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Growing Chrysanthemums from Seed

A school project

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringWhite flowering plantRed flowering plantPink flowering plantYellow flowering plantblue flowering plantPurple flowering plantorange flowering plantBurgundy flowering plantA photograph of Chrysanthemum is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper
We want to raise mums from seed for sale in the fall septemberish. We really would like to have full plants in a variety of colors. Our up front money is limited but we have a ton of hands and time. I saw your brief comments on the germination of the mums...
Are Mum seeds hard to find?
Are Mum seeds hard to germinate?
Do I need a germination heating pad?
Is there a variety that I do not have to pinch?
How do the big growers do it? I have been hunting around about this and it seems that most people do cuttings but that is a little two pricey for me, especially if the seeds work just as well.
Timmy the Garden Gnome Chrysanthemum seeds are widely available, and are easily germinated as long as they are kept at a constant temperature of 70 to 75 degrees F. A propagating mat under your flats or heating cables buried beneath the seed bed are the best way to ensure that the seeds receive this bottom heat.
Unfortunately the mats and cables may seem a bit pricey, but keep in mind that they will last several years, and the benefits make them a worthwhile investment. They can also be used to cut the rooting time of cuttings in half.
The seeds should be sown in flats of sterile rooting medium on or before April 1st. Chrysanthemum seeds are extremely small (45,000 seeds per ounce), so use care to ensure that they are evenly distributed.
In about 6 weeks, when the seedlings are at the 4-6 leaf stage, they are separated and transplanted into 2 inch peat pots.
Seedlings should be only handled by the leaves, and a dibble stick, because any damage to the seedling's stem will be fatal, whereas the plant will always grow new leaves. You can make dibble sticks by cutting a small V notch in the end of a popsicle stick.
The notch is used to support the seedling as it is moved from the tray to the pot, as well as a poker to punch a hole into the soil to set the new plant in.
The Chrysanthemum plant is then grown on for another 4-5 weeks at which time it is potted up to a gallon size planter, and the very tips are pinched out to promote bushiness.
Feed heavily and regularly with Peters® potted mum special fertilizer (15-30-15), following the manufacturers recommendations.
From this point on, you will only need to provide bright light, regular feeding and watering. No further pinching will be needed. Your plants should be ready for sale in early September...
Good luck!