Title: Garden chrysanthemums
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084465/00001
 Material Information
Title: Garden chrysanthemums
Series Title: Garden chrysanthemums
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Sheehan, Thomas J.
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Service
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Bibliographic ID: UF00084465
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 229357586

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AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


Circular 182


May 1958


GARDEN

CHRYSANTHEMUMS

T. J. SHEEHAN
Assistant Ornamental Horticulturist
S. A. ROSE
Assistant Ornamental Horticulturist


Garden chrysanthemums belong to a large genus of annual and
perennial herbs in the Compositae family. The hardy cultivated
varieties are widely used as garden and patio subjects throughout
the state and may be handled as perennials. The flowers are borne
in heads consisting of two types of flowers or florets. The disk
flowers make up the center portion of the head and are usually
small and tubular in shape. The ray flowers surrounding the disk
flowers are referred to as the petals, since they are colorful.
In the single varieties the disk flowers cover most of the head,
with ray flowers making up several outer rows. The head size
varies from two inches to more than four inches in diameter.
The anemone types resemble the single except that the disk
flowers are elongated and give the center of the head a cushion-
like effect.
In the double-flowered clones disk flowers are practically ab-
sent and ray flowers are much more numerous. These ray flowers
may be smooth, irregular, hairy, curled, straight, spoon-shaped,
quilled, and of other various forms (Fig. 1). The size of the
head will vary from less than one inch in diameter to eight or
ten inches.
The extensive color range, type and size of flowers and growth
characteristics of chrysanthemums tend to increase the popu-
larity of this fine garden subject especially noted for its excellent
show of color in the fall months. Recent advances in breeding
and selection have added new varieties and species to members
of this group. New varieties which will be developed will be
disease resistant, have flowers with better keeping qualities and
be adapted to a wide climatic range and varying soil conditions.
Flowering can be controlled by manipulating day length, but
most gardeners allow their plants to flower in the normal fall
season. Out-of-season production under controlled day length
is left to the commercial cut flower producers.


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Fig. 1.-Chrysanthemum flowers. A, single; B, anemone; C, spoon;
D, spider; E, standard; and F, pompom.

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The common garden chrysanthemums, popularly called
"mums", belong to the Chrysanthemum indicum and C. morifolium
groups. The latter group is called the florist's chrysanthemum.

CULTURE
Chrysanthemums will grow in any well-drained soil that con-
tains an abundance of organic matter. Adequate preparation of
the bed is an important step in our Florida soils. Low organic
soils should have a 3 to 4 inch layer of peat or other organic mat-
ter worked into them to a depth of 6 to 8 inches when the bed is
prepared. Two pounds of 6-6-6 fertilizer per 100 square feet
is sufficient for previously cultivated soils, but 4 pounds per 100
square feet is preferred for virgin soils. Two to three applica-
tions of 6-6-6 at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet during
the growing season is usually sufficient to produce a good crop
of flowers in the fall. Occasionally, an additional application may
be required if the heavy rains come in late summer or shortly
after the second application is made.
Many gardeners growing flowers for show purposes might
want to apply more fertilizer than suggested above. They can
make a light application of complete fertilizer every three to
four weeks during the growing season. An application of 1/2
pound of dry fertilizer (6-6-6) per 100 square feet is sufficient
at four-week intervals. Liquid fertilizer also may be used and
applied at four-week intervals as recommended. The liquid fer-
tilizers, usually of high analysis or concentration, such as 20-20-
20, should be applied as recommended, and proportionally less
should be used than recommended for 6-6-6.
When applying fertilizer (either wet or dry) it is best to keep
the material off the foliage. Any that falls on the leaves should
be washed off immediately. When applying dry fertilizer the
best results are obtained if the soil is moist at time of applica-
tion. If the bed is dry, it should be watered before the fertilizer
is applied and watered again after application of the material.
Fertilizer applied to a dry soil or when not watered in thoroughly
may burn the plant roots. Thorough watering helps distribute
the fertilizer throughout the entire root area and thereby pro-
motes efficient utilization of the material.
Chrysanthemums are propagated by cuttings, offsets or di-
vision of the old parent clumps (Fig. 2). Tip cuttings of new
growth of the parent stock, or new cuttings from a commercial
propagator, usually are best since many of the disease pests of
chrysanthemums overwinter on the parent clumps. Rooted cut-
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tings or offsets are spaced 12 x 16 inches for mass effect or
18 x 24 inches for individual plant effect. In dividing parent
clumps, the plants should be dug in early spring. They can be
separated into as many parts as there are vigorous rooted shoots,
thus giving single stems. Weak clumps should be divided, leav-
ing at least three stems in each division.

















