Dead Buds On Mums - Knowledgebase Question

Ocean City, NJ
Question by larfitz
November 8, 1999
A little over a month ago I purchased 4 big beautiful Mum plants in full bloom with lots of buds. I transplanted them into 2 very large wooden planters outside my house. After a few weeks the flowers had died or begun to die on all the plants and I didn't know what to do so I left them alone. A neighbor told me to just cut the dead heads off and leave the plant alone. My problem is that now (a week and half later) all 4 plants have no flowers and the buds seem to be turning brown and dieing before even opening. The plant itself seems to be very green and sturdy though. I use Miracle Grow once a week on them and keep them watered. What should I or can I do? Help please.


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Answer from NGA
November 8, 1999

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Based on your description I am not sure if the plants have simply finished flowering and the flowers are fading normally or if there is really a problem. I suspect the latter. In some cases mums planted in mid to late fall do not make the transition well from pampered growers' conditions to home garden conditions and simply fail to take root and establish themselves. They may also have been very pot bound and the resulting tight roots make it difficult to water them thoroughly once they have been planted -- resulting in the flowers and buds drying prematurely and again, probable plant failure. Finally, it is also possible to overwater them. At this point I think the best thing to do is to trim them back to about four inches, make sure the soil is damp but not soggy soaking wet, and leave them alone until next spring. If they survive the winter you will find new growth shoots emerging. If not, well, they were lovely bouquets while they lasted!

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