Occasionally you see a bench of plants grown for sprays of cut flowers. They are usually free-flowering, compact growing kinds. The pompon varieties are beautiful as natural sprays and this is what they are grown for. When sorts like Ivory are grown for sprays they are usually pinched or stopped once and then let grow naturally. When grown to a single stem, either one stem or two or three stems to a plant, it is the intention to have one flower to a stem.
Plants that are heavily fed or mulched, and all more or less, as the flowering time approaches send up growths from the roots, suckers or slotting, as it is called. They should be removed and all lateral growths on the stems should be removed, leaving only the central leading growth. The crown buds with us usually begin to show from August 20 to middle of September. The crown bud so called is not generally what the commercial florist wants unless he is growing for exhibition, or if he finds some variety does easily and uniformly well. The crown bud appears on the top of the growth and is alone, not surrounded with other buds, but surrounded with other growths, what Mr. Smith calls "vegetative growth." If this crown bud is selected, then of course all growths must be pinched off and the strength of the plant will nourish that bud. If you destroy that crown bud select the strongest of the lateral growths and shortly it will lengthen out and develop a cluster of buds, usually a center one and three surrounding it. This is called a terminal bud, and if the center of this group of buds is perfect the other three should as soon as large enough to handle be rubbed off. Mr. Smith suggests most sensibly that instead of designating these buds "crown" and "terminal," which is ambiguous and not descriptive, they be called respectively "single" and cluster" bud. The objection to crown buds for the ordinary commercial man is that many colored varieties are inclined to come off color and frequently they have long bare necks. For exhibition purposes the crown bud has size, earliness and many petals. However, the terminal bud is generally suited to our wants. At all times till flowers are cut should all lateral growths be kept removed.