Starting a Business in Chrysanthemum Farming

Chrysanthemum is one of the leading cutflowers and potted plants in the international market. Domestic market has increased both for cutflowers and potted plants. Local production cannot cope with the demand, thus the importation of this cutflower from other countries. The development of chrysanthemum industry as a major ornamental cutflower and potted plants enterprises supports the major thrusts of the government to develop the non-traditional export products that will boost the industry to earn dollars.

The semi-temperate climate of Benguet favors the production of high value crops such as cutflowers. The lucrative income derived from cutflower accounts for its growing popularity as livelihood enterprise. It is one of the fastest earning cash crops, next to vegetables.

Chrysanthemums grow best in temperatures ranging from 16°C to 26°. If the temperature dips to 14°C and below, plants will take longer time to bloom early but wilt easily due to the heat.

The immediate benefits from chrysanthemum production will substitute the imported flowers with locally produced ones.

Cultivars

Selection of the cultivars depends on the purpose of the growers and the inherent characteristics of the cultivars to be used:

For cutflower production in the highlands

  • Golden Princess Anne, Bowl of Gold, Otome (White and Pink), Taiwan Yellow, Taiwan White

For potted chrysanthemum:

  • Kikubiyori, Snowball, Genie, La France, Rhapsody, Red headline, Miss Hiroshima, Algiers, Capistrano, Autumn Fire

For lowland areas, the following cultivars have shown great performance:

  1. Jean series – Jean red, Jean white and Jean yellow
  2. Shin shong – Taiwan Yellow
  3. Kaingan – large yellow standard type
  4. Sekaiteit – Taiwan Yellow

Contained here is the production technology employed by Andy Colte. Technologies presented are based on his solid experience of growing chrysanthemum under greenhouse condition of 14 years.

Cultural Management

Methods of propagation

  • Cuttings, Division/stolons, Seeds, Grafting, Tissue culture

Land Preparation – Any soil that permits good drainage and aeration is suitable for chrysanthemum. A medium consisting of 1 part compost, 1 part garden soil and 1 part animal manure or the combination of compost and coir dust, or rice hull or garden soil can be used. A pH of 6.0 – 6.5 is recommended.

Prepare the area into plots. For every 1 sq.m area, apply a mixture of 1 kg processed chicken manure (PCM) + lime to maintain 5.8-6.5 pH. If soil is acidic, add more PCM will lime at two bags per 1,000 sqm, then water and leave for 7-12 days. Prepare 1 meter wide plots. If labor is not scarce, apply lime first then prepare the area. Apply fertilizers just before planting. Furadan fungicide at 1 kg per 1,000 sqm may be added.

Netting and Planting – When the area is ready for planting, put nets in each plot. The netting should have a length and width of 5.5 cm, hence plants using the net as guide are planted 4.5-5 cm apart. this makes a total of seven rows in a 1-meter plot. Likewise, the distance between rows is 4.5-5 cm.

Lighting/Blacking Out – Chrysanthemums require a day length of 14-16 hours. Lighting is necessary during short days. This will prevent the plants from blooming early before it has attained its best stem length. Set a 40-watt fluorescent light at 6 ft. high between posts or at a space of 3.6 x 3.6 m.

Just after the planting, put on the lights for 3-4 hours everyday before it becomes dark. Do this for 23-25 days depending on the variety. Some varieties require fewer days to bloom, while others take longer. Short varieties need longer days of lighting.

Blacking out is necessary during the long months of February to August. Long days make plants bloom late. Blacking out using plastic enhances flowering. Duration of blacking out depends on the variety.

Watering – After planting, water the plants everyday for 3 days. After which, every other day watering is required. However, in summer, when the soil dries faster, water as often as necessary. Minimize watering during rainy days.

Pesticide Application – Aside from the basal application of fungicide (i.e. Furadan), apply insecticide and fungicide one week after planting. The succeeding spraying is done 4-5 days apart; but sometimes spraying depends on the incidence of insects pests and diseases.

