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Chrysanthemum Care

celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 486
edited 19 October in Plants
So I’ve got three chrysanthemums that I bought as plug plants back in April - they’re of the misty, allouise and fantasy varieties. 

I’ve got a couple of questions

1. They have all just started to produce flower buds with only one plant physically blooming (well not even in full bloom yet) at this time of the year which seems a bit late? I grew them indoors on a window sill in a pot up to September and then placed them outside (in a bigger pot). Is this normal? And given first frost will be arriving within a month should I bring them indoors to flower? 



2. What should do with them over late autumn and winter? I see people who dig them up and trim them down, storing them as ‘stools’. I’ve also seen Sarah Raven simply bringing them into her greenhouse? I don’t have a green house (I garden on a balcony) - my question is, can I simply bring them into my apartment? What is the purpose of storing them as ‘stools’? 

I feel as though chrysanthemums have been forgotten by the modern gardeners and there is so little information about their care on the internet.. and the little bit of what I could find assumed one has a greenhouse which I don’t 😞

Any advice is welcome and much appreciated 

Posts

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,121
    I looked up your varieties and none of them is hardy, so they will not withstand frost or very low temps. Fantasy is noted as being late flowering, even for a chrysanth and RHS says it will need to flower in a cold greenhouse, so that one could be tricky.
    The stools just means that they are cut back to take up less space, they will all send up fresh foliage in the spring.
    The problem with bringing them indoors is that it will be warmer and drier than ideal conditions. They may not go fully dormant and some plants need a period of cold to trigger growth or even flower buds. I don't know if this includes chrysanthemums.
    It might work if you have somewhere cool to put them - they wouldn't need light until early spring. If where you live is not too cold you might be able to rig up some kind of coldframe on the balcony, with fleece or bubble wrap or something.
    You can get hardy chrysanths which can live outside all year, but the choice is much more limited and they are usually more of the pompom type. I fancy some for myself as I can't face having to dig up half my garden plants every autumn. I already have dahlias and salvias, which are not hardy here and enough is enough!
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 486
    @Buttercupdays Thank you. That’s helpful. I wonder if the windowsill of an unheated spare room count as cold greenhouse.. and if I could just leave my chrysanths in there to flower and to overwinter without tipping them out of the pot...? 
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,121
    Worth a try, I think, especially as you've grown them up from babies :) They won't need a lot of water, just enough to keep them from drying out, but they will need potting on in spring, with some John Innes compost 2 or 3 to get them growing well and you'll need to harden them off gradually before leaving them out full time. At least you won't have to move them far!
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 486
    @Buttercupdays Yes, I do plan on repotting them in fresh compost come spring. I shall bring them in just before the first frost, fingers crossed!
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