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chrysanthemum

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BOTANICAL NAME
Dendranthema X grandiflorum (den-DRAN-thuh-muh grand-i-FLOR-um)
syn: Chrysanthemum X morifolium

COMMON NAMES
Chrysanthemum, Mum, Florist mum

DESCRIPTION
Chrysanthemums have “composite” flower heads of ray flowers (petal-like florets) and disk flowers (tiny florets in the center), in a range of forms and sizes. The most common bloom forms for pot mums are daisy, decorative (cushion, Dahlia-type, etc.), spider, spoon-tip, quill and anemone (mounded cushionlike center). Stems are leafy and either branched, with multiple flowers per stem, or disbudded, with a single bloom per stem.

COLORS
Potted chrysanthemums are available in lavender, purple, red-violet, burgundy, red, pink, orange, coral, salmon, yellow, bronze, butterscotch, cream and white, as well as bicolors.

DECORATIVE LIFE
These plants typically last for two to four weeks (sometimes longer), depending on variety, maturity at the time of sale and the care they receive. The ideal stage for mums to be sold is when plants have a few open blooms along with a mass of buds that are showing color.

AVAILABILITY
Potted mums are available year-round.

in-store and consumer care

LIGHT

Place potted mums in moderately bright to bright light, but protect them from direct midday sun.

WATER
Keep soil consistently moist at all times. This likely will require watering several times each week, if not every day, depending on how root bound a plant is. Under watering results in wilted blooms and leaves, and wilting shortens the life of the plant.

TEMPERATURE
Potted mums prefer cool environments (55 F to 65 F). Room temperatures higher than 70 F will shorten flowering time and plant life. If necessary, these plants can be stored in a floral cooler at temperatures as low as 33 F for up to six days.

HUMIDITY
Mist leaves occasionally if plants are in dry environments.

ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY
Most varieties of chrysanthemums are fairly resistant to the effects of ethylene gas.

PLANT FOOD
Fertilizing is not needed at the retail or consumer levels.

GROOMING
Remove faded blooms, damaged buds and yellow leaves daily.

REBLOOMING
Most people dispose of florist mums after the blooms fade because the plants are not hardy in cold climates; however, if you want to transplant one outdoors, cut the stems back to 3 inches after flowering, and keep the pruned plant in a cool but frost-free place until spring, after the chance of hard freezes has passed. In warm climates, florist mums should revert to their natural growth habits.

challenges

PESTS

Aphids and red spider mites can be problems. If plants are not too badly infested, rinse them with an insecticidal soap, and water them with a systemic insecticide. Discard badly infested plants.

BUDS FAIL TO OPEN
Causes include not enough light, the plant was too immature when taken from the greenhouse and severe stress during transit.

FOLIAGE TURNS YELLOW OR BROWN
This is a relatively common occurrence for florist mums although it can be exacerbated by not enough light and under watering. (See “In-Store and Consumer Care: Grooming,”)

 

  fun facts  
 

WHAT’S IN A NAME
The botanical name “Dendranthema” comes from the Greek words dendron (tree) and anthos or anthemon (flower), in reference to these plants’ somewhat woody stems. “Chrysanthe-mum” is from the Greek words chrysos (golden) and anthos or anthemon (flower). The specific epithet “grandiflorum” means large flowered. The “X” in the botanical name means the plant is a hybrid of at least two species.

FAMILY MATTERS
Chrysanthemums are members of the huge Asteraceae (Compositae) family. Close relatives include Gerberas, Dahlias, Zinnias, marguerites, sunflowers, marigolds, China asters and many more.

 

Some information provided by:

Chain of Life Network® , www.chainoflife.org
Complete Houseplant Survival Manual, The, by Barbara Pleasant
Flower & Plant Care: The 21st Century Approach, by Terril A. Nell, Ph.D. and
  Michael S. Reid, Ph.D.
House Plant Expert, The, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners,by William T. Stearn

Super Floral Retailing •• Copyright 2010
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.