Container Production of Prostrate Garden Chrysanthemums

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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, 1970 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108

The prostrate plant habit may be an important new trait for the garden chrysanthemum [Dendranthema ×grandiflora Tzvelv. (=Chrysanthemum ×morifolium Ramatuelle)] market. Fifteen prostrate and non-prostrate genotypes were evaluated in production trials, using Regular and Fast Cropping systems. At flowering, the following traits were evaluated: days to flowering (first, 50%, 100%), flowering duration, pot coverage, plant uniformity, and salability. Salability was measured with consumer evaluations. Genotypes differed significantly for days to first and 100% flowering, flowering duration, plant height, plant width, and plant uniformity. Cropping systems were significantly different for days to first and 100% flowering. `Snowscape', a semi-prostrate day-neutral cultivar, was earlier than all other genotypes for days to first flower. It also had the longest flowering duration. `Snowscape' would be the best genetic source for creating early, continual flowering cultivars. Most prostrate genotypes were as early as commercial cultivars. Genotype 90-275-27 was significantly shorter (prostrate) than all other genotypes and would be the best genetic source for prostrate plants. Genotypes 95-169-8, 92-237-9, 95-157-6, 95-169-10, 90-275-27, and `Snowscape' had the most acceptable plant width for shipping. Plant uniformity of 95-169-10 and 95-169-8 matched that of `Debonair' and `Spotlight', all of which were significantly more uniform than the other genotypes. The least uniform prostrate was 95-331-10. `Snowscape' had the highest (best) index of traits ranking and was significantly better than all other genotypes. Consumer evaluations were highest for non-prostrate cultivars.

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