How to keep potted chrysanthemums until spring?
Autumn is the season of chrysanthemums. Their delicate slightly bitter aroma and bright flowers create a special mood both in the garden and in the house. That is why the chrysanthemum parade in the fall migrates from flower shops not only to our flower beds, but also to the windowsills of houses and apartments. At the same time, many owners, but rather owners of donated chrysanthemums in pots, believe that the century of indoor chrysanthemum is short, and with the onset of winter and withering flowers, the chrysanthemum in the pot goes to the bin. But this plant can live in room conditions for several years! The main thing is to understand in time that with the advent of cold weather the chrysanthemum does not disappear, but simply falls asleep. This is my article today.
- What chrysanthemums can be grown at home?
- What to look for when buying a potted chrysanthemum?
- Do I need to transplant potted chrysanthemum after purchase?
- How to care for chrysanthemum during flowering?
- When to send a chrysanthemum to "sleep"?
- Wintering indoor potted chrysanthemums
- Diseases and pests of indoor chrysanthemums
What chrysanthemums can be grown at home?
Chrysanthemums are unusual plants and their “character” is not always predictable. But they can be successfully grown indoors. For this, most often, the following types of these plants are used:
- chrysanthemum indian (Chrysanthémum x indicum);
- garden chrysanthemum, or Chinese Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × hortorum);
- chrysanthemum korean (Chrysanthémum x koreanum or Chrysanthémum multiflora);
- large-flowered chrysanthemum (Chrysanthémum morifolium).
All these plants have their own characteristics, but, basically, they are similar in care to such an extent that they have one common name - garden chrysanthemums. Although, according to the classification, garden chrysanthemum is the second name of Chinese chrysanthemum.
Even simpler are the types of chrysanthemums that are suitable for growing on window sills, in stores - Chrysanthemum Mix. Sometimes, however, you can hear the name "Oaks". However, caring for potted chrysanthemums at home is the same, therefore, I think, it is unnecessary to delve into the especially different types of ordinary flower growers.
Typically, low-growing and dwarf varieties are chosen for indoor maintenance.
What to look for when buying a potted chrysanthemum?
When choosing chrysanthemum in a pot, you need to give preference to plants with a lignified lower part of the stems. Withered, dull gray or yellowed leaves indicate that the plant is weakened and is unlikely to overwinter even in the most ideal conditions.
Sometimes the leaves look great, and when you carefully examine the underside of the leaf blade, a thin web is clearly visible. She says that a spider mite has settled on the plant.
The main thing is that the fewer opened flowers on a chrysanthemum, which goes to live in room conditions, the better. The ideal option is when only a fragment of the appearing petals is visible in an almost closed bud.
Autumn cool is not terrible for potted chrysanthemums, but they suffer greatly from the first frosts. Sometimes on sale you can find frozen plants at a low price. It is interesting that the flowers themselves still look very attractive, but the edges of the leaf blades “sag”, the leaves acquire an uncharacteristic dark color and after a couple of days they will dry completely.
Of course, sellers claim that chrysanthemums are only good for the cold. But the frozen chrysanthemums will not survive the winter in the house, they can be used only as a one-time bouquet.
Do I need to transplant potted chrysanthemum after purchase?
Chrysanthemums bought in a store always have a good supply of long-acting fertilizers in a small pot. It will definitely be enough until the summer. But the pot is small and should be replaced with a slightly larger one with the addition of new soil. I add garden soil with some river sand and wood ash. It’s important not to bring in the ground of larvae of gruel
You can use ready-made peat slightly acidic or neutral soil with the addition of perlite, sometimes it is advised to take slightly alkaline soil - in this matter, experts have no consensus.
When a chrysanthemum is removed from the purchased pot, it is sometimes found that this is not one plant, but three or four. Such magnificent “bouquets” will bloom in the pot longer than cut flowers, but, like perennial plants, these chrysanthemums are unlikely to survive if they are left all together. Chrysanthemums do not like thickened plantings even in the garden, not to mention the pots. In this case, either cut off the excess plants, leaving one stronger chrysanthemum, or they are separated and planted in separate pots.
But if you bought chrysanthemums that are only going to bloom and they do not have a single open flower, then the transplant is worth the wait. At the budding stage, chrysanthemums are very vulnerable. And as soon as the first flowers open, plants can be safely transplanted.
How to care for chrysanthemum during flowering?
To keep the chrysanthemum in the house for several years, from the moment of purchase she will have to pay a lot of attention, because it is a garden plant, and his life began in a specially equipped greenhouse with special temperature and light conditions on “nutrient soil”.
It should be especially noted that chrysanthemums are grown using synthetic growth regulators (retardants), which slow down the growth of stems in height, accelerate flowering and change the physiology and morphology of the plant. For this reason, you should not make tea from the petals of chrysanthemums purchased in flower shops and garden centers.
