These are propagated by cuttings, which root very easily. I would
suggest, however, dipping them first in a wash of one part Aphine to
thirty-five parts water, and then rinsing in clear cold water, in order
to rid them entirely of any black
aphis there may be present. Give them
a clean start, and it will be much easier to keep them clean, as they
must be kept to make good healthy plants.
If you have not already a stock on hand, I would suggest going to some
florist's in the chrysanthemum season and making a list of the varieties
which particularly please you. Later, say in February or March, you can
get cuttings of these, already rooted if you like, but it's more fun to
root them yourself.
Pot off in two-and-one-half-inch pots, and shift on as rapidly as the
roots develop. Use, after the first potting, a very rich soil, and give
plenty of water. Chrysanthemums are very gross feeders and the secret of
success with them lies in keeping them growing on from the beginning as
rapidly as possible, without a check. Keep at about fifty-five degrees
and repot as frequently as required.
If they are to be grown in a bed or bench, have the soil ready by the
first part of June. The distance apart will be determined by the method
by which they are to be grown--six or eight inches if to "single stems"
with the great big flowers one sees at the florist's; about eight, ten
or twelve if three blooms are to be had from each plant. Of course that
will be determined by individual taste; but personally I prefer the
"spray" form, growing a dozen or more to each plant. They should be
syringed frequently and given partial shade. A good way is to spray
onto the roof a mixture of lime-water, about as thick as milk, or white
lead and naphtha in solution.
As soon as they are well established and growing, decision must be made
as to how they are to be grown. If more than one flower to a plant is
wanted, pinch out the big top bud and as the side buds develop, take
them all off to the number of flowers required, two, three or more as
the case may be. If sprays are wanted, pinch out the end buds of these
side shoots also when they get about three inches long, and all but a
few of the side buds on the shoots.
If at any time during growth the plants seem to be checked, or lose
their healthy dark green color, it is probable that they are not getting
enough food and should be given top dressings or liquid manure
Or if one does not want to devote space in the greenhouse to them for so
long a time (although they occupy it when there is little other use for
it) the plants may be grown in pots, the final shift being into six-or
seven-inch. They are kept in a cool house, or in a shaded place
out-of-doors, plunged in coal ashes. One advantage of this method is, of
course, that they can be brought into the dwelling house while in bloom.
In either case, the plants must be watched carefully for black fly,
which can be kept off with Aphine. The plants will also need supports
of twine or wire, or stakes, whether in the beds or in pots.
The usual method is to cut back the plants after blooming, store in a
cold place and start later into new growth for cuttings. A better way is
to set a few plants out early in the spring--one of each variety will
give an abundance of plants for home use. Cuttings can be taken from
these that will be just right for late flowers. These stock plants are
cut back in the fall, taken up and stored in a deep box, keeping as cold
as possible without freezing.
Varieties are so numerous, so constantly changing, of so many types,
that it would be unsatisfactory to give a list. The best way, as
mentioned before, is to get a list of the sort you like, while they are
in bloom at the florists.
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