Recycle mums to help environment
By OLASEB DAVIS
I lived in Dallas. Texas. for a
number of years. One of the
popular plants In Dallas schry-
santheitums, sometimes re-
ferred to as mums.
I noticed that some of our gro.
cery.stores and nurseries here
In the Virgin Islands do sell
However, these days. almost
everyone s concerned about the
environment. At the same time.
manyof us do not realize that we
are a part of nature, and what-
ever we do to alter our environ-
ment affects us ditecly or idi-
To save planet Earth, we as a
people in these Virgin Islands
can do something as simple as
Whether you are planting
mums or purchasing them from
a local nurse, recycling those
that wintered Indoors or salvag-
ingones that survived outdoors.
cutting back mums is the com-
mon sense thing to do.
cuttings. why not use them for
more "free plants."
To root mum cuttings. follow
I. Before taking cuttings, fill
plant flats. shallow pots or other
convenient containers with a
mixture of equal parts of peat
massand perllteorsand. Ifpeat
moss Is not available, use good
soll mix. Also. poke holes in the
rooting mix using a pencil or a
2. Remoe the upper 3-1/2 to
4 inches of the new gowth by
removing the tips. cut them to a
standard 3-inch length. Strip
the leaves from the lower hafof
3. Dip the cut ends of each
cutting Into a rooting hormone.
fungicide powder to improve
rootungand to reduce the change
of rotting or disease infection.
Tap off excess powder.
4. Insert cuttings up to leaf
base into the rooting mixture
holes. Takecarenottocover leaf
base. Space cuttings one to two
inches apart. Pack the mix
around the cuttings, then water.
5. sng a pane of gass or a
polyethylene bag. cover the cut-
tings and container. You can
use an old wire coat hangr to
support the plastic so the cover
doesn't touch the cuttings.
6. Place the container so it is
away from direct sun but has
excellent filtered light.
7. Keep rooting mixture moist
but not soggy. When cuttings
show signs of new growth, re.
move thecovering. Severaldays
later gradually move to a sunny
location. Using a diluted solu-
tion of soluble fertilizer, for ex-
ample, houseplant fertilizer dl-
luted to half Its usual strength.
water the cutting when needed.
Use the fertilize solution about
every third time you water.
8. About fve to six weeks after
be well-rooted and about four to
five Inches tall. ready to be set
9. Transfer the rooted cut-
tings to a flower bed that is In a
soil. They also can be trans-
ferred to containers or planter
boxes in your garden.
10. To develop strong, bushy
port the flowerswithouttaking
pinch out the tip of the newly
shoots develop three to four sets
of new leaves, pinch out the ter-
minal tip on each. Continue
pinching each new set of side
shoots until mid-July.
11. Chrysanthemums should
never be allowed to suffer from
lack of water or the stems will
become hard and woody. and
the plants will beofpoorquality.
So whenever you purchase
mums from nurseresor grocery
stores, remember that you can
help the environment by recy*
cllngthem. It is therightstepin
saving planet Earth.
Olasee Davs is an environ.
mentalit. His opinion does
not necessarily reect that of
his employer, the University
of the Virgin Islands Coopera-
tive atensmion Service.
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