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Chrysanthemum Care

Mum Care Sheet for Cut Flower Chrysanthemums

Step 1. Pot up and water cuttings immediately. Do not use “moisture control” potting soil. Almost any other potting soil will work. Pot up cuttings into 4” pots to establish a strong root system. 


Step 2. Water cuttings with water at first. Fertilize once acclimated. With newly rooted cuttings use ½ the recommended strength fertilizer until established. Mums are heavy feeders and we recommend feeding weekly. A well balanced fertilizer is best. We use a liquid fertilizer as a foliar spray or soil trench. For organic fertilizer we use a 2.5-2.5-1 on our cuttings.


Step 3. Planting mums. Plant mums in pots or in the ground. Grow in pots if you don’t have a protected growing structure. We prefer a 3 gallon size or bigger for pots. I recommend adding fertilizer to your growing bed or pot. Mums need regular feeding. It is recommended to space mums 12” apart. We tend to space closer for cut flower production.


Step 4. Fertilizer. Mums are heavy feeders. In the early season we focus on the “roots” and a higher phosphorus fertilizer 10-18-8. In mid season (May-August) we focus on the “plant” and use a fertilizer higher in nitrogen and potassium 15-8-15. September-November we focus on the “bloom” and use a fertilizer higher in potassium 4-10-20.


Step 5. Propagation. You can start taking cuttings once plants are 6 inches tall and you can leave behind 3 sets of leaves. 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. We recommend a plant tray with a humidity dome on a 70 degree heat mat out of direct sunlight. You do not have to use a heat mat but rooting will take longer. Make sure to mist your cuttings since they don’t have roots yet. Check moisture levels of your cuttings daily. Mums usually take at least 2 weeks & often longer to establish roots.


Step 6. Pinching plants. 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 for later bloomers, June for September bloomers. We cut our plants down to 9” from the ground at the end of June. Do not pinch or take cuttings after those dates or you risk getting no blooms. 


Step 7. 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 8. 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 9. 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 it starts freezing. Plants will not be damaged by frost but it will ruin petals once plants start to bloom. Mums bloom according to daylight hours when days become shorter.

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