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'The story of the chrysanthemum' by Thejoyofplants
UK: Potted Chrysanthemum takes central place in floral promotionThe chrysanthemum is widely known as a cut flower, but it is also an amazing houseplant, with a bushy structure, beautiful green leaves and fabulous flowers in all sorts of colours and shapes. It’s also an easy plant that remains radiantly upright even in higher temperatures. In the wild, chrysanthemums flower in late summer and autumn. Growers mimic those short days in the greenhouse, so that the chrysanthemum starts producing buds and is also available earlier in the year nowadays. The fresh, bright cheerful colours make it a summery feature that does well both indoors and on the garden table.
Chrysanthemums were being grown in China as a flowering herb as early as the 15th century BC. They were viewed there as a exulted plant with special properties. So special that only aristocrats were given permission to plant them in their gardens. The chrysanthemum was introduced to Japan in the eighth century, where the emperor declared the flower the national symbol of Japan. Most potted chrysanthemums that are now widely available are members of the Chrysanthemum Indicum Grp which arose in Indonesia.
What to look for when buying potted chrysanthemums
• With a potted chrysanthemum look at the structure of the plant, the health of the leaf and the ripeness of the flowers. If there is already some colour in the buds this offers the best likelihood of them fully opening.
• Damaged or defective flowers and leaves are usually caused by the wrong storage or incorrect shipping. Wilted flowers or yellow leaves are indications that the plant is already past its peak.
• If too much (condensation) moisture remains between the leaves for a long time this can cause Botrytis.
• The plants must also be free of rust and leaf miner damage.
• The range of potted chrysanthemums is exceptionally wide and very diverse in shape and colour. They are usually sold by colour or in mixed trays.
• There are potted chrysanthemums with multiple flowers per stem (spray) and with one flower per stem, known as disbudded chrysanthemums or deco chrysanthemums. In terms of flower shape, there is a choice of single, spoon, anemone, spider, decorative and pompon.
• Potted chrysanthemums are being extensively bred, so that the classic colours are increasingly being supplemented with more and more eye-catching colours such as lemon, salmon, bronze, deep purple and many bicoloured varieties. The unusual new flower shapes also make the potted chrysanthemum a feature plant both indoors and outdoors.
Care tips for consumers
• Potted chrysanthemums will flower lavishly and for a long time in a light spot.
• Don’t allow the soil to dry out, give some plant food once a fortnight.
• Remove wilted flowers so that the plant looks nice and fresh and new buds can emerge.
• When the weather is good, the potted chrysanthemum can also be displayed on the garden table.
Sales and display advice
The potted chrysanthemum’s cheerful colours are very suitable for display in eye-catching colour blocks or stripes. They also work well as colour clusters amongst green plants. Use brightly coloured bowls and summery accessories in order to reduce the association with autumn: a snow-white, fresh green or cheerful pink potted chrysanthemum set amidst cocktail glasses, sun cream and a hammock makes clear that it’s an excellent addition at this time of year too.
Publication date: 5/11/2018
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