Chrysanthemums (Leggy)

gardenbug(8b)August 29, 2010

I have two large containers with a Chrysanthemums in each. They are called 'Helen'. I purchased them at the nursery and I planted them in pots last fall. They bloomed nicely in the spring, but now they have gotten tall and leggy. They are getting new buds. The leaves look dry and bedraggled. Any suggestions? or should I just throw them away. Thanks.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Pinch tips of new growth several times over the course of the spring, to promote branching. It is too late to do it this year.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 12:07AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Right, they must be pinched several times earlier in the year or this is how they end up. Tall, scraggly and with few flowers.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 11:03AM
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Thank you for your suggestions. Can I plant them in the ground now and pinch them next spring? or do you think I should just throw them away?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 1:45PM
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Yes, plant them in the ground in a sunny spot, if you haven't done that already. I would expect them to come on strong next year. Last pinching should be done by mid-summer.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 5:53PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Full sun and good drainage essential for mums. The grayish, aromatic foliage points to the conditions they like.

Apply slug bait early in the year, to protect the new little shoot nubs.

And any other time these may attack.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:30PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Is there a chance some part of fertilizer that promotes stronger stems is missing? I ask because so many of my flowers are leggy, although a lot of it is due to shade issues.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 11:27AM
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bboy - the place where I was thinking of planting them is on the west side of the house. It gets morning shade and about 6hrs of afternoon sun. Would this work?

When planting in the ground, should I use bonemeal? I am going to plant them on the weekend.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 12:08PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If other plants there seem to be getting plenty of light spot could work out okay.

The Bottom Line
⢠Bone meal supplies high levels of phosphorus and calcium, elements that are rarely limiting in
non-agricultural soils.
⢠Phosphorus, from bone meal or other sources, does not âÂÂstimulateâ plant growth; it is only a
mineral, not a plant growth regulator.
⢠High levels of phosphorus, from bone meal or other sources, will inhibit growth of mycorrhizal
⢠Without mycorrhizal partners, plants must put additional resources into root growth at the
expense of other tissues and functions.
⢠Before you add any supplementary nutrients to your landscape, have a complete soil test
performed first

Here is a link that might be useful: The Myth of Beneficial Bone Meal

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 5:02PM
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Thanks bboy. Okay, I can forego the bonemeal. Maybe a transplant liquid?

I forgot to ask...
When I move these from my containers and plant them in the ground (I'm going to do it this weekend) should I cut the mums back? If so, how far? They are leggy, some of the leaves have browned and look scraggly but they are still developing a few flower buds. They don't look too happy right now. But, I'm sure that's my fault because I didn't pinch them as much as I should have. I'll do better next year.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 2:48PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Don't cut them back now, you'll lose the bloom. Next thing is for them to bloom, make new overwintering growths at the bases of the flowering stems. After bloom they can be cut off just above the new shoots at the base. That will take away the current ugliness.

If still in bloom in November the arrival of the winter wet season that month (the stormiest month of the year here) is liable to shut them down. Budding out now they might be over before then anyway. There are early, mid-season and late-blooming varieties.

The Bottom Line
⢠Vitamin B-1, aka thiamine, does not reduce transplant shock or stimulate new root growth on
plants outside the laboratory
⢠A nitrogen fertilizer is adequate for transplanting landscape plants; avoid use of âÂÂtransplant
fertilizersâ that contain phosphate
⢠Healthy plants will synthesize their own thiamine supply
⢠Healthy soils contain beneficial microbes that synthesize thiamine as well
⢠Difficult-to-transplant species may be aided by application of auxin-containing products in
addition to nitrogen, but read the label and donâÂÂt add unnecessary and potentially harmful
chemicals (this includes organics!)
⢠Adequate soil moisture is crucial for new root growth; be sure to irrigate new transplants
frequently and use mulch to reduce evaporation

Here is a link that might be useful: The Myth of Vitamin Stimulants

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 3:11PM
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Wow bboy, you sure know yer stuff.
I can't thank you enough for all the advice and help you've given me for many of my plants for a long time now.

I think you've finally turned me into an gardener afterall. I can't believe after all the help you've given me, I haven't killed one single plant and I'm just lovin' my garden. Again..thank you.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 3:55PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Local outlets have interesting kinds in bloom right now if you find the ones you have now really too funky, want to try others. The potted mums sold by flower shops and supermarket floral departments aren't necessarily good choices for home gardens here. Types developed for use in the garden can be picked seen prominently displayed at garden centers these days.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 10:40PM
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Thanks Bboy, I'll probably end up at the nursery again on the weekend. They know me by my first name now. lol

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 3:38AM
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I have some really big bushy beautiful mums, 6 in fact. Somehow I planted them in the worst place and so all they do is get big and bushy with lots of buds but they are struggling to flower. I need to trasplant them to a sunnier spot and I am clearing a big area now. But WHEN is the best time to put them in the new location. I am getting confused as to when. And then what. I live in No. Iowa so the winters are pretty good and they have done well thru them but I don't want to loose them so anyone?...ideas? Oh and what is all this about pinching back? thx

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 5:44PM
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I left the mums in the ground all winter. Well, here it is February already. The old growth is still there but I can see lots of new growth at the base. What's my next move?? please??

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 2:39PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

In a couple of weeks cut down the old growth. When the new growth gets to a about a foot tall, pinch the tips out.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Hi buyorsell, thanks for your help on this. I wasn't sure what do you. Great, I'll wait a few weeks. Exactly what I needed to know. Last year I didn't pinch as often as I should have or as long as I should have. They ended up rather leggy looking. I feel confident that I can do much better this year. Thanks to you and everyone elses' help. I love the help I get on this forum. I have learned so much over the past couple of years. Now I've got spring/gardening fever. lol

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 2:08AM
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Hi, It's almost June and I have some Chrysanthemums I planted from a pot last year. They are in the ground in sunny spot. They are the bushy white flowered ones. These are my first. They are 3 ft tall. I didn't know anything about pinching them. I don't even know what the bud looks like if it is ready to bud. Should I start pinching now? Thank you. I live in South Texas.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 2:26PM
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