How To Grow Chrysanthemums In Pots Indoors And Make Them Bloom

Question: Would you tell me how to grow chrysanthemums in pots indoors and make them bloom through the winter and spring months, as some florists do?

Answer: Potted chrysanthemums bloom naturally in the fall. The long days promote vegetative growth and the bloom buds do not form until the hours of light begin to decrease. To bloom chrysanthemums in spring, cuttings are taken in mid-winter and when the rooted cuttings are planted the hours of light are extended by the use of artificial light to prevent bud set. Then the hours of light are decreased for a time, after which the plants are allowed to grow normally through the blooming period. Certain varieties have proven themselves suited to such an artificial schedule and just any variety would not do. Some of the hardy chrysanthemums can be bloomed in spring but it will not pay to go to all the trouble unless a large number are grown. For example, to bloom hardy chrysanthemums such as ‘Chris Columbus; ‘Spellbound,’ and ‘Mrs. DuPont’ for Mother’s Day, rooted cuttings are potted four to a five-inch pot in late February. Artificial light is turned on over the potted cuttings four hours per day for six days. Then they are placed under black cloth from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. for 12 days. Three days later they are given a light pinch and are then ready to grow on to bloom for Mother’s Day. The temperature should not be allowed to drop below 60 degrees at any time after the cuttings are potted.

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