Introducing Early flowering disbuds by Malcolm & Audrey Simpson

INTRODUCING THE EARLY FLOWERING DISBUDS

These flowers consist of three types:

23 a/b Incurved – The petals lie smoothly to form an incurving sphere.
24 a/b Reflexed – The petals develop into reflexing form.
25 a/b Intermediate – They stand between true incurved and the reflexed in terms of form but they should be of globular outline.

They can be grown in the garden or in pots, but for exhibition purposes must be covered at flowering time.

The following procedures are for growing in the garden for exhibition:

Lifting and Storing – After flowering, selected plants are cut down to 6” high, lifted and root systems trimmed. They are then boxed up in soilless compost, lightly watered in and kept in a cold frame, frost free and well ventilated on favourable conditions.

Propagation – Late December, plants are brought into a warm greenhouse 45°F and given a thorough watering. Once cuttings develop to 1½” high they are cut off and put in a standard seed tray of soilless compost, 35 cuttings per tray. They are then watered in and placed onto a propagating bench bottom heat 70°F top heat 45°F.

Potting and Growing on – Once rooted they are potted into 3½” pots of soilless compost or John Innes No 1, lightly watered in and kept in a cool greenhouse 40°F min. Once pots are filled with roots, they are moved into 5” pots of similar compost and moved into a frost fee cold frame.

Stopping – The smallest tip of the growing point of the plant is removed – this encourages flowering breaks to grow from the leaf joints.

Preparing the beds – Mid March, the soil is dressed with pelleted chicken manure and forked, then raked level ready for planting out.

Planting out – Early May the pots are watered thoroughly the day before planting. Canes are inserted into beds 15” apart and 15” between rows. Once planted to each cane they are tied in. The beds are dressed with a balanced fertiliser and hoed.

Growing on – By early June, the surplus breaks are removed to leave 2 flowering breaks. These breaks are tied to the canes as they grow.

Pest and disease prevention – All through the growing period plants are sprayed with an insecticide and fungicide, alternating the chemicals to prevent a resistance to a particular chemical.

Feeding and securing buds – Once buds appear in the growing tip, remove all but the centre bud and remove all growth in the leaf axils. Once secured, start to feed plants with a balanced liquid feed each week until the bud splits, then stop feeding and apply water only.

Bloom protection – Covers are erected at colour show and Incurves and Intermediates are bud bagged. Then after 10 days the bud bags are removed and larger bags are put on - 12” x 10” for Incurves and 15” x 12” for Intermediates. These give extra protection and improve form.

Show time – Blooms are selected and cut 3 days before the show. Once cut, the blooms are placed in vases of water and kept in a cool dark room for 24 hours. Then each bloom is picked over removing damaged petals and then dressed. The blooms are secured to hurdles to transport to the show.

For further information regarding plant suppliers and extensive literature please see the website: www.nationalchrysanthemumsociety.co.uk