How to plant and grow chrysanthemums

Our chrysanthemums are sent out in sets of rooted cuttings, to pot on or plant out...

Growing chrysanths outdoors

Outdoor varieties are happiest grown in full sun and shelter, in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter added. Indoor varieties can be grown in the garden in 2 litre pots, sunk in the ground and lifted to bring into the greenhouse, conservatory or sunny porch when the weather gets cold.

1. When you receive your rooted cuttings, pot them up into 7 or 9cm pots (any soil-less compost will do) and grow them anywhere light and frost-free – a cold frame, conservatory or greenhouse – until the roots have filled this pot.
2. Then plant them outside in their flowering positions, spaced 30 cm apart. They love a sunny, sheltered site with protection from strong winds, in a well drained but fertile soil which has had some organic matter dug in.
3. After planting, water generously for 1-2 weeks so the plants get well established.
4. Stop the plants (pinch the top off) 10-14 days after planting, down to three or four leaves up from the base of the plant. This encourages side branches, which will form the flowering stems. You can use this as a cutting (see propagating link below).
5. Stake every plant securely with their own stake.
6. They will also benefit from a general fertilizer feed once a month.
7. At Perch Hill, newly grown cuttings grow and flower better rather than the 2nd year plants, so propagate new plants every year and discard the old.
8. Once the plants have flowered, either dig them up and bring the whole root inside to propagate from in the early spring, as they shoot, or mulch them deeply to get them through the winter and take new cuttings from your plants in the garden.
Note: You can grow any of these varieties under cover too. With protection from wind and rain, you will then get a longer harvest of flowers than you do outside.

How to grow Chrysanthemums indoors

Some chrysanthemum varieties should ideally be grown indoors – a greenhouse or protected growing space of some kind – and will then flower from the middle to the end of November until Christmas.

Varieties that should only be grown indoors include: C. ‘Anastasia Green’, C. ‘Froggy’, C. ‘Porto Purple’. All other varieties can be planted indoors or outdoors.

1. If you have soil beds in your greenhouse, the rooted cuttings can be planted direct at spacing of 30-40cm and watered in well or grow them in large pots, about 35-40cm in diameter.
2. Fill pots with John Innes No 2 compost and plant one cutting per pot. Water in well. Insert a stake at their side which you will need to tie them into as they grow.
3. Place these pots outside in a sunny, sheltered spot (after the frost has finished).
4. Stop the plants (by pinching the top off) 10-14 days after planting, down to 3 or 4 leaves up from the base of the plant. To encourage side branches, which will form the flowering stems.
5. Water freely during the summer and give them a balanced feed every two weeks from midsummer till the flower buds start to appear.
6. Then bring inside again in September before the autumn gales arrive.
7. Pick the flowers from there.
8. Cut the plants back when they finish flowering and store frost free. 
To propagate chrysanthemums, take cuttings in order to gain plenty of new plants for next year.