Blooming Chrysanthemums!

Booming Chrysanthemums
November 12, 2019

The Lyman Conservatory Physiology and Cold Storage greenhouses come alive with color during the annual Fall Chrysanthemum Show.
It always begins the first Saturday in November and runs for two weeks including the third weekend. 

Months of preparation by Botanic Garden staff and student greenhouse assistants lead to an amazing display.  

Cascades are a striking feature of the Show. These waterfalls of flowers flow from their pots with brilliant color. Although specifically bred for this, cascading mums do not naturally grow in these formations. They require a ten-month training period during which they are pinned to wire frames. The buds are pinched periodically to encourage branching and to increase the number of flower buds. Using similar methods, cascading mums can be trained to walls, fans, or pillars, or to even more complex shapes.

Look for plants that have been pruned and shaped over many months to resemble traditional Bonsai!

Standards are extraordinary oversized blooms growing atop plants as tall as seven feet. The flowers  have been coaxed to their unusual size by removing all the side flower buds as the plants grow. This results in one very large flower per plant.

Students at Smith have been learning chrysanthemum hybridization techniques since the early 1900s, producing new hybrids bearing the names of their creators. These hybrids are exhibited at the following year’s show, and visitors vote for their favorite hybrid. The winner is inducted into the Mum Hall of Fame.