The chrysanthemum: In the February Flower Agenda
Flowers that come in yellow, white, green, pink, green, red, orange, purple or bronze, sometimes with a diameter of up to 14 cm: the chrysanthemum is a real beauty. The chrysanthemum will therefore be gracing the Flower Agenda in February. It’s travelled a long way - all the way from Asia - but now feels entirely at home here.
The flower has been highly regarded in China and Japan for a very long time. For example, in China only the nobility were allowed to have chrysanthemums, and in Japan the chrysanthemum is considered the national flower. The flower symbolises a long and happy life both there and in other parts of the Far East. The chrysanthemum only came to Europe in 1688 from what were then the Dutch East Indies. Linnaeus christened it Chrysanthemum indicum: ‘the golden yellow flower from the Indies’.
Range & assortment
We can divide chrysanthemums into three flower types:
- The disbudded chrysanthemum: one larger flower per stem.
- The spray chrysanthemum: multiple small flowers.
- The Santini chrysanthemum: maximum stem length 55 cm, the smaller flowers are higher than on the spray chrysanthemum.
- We also differentiate between single-flowered, double-flowered, anemone, spider and pompon types. New chrysanthemum varieties are often faster growing and have new colours, flower shapes and sizes. Colour-treated chrysanthemums are also a growing trend.
What to look for when buying chrysanthemums
- The length of the stem, the weight, the ripeness, the flower type, the colour and the flower shape.
- The flower is prone to botrytis, so check for brown spots on the flower or patches on the leaves.
- Also beware of leaf-miner fly. This insect makes small white tunnels in the leaf.
- Damage to chrysanthemums is usually caused during the journey from grower to flower shop. Growers therefore pre-treat the flowers so that they can cope better with transportation in boxes.
Care tips for professionals
- Place chrysanthemums in a clean bucket; possibly add a preservative to the water.
- Chrysanthemums can be stored dry at temperatures between 1-3°C, but not for too long.
- Use a sharp knife or secateurs to trim 3-5 cm off the stem and remove the leaves that will hang in the water.
- Chrysanthemums are thirsty - top the vase is up with fresh water regularly.
- Keep the humidity low: condensation on the packaging material can cause botrytis.
- The cellophane around disbudded chrysanthemums can be easily removed by spraying it lightly with water.
- Don’t place chrysanthemums in direct sunlight, then they will last up to 3 weeks.
Display tips for professionals
In February you can create attractive natural bouquets with chrysanthemums and the first flowering branches of Prunus, Syringa or Forsythia. The fresh yellow and pink are a lovely teaser for spring.
If you prefer small, full bouquets combine chrysanthemums with bold flowers such as tulips, ranunculus and anemones. Or put together a fresh green bouquet packed with green anthuriums, chrysanthemums, carnations and foliage species such as Philodendron, Asparagus and Pandanus.
Care tips for customers
- Chrysanthemums like a clean vase with clean water and cut flower food.
- Make sure there are no leaves hanging in the water - remove the lower leaves if necessary.
- Cut 3 to 5 cm off of the stem.
- Place the vase in a draught-free spot, not in the sun or near a heater.
- Do not place chrysanthemums next to the fruit bowl.
- Chrysanthemums drink a lot, so check the water level regularly and top up where necessary.
Source Flower Council Holland/funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk