Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Posted at: Jul 7, 2018, 12:22 AM; last updated: Jul 7, 2018, 12:22 AM (IST)GREEN HOUSE

Time to prepare for chrysanthemum cheer

Amarjeet Batth

Chrysanthemum is a herbaceous perennial that lights up the lawns in early autumn when most of the flowers are dormant. With the onset of pre-monsoon showers chrysanthemum enthusiasts do prepare a meticulous planting schedule for a spectacular winter floral treat.

Preparing terminal cuttings

From early July onwards with increase in humidity levels terminal cuttings of 3”-4” are taken from the mother stock. These are subsequently treated with root-promoting hormone and are planted in sand (the rooting medium) under shade. It takes 2-3 weeks for these cuttings to get ready to be transplanted into pots. Cuttings in ‘thumb pots’ ready to be transplanted in pots are also available in the nurseries around this time.  

Proper pot mixture

Chrysanthemum is quite prone to diseases, therefore, the pot mixture should be completely disinfected. This can be done during peak summer months by spreading the pot mixture on a concrete surface or on the roof top for a few weeks to get it solar sterilised. A black polythene sheet over the pot medium makes sterilisation more effective.

The pot mixture consists of one part of garden soil, one part of farm yard manure, two parts of leaf mould, two tablespoons of bone meal. While planting the seedlings add DAP and administer a dose of Captan (0.3 per cent) 2 ml in one litre of water to avoid rotting of cuttings. Clay pots of 10 inches can acommodate three plants, while a 12-inch pot can have up to five plants. Initially, keep the plants in a partially shaded area and later shift to a sunny location. For a uniform growth, rotate the pots every two-three days.


Staking supports and maintains the good appearance of chrysanthemum plants in pots. It is done preferably with strong, split bamboo stakes, which are inserted deep enough in the compost to support the grown up plant ensuring no damage the roots. Staking is done using a single support stick, which is tied carefully to the growing top heavy stem of the standard variety. The spray variety needs support all around the periphery of the pot to contain the side spread of the plant.


To enjoy a healthy bloom, fortnightly dose of liquid fertiliser or alternatively 2 gram of urea dissolved in one liter of water. Additionally, fortnightly application of one gram of potassium sulphate dissolved in one litre of water along with two grams of NPK dissolved in one litre of water should be given till bud formation when colour starts appearing on the bud. Ensure that the liquid does not spill on the leaves.

Liquid manure

Liquid manure is prepared by fermentation of fresh cow dung. Take about two kg of fresh cow dung in ten litres of water. The water should  be filled in a big container and cow dung should be put in a muslin cloth and suspended in the water container for 6-8 weeks. The top liquid is then diluted to tea colour. Put 500 ml to one litre of this in each pot.


This plant is sensitive to overwatering as it causes rotting of roots and yellowing of leaves. Therefore, irrigation should be done very carefully and totally on need basis. Drain excess of rain water accumulated in pots as soon it is noticed. 

Post-planting care

The first two-three weeks after planting the cuttings are crucial. In spray varieties the terminal buds are pinched and by doing so the side shoot branch off the basal nodes. Maintain 4-5 emerging shoots.


  • Always buy or prepare extra seedlings for unforeseen loss of plants. 
  • For uniform flowering, rotate pots every 2-3 days. 
  • Regular nutrition doses are beneficial.
  • Colour the staking sticks green for a natural look.
  • Continuous removal of spent flowers prolongs flowering.

Pinching and de-budding

Pinching is done to the main stem to promote the side branching and increase number of flowers. In standard varieties only one flower is required therefore no pinching is required.  All the side shoots and buds emerging from the root axis are de-budded and only terminal bud is maintained. De-budding is done when the bud becomes pea sized as it’s easy to break it.


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