Sparkling shapes, trendy shades and of course that legendary resilience: the chrysanthemum is justifiably the undisputed heart and soul of the October party. No other cut flower offers so much choice, from sparkling stars and voluminous spray chrysanthemums to cheerful pompoms and spectacular soloists which can achieve a diameter of some 10 centimetres.
Perfect for classic autumn bouquets, but also ideal material for modern arrangements in the trend colours of ochre, pink, lilac, brown and yellow. Because pushing the envelope is something else that chrysanthemums are very good at.
Chrysanthemums were being grown in China as a flowering herb as early as the 15th century BC. They were viewed there as an exulted plant with special properties. So special that only noblemen were given permission to plant them in their gardens. Chrysanthemums can therefore also be found on the finest Chinese porcelain, painted in the refined Asiatic style. In Japan that the flower plays an even more prominent role as the national symbol and in the form of the imperial Chrysanthemum Throne. The succession - Emperor Akihito abdicated in favour of his son Naruhito earlier this year - means that chrysanthemums are particularly relevant this year.
Range & assortment
The offering consists of spray chrysanthemums (multiple flowers per stem), disbudded chrysanthemums (one flower per stem) and Santini (maximum flower diameter 40 mm, stem length 55 cm). In terms of flower shapes, we have single-flowered, double-flowered, anemone, spider and pompom. The range consists of more than 400 varieties, so that there is plenty of choice to welcome autumn 2019 in a surprising way.
What to look for when buying chrysanthemums
- When buying, check the length of the stem, the weight expressed in grams per stem, the ripeness expressed in stages 1 to 5, the type of chrysanthemum (spray, disbudded, Santini), the colour and flower shape.
- The flowers must be healthy and free of pests and diseases. Chrysanthemums can sometimes suffer from botrytis (= blight, grey mould), a fungus which manifests itself as brown spots on the flower or patches on the leaf.
- The stems can droop somewhat if the flower is too heavy for the stem.
- When the flowers or the foliage are damaged or flawed, this is often the result of shipping or storage.
- A chrysanthemum’s leaf can sometimes contain small white tunnels which are caused by the larvae of the leaf-miner fly.
- Good nurseries pre-treat chrysanthemums by pre-watering them, as a result of which they can better cope with dry shipping in boxes. Outdoor chrysanthemums are transported in water and pre-treated with a wetting agent which encourages the woody stem to take up water.
Care tips for professionals
- Place chrysanthemums in clean buckets or vases with clean water with a preservative added. This ensures that the flowers open well, the leaves do not yellow, and the water is not contaminated by bacteria.
- Trim 3-5 cm off the stems with sharp secateurs or a sharp knife and remove the bottom leaves. Make sure that there’s no foliage in the water.
- Ensure that the flowers and the foliage cannot get damp due to excessive humidity or from condensation in the cellophane. This will encourage botrytis, a fungus which rapidly diminishes the decorative value. With chrysanthemums this is often called blight because of the small spots on the flowers, or grey mould when it’s between the leaves.
Display tips for professionals
Exploit the power of the chrysanthemum by using the length of the flowers for energetic arrangements, whereby you abandon classic techniques and arrange the flowers in a new way. The disbudded chrysanthemums sparkle at the top, whilst at the bottom spray and santini chrysanthemums create a rich base. Three things are important in this style trend. The first is to strike a balance with the flowers between fullness and space. The second is to choose flowers with a colour progression for extra dynamism. And the third is the container. It should be clean and sober: white, shiny, smart, plastic. The sleeker the vase, pot or bowl, the more the chrysanthemums will stand out.
Care tips for customers
- Trim the stems diagonally and remove the bottom leaves so they don’t dangle in the water.
- Arrange chrysanthemums in a clean vase with fresh water and some cut flower food.
- Avoid placing the vase in full sun, near a fruit bowl or near the central heating.
- Trimming the stems diagonally again after a week and treating the chrysanthemums to clean water with plant food will help them last even longer.
Inspiration & information
Inspiring images of every flower on the Flower Agenda have been produced in line with the Horticulture Sector Trends 2019 (Groenbranche Trends 2019). These trends are a translation of the latest consumer trends and are specifically aimed at the horticulture sector for use both indoors and outdoors. If you would like to find out more about the Flower Agenda, click here.
Chrysanthemum will be on the Flower Agenda in October.
You can download and use these inspiration images free of charge if you credit Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk.