Terms Used in Chrysanthemum Culture


Terms used in chrysanthemum culture:

Bud sport

One shoot produces flowers of a different colour or shape from those on the rest of the plant. It is a vegetative mutation due to spontaneous genetic change and the sport can usually be perpetuated by cuttings taken from the shoot.

Break bud

A chrysanthemum plant growing naturally develops a single stem in the first instance and then produces a flower bud at its tip at varying heights according to variety. This is called the break bud because leafy shoots break into growth immediately below to form a branched plant. While the break bud is usually imperfect, it is satisfactory in the case of late rooted cuttings grown on single stems and many large-flowered exhibition varieties.

terms used in chrysanthemum culture Natural break

The formation of the bud restricts the extension of the main shoot and further growth of shoots takes place when the buds in the axils of the leaves below the break bud develop. This process and the shoots that form are collectively called the natural break.

Crown buds

These shoots, if left to grow, will in time produce a crown flower bud at their tips, below which further leafy shoots will be produced which will again in time form a second crown bud. First crown buds, if left, will produce flowers, or if removed by ‘stopping’ will allow the second crown buds to develop. First crown buds invariably give fuller flowers than second crown buds though very full flowering varieties are often better on second crowns.

Terminal buds

When a shoot which arises from a leaf axil ends in a cluster of flower buds (not a bud with a cluster of leafy shoots) the central bud is known as the terminal bud.


The removal of the growing point to induce a shoot or a number of shoots to develop lower down on the plant than would be the case if it were left to grow naturally. Varieties differ in the forming of breaks, some producing natural breaks too freely. The number can be reduced by pinching out the top of the plant before the breaks appear. If on the other hand there are not sufficient breaks, it may be necessary to stop subsequent tips to the branches to form more.


This is the careful removal of flower buds which form around the terminal bud, this bud being said to be ‘taken’. If the buds are all allowed to form this pis called a spray, whereas the single flower per stem is called a standard.

The main forms of chrysanthemum culture:

1. Earlies out of doors

Propagation in greenhouses or frames in the early part of the year for planting and flowering out of doors in borders (early flowering types).

2. Protected flowering

Propagation in greenhouses or frames in the early part of the year for planting out of doors in borders to flower in autumn under the protection of sashes, mobile greenhouses or plastic structures.

3. Pot culture

Propagation in greenhouses in the early part of the year for planting in pots which can be lifted indoors for flowering, or left outdoors in the case of earlies. Not to be confused with intensive culture of pot chrysanthemums.

4. Lifters

Propagation in greenhouses in the early part of the year for growing in borders out of doors, for lifting into greenhouses for flowering.

5. Semi-direct planting

Late propagation in greenhouses, or purchase of late-struck cuttings, for growing in frames or protected areas (preferably in peat pots to avoid checks). These are then lifted into greenhouse for continued vegetative growth and flowering.

6. Direct planting

Planting direct in greenhouses or plastic structures to flower in natural season, this including (a) earlies under glass and (b) late-struck cuttings during mid and late summer. Cuttings can be self-propagated in the case of earlies but are more usually bought in for direct planting in mid or late summer.

7. Spot cropping

The same as (6) but, by day length manipulation, grown for a specific period out of natural season.

8. Year-round culture

This, using bought in cuttings, involves day length manipulation with artificial lighting or shortening by shading. Be aware that cultural details on cropping plants are now available from specialist suppliers.


29. March 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Bulbous Plants, Plants & Trees | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Terms Used in Chrysanthemum Culture


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