National Chrysanthemum Society
Chrysanthemums in hot weather
This is an account of how we grew Chrysanths in 2006
We bought our Bungalow at Acrise Nr Folkestone in August 2005 hoping to move in sometime in
the Autumn. We moved all our stock Chrysanths over in December and when the sale fell through
we took them back to Manston again.
Cuttings were taken at the right time end Feb beginning
March. We potted on into 1lt pots and moved them back to Acrise into a Polytunnel in drip trays. There they stayed being watered every 3 days or so. The tunnel was only opened when we were there so some days we clocked as high as 135 deg F and minus at night.
By the time we eventually moved in it was mid-June and we had to bring three quarters of our nursery stock with us, so again we had no time for the Chrysanths. Some plants were stopped on time others took pot luck. We did manage to get 5 Albert Broadhurst into 10lt pots at the end of June.
We had a hose pipe ban to contend with so plants again only had limited water. A few got a feed of tomato feed as they were all in the same house. We started flowering them towards the end of September, because we were unable to look after them we had bent and twisted stems. Some we were able to sell and others I used in Floral Art exhibits.
The sprays never got out of 9cm pots. They did flower 1 up and we have been able to keep the stock. Our few lates had the same treatment. We did pot up some Singles and Anemones in late September again into 10lt pots. These we flowered from the 29th October until first week in December. Good enough to have shown if the stems had been better. We still have some plants in 9cm pots and others in 1Lt pots. Again they have flowered and made good cut flowers for the house and flower arrangements.
Lessons to be learnt from this. We can grow Chrys in hot weather. We can produce quality flowers. We just need to be a little more careful and on hand to the changing weather patterns. Some people have said we got away with it because we knew how to grow them. Not so, our knowledge was of no help to us this year. So nature will produce flowers even if it is a little later than we would want them.
Finally myself I think we are trying to be too clever. Treat them a little harder and we shall have quality blooms, right size etc.. Tell people you can get away without covers, and all these so called aids. Then we shall get more blooms on the bench again. When we make out it is difficult to produce quality we lose the would be exhibitor.
by John Lawrie