Fertilizer Application – Fertigate 15 days after planting. Prepare the fertigation mixture of 1 sack PCM plus 1/2 kg Trichoderma as enzyme activator (compost fungus activator of CFA) into a 20 L drum full of water. Leave the mixture for 15 days, get 4 L from the mixture and mix it with 200 L of water plus 1/2 kg urea. Apply the mixture weekly for 4 weeks.

Support/Staking – Since spray and standard chrysanthemums may be as tall as 30″ to 36″, it is necessary to support the stems as the crop matures. Generally, chrysanthemum are tied to bamboo stakes, metal hog wire or sturdy sticks to keep them erect and properly hold flowers or the main stem of the flowers.

Side Dressing and Hilling-Up – These are done when plants are about 10-12 in. long. A mixture of 5 kg 16-16-16 with 1 sack PCM as applied as side dress, and then hilled up. Urea application can be discontinued depending on plant vigor.

Spraying Growth Retardant and Flower Inducer – Depending on observations, spray foliar growth retardant if vegetative parts are growing fast or are becoming lanky. Spray flower inducer if flower initiation does not start on expected schedule. follow manufacturers recommendation.

Pinching and disbudding – Pinching on the growing tip of the plant is done to induce branching and increase the number of flowering stems per plant. Disbudding for standard mums or “single flower” group. Lateral buds are removed to allow terminal bud to develop into a big flower. For spray types, the terminal bud is removed to develop a spray of large uniform flowers from lateral buds.

Harvesting – Spray mums are generally harvested at the two thirds to three-fourths open stage; standard mums at the three-fourths to full open stage of development. Flowers to be shipped long distances should be harvested when approximately one-half open. Flowers must be harvested late in the afternoon or early morning.

Cost/Investments

A. Labor @ 1,000 sqm/cropping (approximately 120 days)

Particulars Man-days Unit Cost Total
Land
preparation
25 150 3,750
Nursery
production
20 150 3,000
Planting 10 150 3,000
Fertilization 10 150 1,500
Spraying 10 150 1,500
Weeding 19 150 2,850
Cleaning 150 150 22,500
Watering/
irrigation
10 150 1,500
Stacking/
netting
30 150 4,500
Disbudding/
harvesting/
packing
60 150 9,000
Total 53,100

*Black plasting for blacking-out is 4 rolls or 210 kg more or less for a 1,000 sqm. greenhouse @ P140/kg.

B. Cost of 1,000 sqm. greenhouse is more or less P 180,000. Plastic roofing may lat for 6 months – 1 year, depending on the quality. Greenhouse skeleton may lat for 3-4 years with yearly repairs especially with the rafters/ferlins.

Estimated costs are as follows:

Posts/beam/rafters 62,088
Common nails 3,830
Gravel 4,625
Plastic for roofing 28,000
Lighting system 36,700
Nylon strings for bracing 11,625
Labor (construction)
& misc. fees
25,000
Total Costs P 171,868

Note: Cost varies depending on the prices of materials especially plastic roofing and coco lumber.

C. An estimate of 3,750 dozens is harvested in a 1,000 sqm. greenhouse planted with more or less 45,000 seedlings. There is always more or less 10% mortality rate. Assortment is as follows:

  • 2,000 dozens – Class AA
  • 800 dozens – Class L
  • 500 dozens – Class M
  • 350 dozens – Class S
  • 100 – CB

Note: These are estimates only.

D. Estimated Cost and Returns

Class AA: P 170,750
Less expenses: P 153,650
Net income: P 16,770

For more information contact:

The Consortium Director, CAR-HARRDEC
Benguet State University (BSU), La Trinidad, Benguet
Telefax: (074) 422-1656
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.pcarrd.dost.gov.ph/car/index.htm

Dr. Patricio S. Faylon, Executive Director
PCARRD, Los Banos, Laguna
Tel: (049) 536-0015 to 20
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.pcarrd.dost.gov.ph

source: www.da.gov.ph, photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

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