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Propagating Chrysanthemums

By late Fall, I'm exhausted just like 99% of all the other plants around me. I'm ready to throw everything into the compost and take a long nap. However, there is one type of flower, that stops me in my tracks and puts one last gust of wind into my sail... We scream, we scream, we all scream for CHRYSANTHEMUMS!

If you have yet to grow Chrysanthemums (also known as MUMS), you MUST have them. They shine when all other blooms have exhausted. They have EXCEPTIONAL vase life, exceptional form/shape, and exceptional color. And once you've grown one, you'll have a little tickle to want more.


You can purchase seedlings readily in mid Spring from your flower farm or local Chrysanthemum society. You can also order from nurseries such as Kings Mums.


It's best to grow seedlings out and take cuttings for propogation in and around June/July when a cut back is needed to promote side branching.

If you already have parent chrysanthemums that you have successfully overwintered, the best time to take cuttings is when they are setting new growth, usually in and around April.


Supplies you will need:

•Stem cuttings

•Clean, sharp snips

•Rooting hormone

•Seed tray, small pot, container to hold soil/medium

•Good draining soil or vemiculite

Here's HOW!

(Make sure you have sharp snips that have been cleaned/sanitized)

  1. Take stem cuttings from parent plants in mid-Spring when plants are actively growing. Otherwise wait to establish younger plants and take cuttings in June/July.

Assuming that you have either an established plant or a young rooted plant, you can take cuttings for propagation. Stem cuttings ultimately need a lower node and 1 to 3 leaves that are at least 2" above the lower node.

Stem cuttings for propagation are best when they are young and fleshy. Woody stems are not ideal.

Take segments that are 3-5" in length. Leave 1 to 2 small leaves and be sure to remove any central buds that might be developing. If leaves are large, simply trim them in half width wise. Stem cuttings will still need leaves to continue photosynthesizing. However, large leaves will have difficulty staying hydrated and will likely wilt.

Here are is an example of how to take sections of stem cuttings from a parent stem:

2. Carefully remove lower leaves. Inspect lower nodes and if there is any leaf development, gently remove.

3. Prep your seed trays or small pots

We prefer using vermiculite for propagating chrysanthemums. Vermiculite offers good drainage and at the same time, retains ample moisture for root development. A great alternative to vermiculite is garden soil, but be sure to add extra perlite or sand to increase drainage. Standing moisture against stems will likely result in rot and unsuccessful rooting

Once your vermiculite or soil medium has been added to trays, be sure to water in or wet your medium evenly and let drain through.

4. Dip the lower end of each stem cutting into rooting hormone and place immediately into your seed tray or pot.

5. Add water to the bottom of your seed tray so that there is about 1/4" of water. Set your seed tray on a heat mat set at 70F with a grow light 15-18" above. Indirect light from a bright sunny window will also do the trick.

6. Continue to add water to the bottom of the seed tray every other day to maintain a 1/4" of water. Do not overhead water.

7. Gently mist leaves daily to maintain humidity. Alternatively, you can use a vented humidity dome in lieu of misting daily.

8. Check in 14-21 days for developing roots. Roots look like swirls of white hair!

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