Cascade Chrysanthemums can provide a wonderful display of colour, but they are probably the least grown of all Chrysanthemums. Ideally receive your plants as early in the year as possible, bearing in mind that they will need protecting from frost. Pot on into 9cm pots using John Innes No. 1. The plants should be kept growing at a temperature of about 14°C, and when the pots are full of root they can be moved on into 13cm pots, this time using John Innes No.2 . The plants can either be grown on in a cool greenhouse, or moved into cold frames about the beginning of April. Mid-May should see the plants ready for a move into their final 23cm pots, using John Innes No 3.. Potting them into these pots is however where the first real difference occurs from growing other forms of Chrysanthemums.
These plants will be trained to trail or cascade downwards, but as any other plants they will if left to their own devices still try to grow up towards the light. The plants need to be kept as subtle as possible, but it is difficult to bend the plants to any great amount without snapping them, so we need to give them a good start towards trailing down by planting them in the pot on their side, with the main stem almost horizontal. The aim will then be to train the plant to trail down further giving a true cascade. One way of training the cascade is to regularly tie the growing tip to a cane inclined down at an angle from the pot, generally about 45° to the horizontal. This means you will need to place the pot on an elevated position, the simplest way to support this cane is to insert a small cane upright in the pot and tie the top of the inclined cane to it. The lower part of the cane will need to be secured to a support wire to provide stability. The plants break naturally, but the side shoots can be pinched to help build up the shape of the plant. All pinching should stop in early September, allowing the flower buds to develop.
Feed regularly, using our tried and tested fertilizer
. Cascades will need regular watering and with the pots in an elevated position there is the tendency for them to dry out more frequently. About mid-September the plants need to be moved into the greenhouse for flowering. When in the greenhouse, watering should be little and often. Flowering should be from early November, and they will give you a mass of cascading winter colour.
Cascades can also be trained into many other shapes, including columns and spirals.