Ordering new plants
January is the ideal time to order new plants for spring planting.
Examine the soil around outdoor-flowering varieties which have been left to overwinter in sheltered, mild gardens. If the soil seems to be waterlogged, pierce the ground around each plant several times with a fork inserted to its full depth. Tread any ground loosened by frost to refirm it around the roots.
Ventilate dormant clumps bedded in cold frames when it is not freezing or windy, but protect them from frost with sacks or matting. Water dormant clumps sparingly.
Complete digging on heavy ground and work bulky organic matter into the top 15 cm (6 in) of soil. Test for alkalinity. Chrysanthemums do best in soil with a pH of 6.5.
Treat chrysanthemums under glass affected by aphids and leaf miners. Keep the maximum temperature in the greenhouse at 10°C.
Take cuttings of large exhibition varieties. Even if you don’t plan to take cuttings now, cut back any shoots longer than 8 cm (3 in). This will keep the plants in good condition for propagation, which you can then carry out during March and April.
Flowers of very late-flowering varieties will carry on well into this month in a cool, dry greenhouse. Take cuttings from these plants now, provided the shoots are strong and healthy.
Towards the end of the month pot up rooted cuttings of large exhibition varieties growing in the greenhouse into 9 cm (3½ in) pots.