Where do Kenya Chrysanthemums Grow?

Despite their seasonal scarcity in the tropics, chrysanthemums are probably the most cultivated flowers around the globe. The mums come in the excess of two hundred cultivars. They likewise take to a lot of environments that range from gardens, flower pots and greenhouses. Two types are exported inclusive of potted and cut flowers. The cut forms are the ones in most demand internationally. Two regions in Kenya grow the mums, one in the Central highlands and the other in the heart of the Rift Valley.

The growth of these flowers in the high altitude leads to extraordinary bloom as the plant is conditioned for the lower range of subtropical temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius. The flowers are also averse to extreme temperatures, which means they cannot survive in other parts of the country.  Their ideal soil pH is between 5.5 and 6.5, in well drained mixture of loam and clay.

The first location that Kenya chrysanthemums grow is in Timau in the foothills of Mount Kenya. They come in two varieties including spray chrysanthemum and Florinca chrysanthemum. The latter belongs to the larger family that comprises true mums and pyrethrum. The spray type might be the biggest cut flower in the market. It has sub-categories of Arctic Queen and Bonita, which indicate their colors and general appearance. The sprays’ large sizes make them possible to only wrap up to five stems per bouquet in most sales. There are also occasions for wrapping twenty five cut blooms for the Santini varieties. The major use of spray mums is in the making of wreaths for funerals. Their original home was China’s ancient empire of 1500 B.C, where they served in herbal roles.

Naivasha, the home of local floriculture, is one of the most important parts of the country that grows chrysanthemums.  The major varieties include the spray type that thrives well in the sandy-loamy soils of the nearby freshwater basin of the lake. Large plantations nurture the flowers into tall stately stems with sizable flower blooms. They pack them with florinca fillers which have the same steady qualities as their taller cousins.

The chrysanthemums from these two parts of Kenya reach their sale destinations in either mono or mixed bouquets. The mono ones are made up of only the mum flowers while the mixed ones may feature roses and even carnations. The blooms from Mount Kenya and Naivasha reach the sizes of 60 centimeters. The cut blooms range from 4 to 12 centimeters. Some varieties like the Santinis possess blooms in the top five centimeters of their total height.

The import destinations in Europe usually go for the most decorative types in various shapes. Bloom designs range from daisy heads to button-like heads. There are also webbed heads that go by the name ‘spider.’  The spray variety is the most popular as it has all its parts intact unlike the Disbud type. The latter which forms the spider head usually grows with one central flower intact as the rest of the petals undergo early pruning.

Thus, if you are combing the land for Kenya chrysanthemums, look no further than the Rift Valley and the Tigania region of Central Kenya. They come in various sizes depending on the specific customer request of even the entire 60 centimeters. However, local exporters defoliate the lower parts of the leaves to make them more presentable and to extend the shelf life.  You can get them in paper-sleeve bouquets  or in telescopic cartons.