Sunday, April 11, 2010

How to Make Chrysanthemums Bloom

It's time to experiment with my mums.  I checked out various articles on how to make mums bloom.  At first I thought it was a fertilizer issue (or lack thereof).  However, as you would find with my mums a month ago, it became lush with fertilization but there were no resulting flowers.  Apparently, mums are light sensitive or photoperiodic.  Mums bloom when the days become shorter and the nights grow longer.  In the US, mums bloom during Fall when daylight shortens.  I read that commercial growers "trick" the mums to flower by artificially shortening daylight.  They cover the plants with black canvass.  In my own experiment, I've been keeping my mums in a dark shed.  How many hours?  Well, I read that mums need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight so take it from there.  In my case, I hide my mums by 4:00 PM and I take them out at 9:00 AM.  That gives my mums seven hours of sunlight.  You have to treat this like sleep.  The darkness must not be interrupted or it won't work.  In a similar respect, if your sleep is interrupted several times a night, you won't feel rested. 

Have you tried anything like this?  Let me know.


  1. Hi thanks for leaving a comment on my Incompetent Gardener blog. I'd almost forgotten I had that blog ;-0 Seeing that you are in the Philippines interested me. I've never been there but the pictures I see always make me wonder about what it's like gardening there.

    Here in Western Pennsylvania the problem is keeping mums alive in the winter. You are right to point out the photoperiodic of the popular perennial mums. And that growers trick the plants into blooming. In some milder areas of the USA they bloom in the short daylight of spring, but in most of the USA they are associated with autumn. Mums are reputed to be easy, but I'm not alone in having a hard time keeping them alive in the ground here over winter. Part of the issue is very clay soil. But I have cuttings I took from my grandmother's house and the plants there are at least 30 years old. The cuttings I took have proven to be as dependable as hers, but they only bloom in the fall. Professional growers do such a good job with mums that most people just treat them as a seasonal annual here.

    It's so hard to know whether a plant worth growing here is worth growing there. But I'll point to Chrysanthemum partenium aka Tanacetum parthenium and goes by the common name Feverfew. Not spectacular to look at really, just lots of small single white daisy flowers. But I mention it because you're growing mints and have an interest in herbs. One of the medical uses of Feverfew is as a treatment to prevent migraine headaches. Ah, but the reason other than just curiosity you might try planting it is the foliage has that distinctive Chrysanthemum odor which is said to repel aphids.

  2. Hello there John! Thanks for dropping by. Your comment's as long as a blog entry. ;-)

    You grandmother's mums must be the hardiest ever. A 30-year old flowering plant is unheard of!

    I'll go check out the Feverfew. I've never heard of it and I'm not sure it's available here.

    Do visit the Philippines when you can. Summer's really hot! Great for beach hopping.

  3. Thanks for stopping by and saying hello :) I'm afraid I bought that pot of Mums from the store that you were asking about, and I haven't had much experience growing them, so I can't offer much advice. It's been several years since I've had them in my garden. I do know that pinching the ends of a plant back until early July will encourage more branching and blooming.
    Your growing mint collection sounds wonderful. I can just imagine those lovely scents!
    Happy gardening!

  4. Thanks for dropping by, Kerri. I try to prune regularly. I assume that has the same impact as pinching. Right?

    The mints are great!

  5. Anonymous3:08 AM

    Guess that if you are growing your own mums everything must be just right. Suggest trying with only cuttings which have grown in your area . Pick your nursery location such that exposure to the sun is continueous and ensure plant rotated by string suspension with no shading of one plant by another.
    For "darkness" slide a bag up the string and tie the top when plant covered - this will ensure plant remains warm whereas a shed will rapidly cool the plant - also include a banana skin.
    Guess that some climatic locations are just non-starters - the Suffolk coast has proved to be an excellent location.


No spamming please. ;-)

Related Posts with Thumbnails