Once I’ve cut my chrysanthemums to 23 inches in height and hydrated them in warm water treated with TILEX (a bleach spray) for at least an hour, it’s time to prepare them for transport. For my first shows I duct-taped 18-inch bamboo stakes on the outside of a 5-gallon bucket. I filled the bucket with three inches of water, placed a bloom in the bucket beside a taped-on stake, and fastened each chrysanthemum’s stem to the stake using plastic ties. We transported the buckets to the show competitions in the back of our van.
Unsuccessful Chrysanthemums Transporting-to-Show Process
At first, no matter how tightly I tied the chrysanthemum blooms to the stakes, I lost blooms during transport. The buckets would shift in the van and blooms would brush against each other, knocking off florets. For some reason, the judges prefer a full bloom-not one with patches of florets missing. Also, the stems would sometime bend because of the heaviness of the bloom and knock against other blooms in their buckets. Again, lost florets resulting in no-show chrysanthemums.
Better Chrysanthemum Transporting-to-Show Process
Now I’ve developed my own tried-and-true method of transporting my chrysanthemums to shows. I still use 5-gallon buckets. But I’ve added 18-inch bamboo stakes, glass water bottles, wadded newspaper, and TILEX (a spray bleach) to my supplies. Here’s the process.
1. Remove a hydrated chrysanthemum bloom from its soaking bath. (can be 2-3 days before the show).
2. Remove leaves from the bottom twelve inches of the stem.
3. Carefully tie an 18-in stake high enough to support the chrysanthemum bloom onto the stem.
4. Place the bloom in a glass water bottle filled with water treated with TILEX. The bottle opening is wide enough to hold the stem and the stake.
5. Tie bloom’s show entry card to the top of the bottle. (Every bloom submitted with an entry card.)
6. Place 3-4 bottles holding chrysanthemum blooms in a 5-gallon bucket.
7. Separate the bottles with wadded newspaper.
8. Store buckets in a sheltered place until travel day arrives. (I use rooms inside my house.)
I’ll discuss the transporting frame my husband designed for the van in another article.