Evaluation of Field-grown Cut Chrysanthemum Flowers

In 2011, we concluded four years of research growing cut flower varieties of chrysanthemums in the field. We evaluated their growth and performance, but most importantly their ability to flower in September and early October under natural light conditions.

This work was conducted at the Cornell Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center at Riverhead, Long Island, where Dr. Bridgen is the Director. The station is in USDA zone 7a-b.

In previous years we had trialed 58 different cultivars of cut chrysanthemum varieties both inside and outside  high tunnels. In 2009, we induced early short days by pulling black plastic over the plants for five weeks and demonstrated that all cultivars have the ability to flower
early if treated correctly.

The cultivars that flowered in September and early October under natural conditions and that grew the best in previous experiments were propagated and tested in 2011 to confirm their performance.  These superior plants included ‘Ann’, ‘Cheer’, ‘Derek Bircumshaw’, ‘Gillette’, ‘Indian Summer’, ‘Joyce Fountain’, ‘Paintbox’, ‘Pennine Romeo’, ‘Pennine Sparkle’, ‘Pennine Swan’, ‘Pennine Swing’, ‘Pretty Polly’, ‘Prom King’, and ‘Prom Queen’. These cultivars grew and flowered well in 2011.

Those cultivars that flower in September are:
l ’Derek Bircumshaw’ – yellow flower, incurve bloom, disbud for larger flowers
l ‘Gillette’ – white flower, incurve bloom
l ‘Indian Summer’ – bronze, decorative flower, disbud or spray
l ‘Joyce Fountain’ – red flower, reflex form, can disbud
l ‘Pennine Romeo’ – lavender flower
l ‘Pennine Swing’ – purple flower

This research demonstrated that by choosing the correct cultivars, cut chrysanthemums can be produced outdoors under natural photoperiodic conditions.  There are several advantages to growing mums as a field cut flower:  it is a “new” specialty cut flower, inexpensive, easy to grow, and there are a variety of colors and forms from which to choose.


Cut Flower Research at Cornell University

Cut Flower Research at Cornell UniversityChris Wien has shared a summary of his work at Cornell on field- and high tunnel-grown cut flowers. Projects included amaranth and larkspur pinching trials; sunflower pinching, spacing, photoperiod, and pollination experiments; and varietal differences in sunflower petal detachment force; as well as variety trials of seventeen cut flower species. To read the complete report, go to http://tinyurl.com/7xlxuqe

For an overview of all of Chris’ work (there is a lot of it!), visit his home page at