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A blooming business: Chrysanthemums
Nov 16, 2011
Chrysanthemum is one of the leading cutflowers and potted plants now in high demand in the international market. The domestic market has already increased demand both for cutflowers and potted plants and local production cannot cope, thus the importation of this cutflower from other countries.
The development of chrysanthemum industry as a major ornamental cutflower and potted plants enterprises supports the major thrusts of the government to develop the non-traditional export products that will boost the industry to earn dollars. The immediate benefits from chrysanthemum production will substitute the imported flowers with locally produced ones.
Any soil that permits good drainage and aeration is suitable for chrysanthemum. A medium consisting of 1 part compost, 1 part garden soil and 1 part animal manure or the combination of compost and coir dust, or rice hull or garden soil can be used. A pH of 6.0 - 6.5 is recommended.
The best temperature in growing chrysanthemum ranges from 20 - 280 C for day and 15 - 20 0C for night.
Chrysanthemums are short day plant, which requires short days or long nights to flower. The critical day length is 14 - 15 hours for flower initiation and 13 -14 hours for development.
Rooted cuttings can be planted directly into raised beds or pots. Distance of planting varies according to the season. As more space per plant is allowed during those periods when light intensity is comparatively less.
The conventional spacing between the 1-meter wide beds is 15 x 15 cm during the dry season months and 15 x 20 cm during the wet season months
Chrysanthemum needs only small amount of water during the stages of growth but it is important to avoid water stress during the vegetative growth. Water requirement increases as vegetative growth progresses. However water requirement should be reduced as the plants approach the flowering stage.
Chrysanthemum takes up relatively large amount of both nitrogen and potassium during the vegetative growth. If the plants are already established, liquid fertilizers containing about 210 ppm N and 220 ppm potassium that should be added every 2 -3 weeks interval until buds show color.
Since spray and standard chrysanthemums may be as tall as 30" to 36", it is necessary to support the stems as the crop matures. Generally, chrysanthemum are tied to bamboo stakes, metal hog wire or sturdy sticks to keep them erect and properly hold flowers or the main stem of the flowers.
Pinching and disbudding
Pinching on the growing tip of the plant is done to induce branching and increase the number of flowering stems per plant.
Disbudding for standard mums or "single flower" group. Lateral buds are removed to allow terminal bud to develop into a big flower
For spray types, the terminal bud is removed to develop a spray of large uniform flowers from lateral buds.
Spray mums are generally harvested at the two thirds to three-fourths open stage; standard mums at the three-fourths to full open stage of development. Flowers to be shipped long distances should be harvested when approximately one-half open. Flowers must be harvested late in the afternoon or early morning.
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