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Garden Mums Rooting Guide
by Bernard Chodyla, Gediflora

Checklist for successful rooting of Gediflora Belgian Mums:
  • Check your cuttings upon arrival. All boxes should be opened immediately and placed in the cooler at 40℉. Cuttings should be inspected for disease, insect, cold or heat damage the same day so you can notify us of any problems immediately. Normally, garden mum cuttings store very well in the cooler, but we advise you to stick your cuttings within 24 hours from arrival or as soon as possible.
  • You should be receiving all cuttings in vegetative stage without any visible flower buds. Occasionally you might notice some cuttings with small terminal crown buds. That is expected on some varieties and it is an indication of self-pinching process in garden mums. Those crown buds should never develop into regular buds or become prematurely reproductive if you maintain proper environment in propagation area.
  • Our cuttings will be arriving without a rooting hormone. You can dip cuttings in a rooting hormone containing IBA, but there is no strong evidence that this will speed up or make the rooting process more uniform. Garden mum cuttings should be rooted and transplantable within 14-19 days from stick depending on the plug size and type of growing media used.

  • Figure 1. Gediflora cuttings in glue plugs, 16 days after stick
  • Gediflora cuttings are 1.5” long so after sticking 0.5” into the soil, cuttings will have some room to grow and finish 1.5-1.75” tall, measuring from the soil level of the liner.

  • Figure 2. Correct sticking depth
  • We recommend using 2500ppm spray of B-9 within one week from stick to keep the internodes from stretching. It is best to spray PGRs in the afternoon after the mist is turned off.
  • We always recommend the use of “mum lighting” during propagation, 10 foot candles or more of incandescent light at plant level. Keep in mind that garden mum cuttings should never remain in darkness for longer than 7 hours continuously so the night interruption from 10pm to 2am works best to prevent premature bud initiation.
  • Garden mum cuttings will root best when rooting media temperature is maintained at 70-72℉. A temperature below 65℉ will slow the rooting process significantly and could cause premature bud setting.
  • Our cuttings will root well in most types of growing media. We prefer using glue plugs which are ready for transplanting 3-4 days faster than in loose-fill trays. Ideally, the growing media and tray size should be such so the cuttings are fully rooted and transplantable within 16 days after stick.

  • Figure 3. Perfect Gediflora plug size with well-developed roots
  • It is important to stick cuttings in the moist media and develop proper mist schedule in propagation. The mist frequency and duration will depend on light level, temperature and humidity so any type of a VPD based controller will be better than regular irrigation box. Ideally, the amount of mist applied should be sufficient to keep the leaves moist at all times but without much excess going into the soil and causing leaching. The propagation area should feel warm, humidity should be high and air movement reduced to minimum. You should gradually reduce amount of mist and turn it off as soon as roots are well developed and able to keep plants from excessive wilting. Too much mist and low light after root initiation will result in decreased quality and stretching.
  • The rooting could be done with clear water and occasional feeding with 150ppm of well balanced fertilizer with micronutrients. Some growers use constant feed from calcium nitrate through the mist at a very low concentration of nitrogen (50ppm) with very good results. Each time you apply fertilizer containing phosphorus we recommend to rinse foliage with clear water to avoid tip burn.

  • Figure 4. Tip burn from misting with feed containing phosphorus
  • You can root cuttings in the plug trays or directly in the final pots. It is very important that you always stick cuttings in the center of the cell or final pot to prevent lopsided growth. When sticking directly in the final pots we recommend that the tip of the cutting is leveled with the rim of the pot to prevent plants from getting wobbly in later stages.

  • Figure 5. Correct sticking in the center vs. off-center
  • It is not necessary to use Florel on our varieties like Staviski and Jasoda if you maintain proper temperature and lights, when plugs are used for indoor production. You should consider using Florel in propagation to prevent premature budding if plugs will be planted directly outside and night temperatures are below 65℉. Spray 500ppm Florel 10 days after stick and again before transplanting outside.
  • Maintain clean propagation area at all times. It is proved that sanitary conditions produce better quality liners.