Learning how to root mums involves propagating them using seeds, cuttings, or divisions. You’ll already have a head start when you start mums in the greenhouse because you can control the environment to their requirements. But much like starting plants in the greenhouse, you must learn how to propagate these flowers correctly, depending on what method you’ll use.
Mums or chrysanthemums are one of the easiest perennials that you can grow either for fall or spring. You can also easily manipulate the environment so that they don’t bloom too early. Because of these characteristics, it’s not surprising that gardeners have come up with multiple rooting methods.
How To Root Mums Successfully: Propagating Mums The Easy Way
You can easily root mums either from seeds, cuttings, or divisions. Choosing among them would depend on which you think will be more comfortable for you. You can also select the greenhouse for their propagation to ensure that they’ll meet optimal survival conditions.
Propagating mums using seeds
If you want a relatively straightforward and inexpensive way to propagate new mums, start them from seeds. They can begin blooming in the first year, and the uncertainty even proves to be something exciting for gardeners. However, do note that propagating chrysanthemums from seeds involves an extended growing season.
The best time to propagate mums from seeds is in early spring and indoors. You want to do this at eight weeks before the last frost as well. If you’re not sure with your frost dates, save yourself the risk and check your hardiness zone and mark your calendar.
You can use pots or trays with seed mix and check the packet directions to know the recommended depth of the seeds. You would want to moisten the soil and cover the seeds with mulch to maintain moisture. Afterward, place the container underneath a growing light until they germinate and check your indoor temperatures accordingly since sowing at 59°F is optimal.
Before you transplant the mums outdoors, make sure that you have hardened them first. A week before your last frost date, you can take them in a protected area outside. This will help them adjust before transferring them for good after two to three weeks.
Propagating mums using cuttings
Taking cuttings from established mums is another way of propagating these plants. The best time to get the cuttings is in spring from the mums that have grown last year, but be careful not to take from diseased plants. Additionally, note that if you’re using outdoor mums for cuttings, move them in the greenhouse first in mid-winter where the temperature is around 45°F.
Allow the plants to get healthy for about a month by maintaining the temperatures and keeping them hydrated. You can then get 3-inch stems as far down from your chrysanthemum by snapping them off or cutting with a clean knife. Depending on how many new plants you want, take thrice of the cuttings amount and then remove the lower leaves from each stem.
After taking the cuttings, use a wooden box or shallow pot with perlite or any other sterile rooting material. This should be wet and has an inch and a half inside to receive each cutting. You can also dip each cutting in hormone rooting powder before planting.
According to Utah State University, the ideal temperature for cuttings is 65°F, and you should protect them from harsh sunlight that you must cover them for a day or more if needed. The cuttings will thrive and root if they are in a cool place that is well-lit but not receiving direct sunlight.
Propagating mums using divisions
The last method for rooting or propagating mums is by using divisions. This propagation technique is best after the last killing frost in spring. What’s excellent with mums is that you will find smaller plants surrounding the old plant, which you can later use to root.
Lift your old plants from the soil and wash off the dirt to reveal the small plants, each with their own roots. This way, even if you can’t use the old plants anymore, you still have new mums for propagation. Among the three propagation methods, gardeners can say that rooting by division is the fastest of all.
Another way to propagate by division is by digging out plants when new growth is about to emerge. Cut through the plant’s root mass to divide it in half and then repeat to make quarters. The sections you’ll get are new plants that you can start with.
It will help if you remember that this method is best for existing fall mums. Therefore, the plants suitable for division are those that have established themselves at around two years. A promising sign is if the plants are around 6 to 8 inches tall.
As time goes on, gardeners are finding more methods to root or propagate new plants. If you’re curious how to root mums, you can do it using seeds, cuttings, or divisions. The simplest method will be by seeds, but division is another easy propagation technique if you have existing fall mums.
Regardless, all of these methods are straightforward as long as you follow the tips mentioned. Be careful with how you handle your plants and grow them in a greenhouse to keep them healthy in a consistent environment.