The Chrysanthemum will grow in any good mould, anaturally good soil being often preferable to an artificial one. Where
the ground is not in good condition a compost may be made of one-half
rich loam and one-fourth each of well-rotted manure and
with sufficient sand to keep it porous. Cuttings taken in November or
December make the finest exhibition plants. Pot them singly in 2-in.
or 3-in. pots; stand them on coal ashes in a cold frame, and re-pot
them in March or April in 6-in. pots, making the soil moderately firm.
When they attain the height of 6 in. pinch off the extreme point of
the shoot, which will induce the growth of side-shoots. Shift the
plants from time to time into larger pots, until at the end of May
they receive their final shift into 10-in. pots, after which they
must not on any account be stopped. In June they may be placed in a
sheltered and partially shaded part of the open border, standing the
pots on pieces of slate to prevent the ingress of worms. Syringe the
leaves each day and give the roots a liberal supply of liquid manure.
When the flower-buds begin to show colour, discontinue the manure
water. Thin out the flower-buds, leaving two or three only of the
strongest on each stem. At the end of September they must be removed
to a cool greenhouse to flower. Where there is no greenhouse a canvas
structure may be erected to protect them from the cold. Good plants
for the border may be raised from cuttings in March or April. These
should be kept close in a frame until rooted, then gradually hardened
off, and planted in rich soil. Syringing with soot-water twice a week
until the flower-buds appear will darken the leaves and deepen the
colour of the flowers.
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