It is much easier to live in indoor conditions, chrysanthemums get used, which we grow ourselves from seeds, cuttings, or from young shoots taken when dividing the bush at the very beginning of summer. And, by the way, the aroma of these plants is much brighter than that of the "store".
Choosing a place for potted chrysanthemum in the house
The first thing to do after a blooming chrysanthemum appears in a house in summer or autumn is to choose a well-lit place for it. The best lighting is direct morning or evening sunlight, but bright diffused light is also suitable.
It is better to protect chrysanthemums from direct daylight, they are shaded or even transferred temporarily away from the window. Otherwise, the buds, even those that are not yet ready for flowering, will begin to open under the influence of the hot sun and, without blooming to the end, will wither.
Blooming chrysanthemum just needs coolness. The most suitable air temperature +18aboutC, but not higher than +20aboutC. She will also like the frequent airing of the room.
The soil cannot be overdried; chrysanthemums have a branched, superficial root system. It is better to water it in the morning. With insufficient watering, the stems of chrysanthemums quickly lignify, become smaller, and the leaves grow dull. But at the same time, plants do not tolerate moisture stagnation.
Removing Fading Flowers
Blooming flowers should be systematically removed without waiting for them to dry. If there are a lot of buds in the bush, the smallest ones are best removed so as not to weaken the plant.
The soil in the pot is mulched. I use dried and ground stalks of peppermint and wormwood. This protects chrysanthemums from pests.
Like all flowering plants in pots, chrysanthemum needs constant feeding (frequency - 1 time per week). Complex universal fertilizers are excellent for this, but you can also use special fertilizers for indoor flowering plants.
When to send a chrysanthemum to "sleep"?
As soon as the last flowers begin to bloom, the entire bush becomes a little dull, and the leaves look slightly wilted. There are no more buds on the chrysanthemum - it's time to send the chrysanthemum to rest.
Currently, the flowering calendar dates of most chrysanthemums are artificially changed. Now at the very beginning of October you can buy blooming large-flowered chrysanthemums in pots, and they are considered late flowering. Their apical buds open in November (and secondary, if any, a month later), flowering ends in December or January. But if this chrysanthemum was “forced” to start blooming earlier, then the dormant period in it may begin in November.
Korean Chrysanthemums have a fairly long flowering in the open ground, in terms corresponding to the variety. Korean border flowers (grade Malchish-Kibalchish) begin to bloom very early. Their first flowers open in late July. The peak of flowering of medium-sized Korean chrysanthemums (varieties "First Snow", "Evening Lights") occurs at the end of August. Tall, more powerful Korean chrysanthemums (varieties "Alyonushka", "Altgold", "Snow White") have the latest flowering periods (before frost).
But at home, the timing of flowering of chrysanthemums grown according to special technologies, regardless of the variety, is shifted. Provided that optimal conditions for home maintenance of potted chrysanthemum are organized, its flowering can last up to two months. Most often, the dormant period begins in November, but sometimes in December.
Wintering indoor potted chrysanthemums
After flowering, it is necessary to cut off the main stems at a height of five centimeters above the ground and remove completely weak and excess branches. The best place for a "winter" will be a warm balcony or loggia with a temperature of approximately + 3 ° С ... + 5 ° С.
I prefer to leave the chrysanthemum in the light and do not cut off the root shoot. I moisten the earth slightly every two to three weeks. You can also leave pots with chrysanthemums in a frost-free basement. In this case, the root shoot is removed. There must be good ventilation in the basement to avoid rot. About once every three weeks, slightly moisten the topsoil.
Before you remove the chrysanthemum in the basement or rearrange it in a cool, bright room, part of the top layer of the earth is removed and a mixture of sand, peat and a little wood ash is put into the pot. I always sprinkle dry mint powder on top of this mixture.
Potted chrysanthemums begin the growing season in March. So, it's time to transplant it into a pot of a slightly larger size and take out the chrysanthemum in a well-lit, often ventilated and cool (about +15°C) the room.
Sometimes even in a cool, dark, dry cellar, root growth begins to appear in January. These are thin white-pink “sprouts” with small scales, they should not be broken off. The chrysanthemum will need to be taken out of the basement, moisten the ground and placed in a cool (+ 12 ... + 15 ° C) and bright room. Light sprouts without chlorophyll will gradually turn into a familiar root shoot.
Diseases and pests of indoor chrysanthemums
In nature, chrysanthemums are resistant unpretentious plants. But at home, they often suffer from dry air or from an excess of moisture in the soil, from insufficient lighting, a large amount of fertilizer and thickening. Against this background, chrysanthemums are very often affected by pests and diseases.
