctuations must also be kept off the cards, as Chrysanthemum can be very sensitive to the ambient warmth that they're situated in. The final issue could be to do with pests. Although it's highly unlikely that an infestation will cause a sudden change in health, have a quick inspection for vine weevils (located in the soil), spider miteaphids and thrips

A lack of flowers is caused by a insufficient dormancy period, served in the winter months. Locations that offer near-similar temperatures all year round won't allow the plant to go dormant, resulting in poor spring growth. To achieve, situate in a location that dips to around 12°C  (54°F) with fewer waters. Allow the majority of the compost to dry out and provide a humidity tray while the radiators are operating.



Dormancy Care & Annual Flowers

Trying to re-flower a Chrysanthemum isn't the easiest of tasks, but those that have a cool room without artificial light at night will be on the upper-hand. Although indoor Chrysanthemums aren't the same as the hardy species used in beds or borders, they'll both naturally flower in the warmer months of the year. Now, you're probably wondering why it's in bloom in the cooler months of the year? The answer is to do with unnatural lighting hours and fertilisers high in potassium to entice the plant to flower in time for winter. With this in mind, you may have to wait up to fifteen months for the plant to get in line again with the seasons.

Repotting isn't usually mandatory if you want it to re-bloom - in fact, this may hurt the chances. Only repot every two to three years and after the blooming has finished. To get a Chrysanthemum to reflower in the summer, think back to its previous dormancy period served in the winter. The following steps should be done at the end of autumn, when the plant starts to slow its growth.

Light

Be sure to provide a bright location with no direct sunlight. Although the sunlight won't necessarily hurt the plant, you can easily fall in the trap of under-watering, potentially weakening the plant. In order for the Chrysanthemum to fully become seasoned, avoid the use of artificial lighting during the night. 

Hydration

Reduce irrigations so that the majority of the soil becomes dry. Remember, Chrysanthemum should only be watered from the bottom-up as rotting foliage are a common issue with cooler temperatures.

Occasional Feeds

While it's bloom, use a Tomato fertiliser to provide a nourishment of potassium. During the dormancy period, only supplement once or twice to carry it through until the following spring, using a general houseplant fertiliser. 

Reduce Everything

This one is to remind you that everything needs to be reduced - especially the temperature.

Temperature

This is the most significant step - reduce the temperature down by around 5℃ compared to the summertime or place in a room that's within 12 - 15℃  (53 - 59℉). Most houseplants are quite sensitive to ambient change, so we can't empathise how vital this step is! Do not exceed the minimum temperature for tender Chrysanthemums as this could lead to plant death.


Chrysanthemums have been a popular plant since the Chinese used it as a herb in the sixteenth century.

Origins

There are over fifty species of Chrysanthemums that originated from Eastern Europe to Asia. The genus was first described back in the mid eighteenth century by Carl Linnaeus who named the species after the Greek words, chrys 'golden' and flowers Campanula comes from the Latin words for 'little bells' which refer to the shape of the flowers that are put out in summertime.


Temperature

10°C - 25°C   (50° - 78°F)
H1c - can be grown outdoors in spring and summer in a sheltered location, but is fine to remain indoors. If you decide to bring this houseplant outdoors, do not allow it to endure more than an hour of direct sunlight a day as this will burn the leaves. Regularly keep an eye out for pests, especially when retrieving the plant back indoors. 

Chrysanthemums thrive in cooler locations and will generally flower better if a good dormancy is served in winter when the temperature dips below 12°C  (54°F).


Spread

Up to 1m in height and 1m in width. The ultimate height will take between 4 - 6 years to achieve.


Pruning

Remove yellowed or dying leaves and plant debris to encourage better growth and improve the all-round appearance. Pruning must be done with clean scissors or shears to reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases; remember to make clean incisions as too much damage can shock the plant.

It's quite difficult for amateurs to shape a Chrysanthemum, as it'll take a big effort over the year to promote a globular shape. Instead, allow the flowers to fully elapse (usually in mid autumn) before pruning the foliage back 30%. 


Propagation

 Via seed or stem cuttings. To learn about the critical essentials with sowing seeds, be sure to click on this link - Seed Propagation Tips

For stem cuttings, use shoots that have a soft, bendy wooded base that haven't flowered; this propagation method can be taken in mid -spring. They should be at least 8cm in length and are found in the outer edge of the plant where the new growth takes place. Remove the lower half of the leaves and place in a well-draining potting mix - Seed & Cuttings Compost is advised. While the plantlet is still young, avoid direct sunlight and water-logging and repot as necessary, once the roots have surpassed 2cm in length. This method can be quite difficult, so be sure to take a few cuttings with differing variables to see which suits your skills the best.


Flowers

Chrysanthemum will flower between summer and autumn if grown correctly with a good dormancy served in the winter months. Each individual flower will last up to two weeks, with the overall show lasting up to six weeks. Supplement the plant using a fertiliser high in potassium to prolong its flowers - Streptocarpus or Tomato feeds are an excellent choice.


Repotting

Repot every two or three years using Houseplant compost with added perlite or grit. For matured specimens, introduce more grit to promote a stronger root ball as well as the reduction of potential root rot; click on this link for more information on how to perform the perfect transplant. Never repot whilst the plant is in bloom.


Diseases & Pests

Common diseases with Chrysanthemum are root or crown rot, powdery mildew, leaf-spot disease, botrytis petal blight and powdery mildew. Keep an eye out for spider mite, thrips, aphids & mealybugs. For more info on how to address any of these issues, hit this link.  Identifying Common Houseplant Pests & Diseases


Toxicity

Chrysanthemum are considered poisonous if consumed by pets and humans. If high quantities are eaten, it may result in vomiting, nausea and a loss of appetite.


Retail Locations

Some florists & Online Stores. Specimens are likely to be found in summer outside at most garden centres. A small selection of Chrysanthemums are sold during Christmas, but generally don't last as long as those sold earlier in the year. It's not advised to bring outdoor specimens inside as this could lead to environmental shock or the introduction of foreign pests into the home.

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