The information below highlights our process for growing chrysanthemums for cut flowers. For more information please visit the website of The National Chrysanthemum Society: mums.org or kingsmums.com
Mum Care Sheet for Cut Flower Chrysanthemums
Excellent online resources for exhibition growing:
Mums.org or Kingsmums.com
Step 1. Pot up your cuttings once they arrive.
When potting up cuttings, most potting soils will work except “moisture control” potting soils. Pot into 4” pots to establish a strong root system. Wait to plant once you see strong roots and then plant in the ground or in larger pots.
Step 2. Feed your mums. Mums are heavy feeders. Feed weekly. With newly rooted cuttings use ½ the recommended strength fertilizer until well established. We like using a well balanced organic liquid 4-4-1 fertilizer each week.
Step 3. Planting mums. You can plant mums in pots or in the ground. If you do not have proper frost protection I recommend planting into pots. I prefer a 3 gallon or larger size once a good root system is established. We grow for cut flower production. If you are interested in show quality blooms, please reference the websites above. We add additional fertilizer to our planting beds when planting. Use whatever fertilizer works best for you, remembering that mums need regular feeding for strong stems and big blooms. It is recommended to space mums 12-18” apart. We tend to space closer than recommended.
Step 4. Propagation. We start taking cuttings once plants are 6 inches tall and you can leave behind 3-4 sets of leaves. For cuttings, cut off the top 3” tip for rooting. Strip off most of the leaves and dip the cut end into rooting hormone. Place cutting into a pot with wet soil. Place the pot in a tray and use a humidity dome on a 70 degree heat mat out of direct sunlight, mist with water. You do not have to use a heat mat but rooting will take longer. Make sure to check moisture levels of your cuttings daily, making sure cuttings are not drying out. Mums take at least 2 weeks & often longer to establish roots.
Step 5. Pinching plants. Propagation is a way of pinching. Pinching encourages your plant to send up multiple stems. If you are not propagating your mums, make sure to pinch off the tops of your plants by July 1st. We cut our plants down to 9-12” from the ground at the end of June. Do not pinch or take cuttings after that date or you risk getting no blooms.
Step 6. Staking. Mums need strong staking to keep from toppling over. Most folks use individual stakes for each flower stock. Larger growers generally use hortonova netting over beds.
Step 7. Disbudding. If you are wanting the largest blooms you will need to disbud all side buds and leave the main “large” center bud. Not recommended for spray types.
Step 8. Protect your flowering plants from frost and freezing temperatures. If you do not have frost protection it is recommended to move your plants to a protected area once temperatures start dropping. Plants will not be damaged by frost but frost will ruin petals while in bloom. Most mums bloom when daylight is under 10 hours. Be mindful of light sources.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out via email: email@example.com