There can be no talk of a successful wintering of sick or pest affected plants. Therefore, you need to know the basic measures for the prevention and control of diseases and pests of chrysanthemums.
As a universal prevention, apply spraying with garlic infusion or a solution prepared from dry mustard or soap. Periodic mulching of the soil with finely chopped stems and leaves of peppermint or wormwood (freshly picked or dried) increases the resistance of chrysanthemums.
The causative agent of the disease is the botrytis fungus (Botrytis cinerea). On different parts of the plant lightning-brownish-gray spots form. Very quickly, a grayish-white coating appears in the central part of the spot, which later becomes fluffy.
Spraying the whole plant with a solution of one of the systemic fungicides "Topsin-M", "Fitolavin" or biofungicide "Fitosporin". After a week, you need to re-process.
The causative agent of the disease is powdery mildew (Erysiphales). The disease spreads very quickly. A whitish powdery coating initially appears on the leaf blade on top. He immediately passes to the rest of the plant. The whole plant is in a depressed state, while most of the buds fade.
Spraying the affected areas with fungicides (for example, "Bactofit", "Bordeaux liquid", "Bona Forte"). But if you want to do without chemicals, then the whole plant is sprayed with whey or buttermilk diluted in warm water in a ratio of 1:10.
The causative agent of the disease is septoria fungus (Septoria). First, gray-yellow spots of irregular shape are formed on the leaf blades. Slowly growing and growing, they acquire a brown-rusty color. At a late stage, black dots form in different parts of these spots - pycnids (fruiting bodies) of fungi. Shriveled leaves do not fall for a long time. The disease develops at a temperature of + 20 ... + 25aboutFROM.
It is necessary to remove and burn the affected leaves. The whole plant is treated with fungicide "Oksikhom" 1-3 times with an interval of 15 days. Do not advise using this tool in parallel with any other drugs.
Chrysanthemum Nematode (Aphelenchoides ritzemabosi) - these are small (2 mm), round worms. The disease always begins with the lowest leaves. Nematodes feel good at a temperature of + 13 ... + 25aboutC. Light yellow uneven spots are located between the veins on the leaf blade. Leaves turn brown and curl. Chrysanthemum growth is inhibited. It is necessary to timely remove the affected leaves, otherwise the whole plant is gradually affected. Frequent mulching and low temperatures make it possible to avoid infection of chrysanthemums with nematodes.
Since parasites are in the tissues of the leaf, it is ineffective to use insecticides. To destroy nematodes in plant tissues, there is the practice of immersing chrysanthemums in hot water (+45aboutC) or wet heat treatment for 3-6 minutes at a temperature of +55aboutFROM.
Common spider mite
Ticks (Tetranychidae urticae) multiply rapidly and spread lightning fast, especially at home. Temperature +20about C and air humidity of 35% are ideal conditions for their rapid development. It will take only a few days for the development of an adult tick from an egg.
At a temperature below +12aboutWith ticks are in a state of hibernation. They feed on the contents of the cells. The lower part of the leaf blade is damaged. Ticks suck the plant sap. You can consider the thinnest web. The leaves partially discolor, become yellowish and acquire a “marble shade”. They quickly curl and fall. As a result, the plant decreases transpiration and photosynthesis. In addition, ticks carry viral infections and gray rot spores.
If spraying with infusion from onion husks does not help (100 g husks are infused for 4–5 days in 5 liters of water), from garlic (two chopped heads are poured with one liter of water, covered with a lid and left in the dark for five days, diluted with water - 1: 1) and treatment with soapy solutions, then turn to chemical preparations.
The entire plant is sprayed with the Actelik insecticide (the plants are treated with this agent outdoors) or with the Fitoferm biological insecticide. (The Aktara systemic insecticide is not intended to kill ticks.)
Colonies of dark or light green aphids cover all parts of the chrysanthemums. They suck out the juice and weaken the plant. Aphids often transmit serious viral diseases. In the wake of aphids, a soot fungus may appear, which settles on “sugary” aphid excreta.
Spray the entire plant with the systemic insecticide "Actara". Granules of this preparation are dissolved in warm water (+25aboutFROM). The protective effect is approximately three weeks.
Rounded, small (2 mm) insects (Chrysomphalis dictyospermi) They are located on the upper side of the leaf blade, in the bosom of the leaf, less often on the stem. The plants feed on the juice, as a result of which yellowish merging spots form on the leaves. They twist and dry, and then the stems become sick.
Spraying the entire plant with the insecticides Fitoferm, Aktara, Decis, Actellik.
Dear readers! If you have been presented with potted chrysanthemum or you bought it yourself in a store, do not rush to throw it away after flowering. Allow yourself to enjoy its awakening in the spring and again wait for its flowering in summer or autumn. I hope that my advice will help you with this.