Fig. 2.-Chrysanthemum propagation. Left, tip cutting, and right,
old parent clump, with lines marking points of division.

Support may be necessary for chrysanthemums whether
grown in beds or as specimen plants. The low, strong growing
plants seldom need support, whereas the tall, weak, stemmed
plants and exhibition varieties definitely need some form of
staking. Plants grown in a bed can be held upright by running
wires lengthwise and strings crosswise in the beds at eight inch
intervals. Individual plants in the garden should have a stake
placed close to the plant at time of planting. A sturdy stake
driven into the ground near the plant after it is established often
injures the roots or even the plant.
After the plants are established and have grown 6 to 8 inches
tall, about 1/ of the stem or "break" should be removed, leaving
three sets of leaves. When the lateral breaks are 6 to 8 inches
long, they too can be pinched, thus building a good bushy plant.
Plants are pinched early for low branching to produce a bushy
plant that is better for exhibition. The final pinch should be
made between August 1 and 15. If pinched later, the plants
may not have sufficient stem length by the time days are short
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enough for bud initiation and flowering. Later pinching will
only remove flower buds and produce an undesirable spray of
flowers. The gardener interested in producing large show flowers
should pinch plants once and leave only three breaks or shoots
per plant. This will produce fewer but larger flowers.
Standard and Spider chrysanthemums require additional at-
tention. Approximately the first week in September these plants
will have visible buds formed. At this time all buds except one
should be removed. This one bud will then develop into a large,
showy flower. Well-grown standards might produce flowers seven
inches in diameter.
By careful choice of varieties, flowers of many types and
colors can be produced from September until Christmas or later,
although often an early frost will injure some of the younger
buds and thus prevent flowering, particularly in northern Florida.

DISEASES
Chrysanthemums are subject to attack by several diseases,
of which the most important are Septoria leaf spot, mildew,
botrytis and ray blight.
Septoria spreads rapidly in wet weather. The disease first
appears as small greyish-brown circular spots in the leaves, the
center of which soon becomes brittle. The infection will gradu-
ally discolor an area between the veins and finally will cause the
entire leaf to turn yellow and die. This disease is first evident on
the lower leaves and gradually works upward. The dead leaves
may drop, or may remain attached to the plant. Some varieties
are more susceptible to Septoria leaf spot than others. This
fungus disease can be held in check by spraying weekly with a
fungicide such as zineb, captain or ferbam. Alternating between
zineb and ferbam until the buds begin to show color and then
using only zineb has proven effective in Florida.
Mildew is a common fungus of perennials and is evidenced by
a whitish, powdery growth on the upper surface of leaves and
tender portions of the stem. It can be controlled by using wet-
table sulfur or Mildex applied at weekly intervals.
Botrytis is usually associated with the flowers. The petals
appear to have little brown freckles and then the entire petal
begins to rot and may become covered with a grey mold. Botrytis
is spread by splashing water. White varieties seem most sus-
ceptible. Zineb is effective in controlling the disease on flowers.






