How to propagate chrysanthemums
Jonny Bruce explains how to propagate chrysanthemums and get more for your garden. Photographs by Jason Ingram
Like many garden perennials, hardy chrysanthemums benefit from being divided every few years. This is best done in late spring and helps to reduce overcrowding, reinvigorating the plant and providing you with a few extra plants. However, an equally easy propagation method, and one that produces far more plants, is by cuttings. Cuttings can be taken in the late spring and early summer, and are best taken in the morning before the heat of the day and when the shoots are turgid.
How to propagate chrysanthemums
Immediately remove the lower leaves
Do this to reduce transpiration (the evaporation of water from plant leaves).
Neaten them once inside
Once the cuttings have been safely brought into the potting shed or glasshouse they can be neatened up and stems shortened.
Make it a clean cut
Ensure the stem cutting is clean with no ragged edges or tears, which may risk rot entering and any larger remaining leaves can be cut in half to further reduce transpriation.
Insert your stem into a pot
Trimmed cuttings should be inserted around the edge of a terracotta pot filled with a free-draining cutting compost. The terracotta is breathable and allows for more oxygen to reach the active site of rooting.
Maintain humidity around the plant
A plastic bag is an effective and inexpensive way to maintain humidity. Once the cuttings have been well watered – using a fine rose, so as to not disturb the cuttings – place the bag over the pot. It is important that the leaves do not touch the inside of the bag as condensation will increase the risk of rot and grey mould.
Head to our guide for our list of the best types of chrysanthemums for your garden, or read our full edit of the best propagation tools and gadgets you can buy online.
Jonny Bruce is a gardener and writer with an arts background. Having trained in historic gardens he moved into nurseries, learning sustainable growing methods and deepening his plantsmanship which he now applies as a planting design consultant.
Jason Ingram is an award winning garden photographer based in Bristol, UK. He travels widely shooting for magazines, book publishers and advertising agencies. He also works with top international garden designers and Landscape Architects on private projects worldwide.
13 issues for £30 when you subscribe
Subscribe to Gardens Illustrated magazine and receive your first 13 issues for £30!
Transform your Garden- Special Edition
Transform Your Garden
This special edition features advice on designing your garden from the world’s top garden designers, including top tips for redesigning your plot or creating a new garden from scratch.
Discover eight inspirational gardens in town and country, and beautiful planting ideas for year-round colour. Learn how to make the most of a small space, how to cope with a slope, and the ten most common mistakes people make, according to professional garden designers, and how to avoid them.
Enjoy insights on everything from paths and parking spaces to wildflowers and water features, so that you can be confident in starting to create the garden of your dreams.
Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
From botanical wonders in Australia to tranquil havens closer to home in Ireland, let this guide help you to discover some of the most glorious gardens around the world