Ray blight is another disease that generally attacks the flow-
ers. Infected heads have chocolate-covered or dark tan petals
and a dark brown base on the florets. Buds will often be mal-
formed or have a rotted area on one side. Zineb, ferbam, captain
and maneb will control this disease. Alternating zineb and fer-
bam at weekly intervals is very effective. Once the buds begin
to show color, use only zineb.
Foliar nematodes appear from time to time in Florida. These
pests destroy the leaf tissue between the veins causing a brown-
ing of a wedge- or pie-shaped section of the leaf. Malathion
sprays or dusts are generally effective. However, if a severe in-
festation occurs, malathion will not be effective.
Soil-borne diseases such as pythium and rhizoctonia also can
become problems. Pythium causes a discoloration or blackening
of the stem and leaf bases. Rhizoctonia will cause stunting and
a browning of leaf edges.
These can be controlled by using sanitation measures and
fumigating the soils before plants are set. Dowfume MC2, Vapam
or Crag Mylone are good soil fumigants. However, these ma-
terials are highly toxic and should be used with caution and only
as recommended on the container.
Several soil-borne nematodes attack chrysanthemums and
poor growth often indicates their presence. Soil fumigation will
control these as long as infected plants are not replanted in the
area. The chemicals listed above can be used here also and so
can D-D. The precautions listed above should be observed.

INSECTS
Several insects and mites may attack chrysanthemums, but
only a few are generally of much concern to the home gardener.
Aphids or plant lice, which vary in color from pale green to
dark red or nearly black, are tiny soft-bodied insects, about 1/16
inch long, with sucking mouthparts. These pests are found in
colonies usually on new growth and buds, but may be found on
open flowers. Malathion' or lindane sprays or dusts are effective
controls.
Spider mites usually are not seen by the gardener because
they are very small, about 1/60 inch long, and usually located
on the underside of the leaves. These greenish-yellow to yellow-
ish-orange pests suck the plant juices, and leaf injury results in
a mottled or general off-color yellowish appearance to the upper
surface. While most injury is to the leaves, spider mites may
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migrate to the flowers and cause damage. Malathion is beneficial
against these pests, but the preferred materials for the home
gardener are Aramite, Kelthane and Ovex.
Thrips, about 1/16 to 1/32 inch long, are tiny slender insects
which have rasping-sucking mouthparts that remove plant juices.
The young vary in color from light to dark yellow, while adults
are light brown to brownish yellow. These pests may infest fo-
liage and flowers. The gardener should be on guard for them in
the spring when the weather becomes warm. Lindane, malathion
and dieldrin are among the insecticides most effective against
thrips. Frequent application may be necessary to give best pro-
tection of the flowers from these pests, especially in spring and
summer.
Caterpillars of various kinds, which are the larval or imma-
ture stage of moths and butterflies, may attack chrysanthemums
by eating the foliage and flowers. DDT is effective, but if used
alone it may cause a build up of spider mites.
Malathion, malathion-DDT, malathion-dieldrin or a similar
combination thoroughly applied at weekly intervals will generally
provide satisfactory control of most pests of chrysanthemums for
the home gardener.

GARDEN CHRYSANTHEMUM VARIETIES
Month of Blooming
Color and Variety September October
White:
Candlelight................................................................. Early
Chris. Colum bus....................................................... M id
Snowfall........................ ...... ......................... Early
W hite Cushion -....................... ............... .......... M id
Yellow:
Charles Nye-........................... ...... .. ........... Late
Chiquita............................ ................ .... Early
Early Gold......................... .................................... Early
Gold Rush......................... ........-. ...........M id
Judith Anderson ........................................ ...... Mid
Sunapee........................................................................ M id
Yellow Chris. Columbus........................................... Mid
Yellow Cushion.................................................. ... M id'
Yellow Suprem e............. ......................................... M id
Bronze and Red:
Aviator....... ................... .......................... .. Early
Bokhara........................................ . ....... M id
Bonfire-............................... ... ... ........ Early
Carnival .............................- ......... ......................... M id
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Color and Variety
Harbinger.........................................-----
Huntsman......... .---------------------
M ahogany Cushion...............................................
Marionette.............................------------------
Red Riding Hood....................................---------
Rem embrance..... ...... .......................
Scarlet Crim son........................ .......................
W. P. Snyder--.. --------........................ ..........
Pink and Lavender:
Joybringer...........................................................
Major Cushion......................................------..........
N ye's Favorite..................... ....................
V iolet.......................................................


Month of Blooming
September October
Early


Late
Late

Late
Mid
Mid



Late
Mid
Mid


Early


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
Florida State University and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director




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