Are all mums perennials? - Knowledgebase Question

Hewitt, NJ (Zone 6A)
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Question by whammer10
August 28, 2007
I want to plant mums in the ground because they are my favorite plants. I am so confused if all mums are perennials or are some annuals. I want to make sure I plant the right ones in the ground so they come back every year.

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A comment from Dimp1022
September 1, 2018
I buy Garden Mums. They come back year after year. Hardy mums only last for one season.

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A comment from harleyblueswoman
September 2, 2018
"hardy" does actually mean it will last thru the winter...most perennials meant for your locale are hardy!! The key is planting way before Fall....if you plant in August or after and you have cold winters....they are not established enough to come back!!

Name: Anita
West Fulton, NY (Zone 5a)
"Let food be thy medicine...."
A comment from Lioba
September 2, 2018
I had asked this question some time ago. Read: The thread "chrysanthemums and Zone 5A planting" in Ask a Question forum
One mum lived, it is thriving and one didn't. If I buy one now as they are available, I would go back to Tractor Supply because they are the ones that took. The second one tried. Try it. Honestly it is an in expensive investment for such a beautiful shrub.

Avatar for DCY
A comment from DCY
September 2, 2018
Even if hardy be sure it is hardy for your growing zone. It is also a good idea to mulch new planing for the winter.
Remove mulch in spring as you see growth. Leaving it on too long with smother your plant. Good luck mums add wonderful fall color

Name: Vivian Cantello
Syracuse, NY (Zone 5a)
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A comment from vcantello
September 4, 2018
I live in the Northeast. My experience has been - if I plant mums I purchase in the spring, they do not return the next year. The ones I purchase in the fall, and plant in the fall, are the ones that are perennial
in my garden. The ones I planted last fall are big, and beautiful. Some are starting to bloom, but all 11 plants are full of buds.

Avatar for Hyacinth
A comment from Hyacinth
September 18, 2018
I live on Long Island, NY and I have had the same experience. Plant in the fall and they returned the next year and bloomed beautifully.

Avatar for Juliebw48
Answer from Juliebw48
September 1, 2018
It is difficult to find mums at garden centers in the spring, when they do need to be planted. They are readily available online. I have some nice ones I've ordered from Bluestone Perennials.

Bend, Or 97707 (Zone 6b)
A comment from alan_r_ander
September 1, 2018
Julie, anybody, I've had bad luck buying mum seeds. Do you know a reliable source of perennial seeds? Do seeds from your plants germinate?

Answer from NGA
August 28, 2007
The chrysanthemums you find in garden centers are perennial; florist mums (typically found at the grocery store in the fall) are annual, because they are unable to develop enough runners to overwinter.

It's best to plant garden mums in the spring so that they have all summer and fall to develop extensive root systems before winter sets in. You can plant in the fall, but you'll want to find good sized plants with well developed root systems. Mums prefer a rich, moist, well-drained site. Provide them with plenty of water throughout the summer; flowering is affected by lack of water. These plants do not tolerate wet soils, especially in winter, so be sure the planting site drains well. Plant in full sun. In the spring, when new shoots appear, regularly cut or pinch them back to promote branching. Pinch about every 4 weeks, up to the beginning of July.

Enjoy your mums!

Avatar for Ejbre
A comment from Ejbre
September 1, 2018
When you say cut, where do we cut the mins back to? The crown or half way?

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A comment from Margarden
September 1, 2018
Not sure where you got the word "cut" from the above response? But you should never end a sentence with the word "to". Grammar 101

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A comment from jayehaviland
September 1, 2018
Sheesh margarden.🐍

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A comment from MadeleineNist
September 1, 2018
Margarden, the idea that a person shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition is based on conjugating
Latin, a dead language. That stricture is no longer followed. In my opinion, it is far worse to correct someone's grammar than use a prep ending. As Emily Brewster, editor at Merriam-Webster says, "A preposition is a perfectly appropriate kind of word to end a sentence with".

British Columbia
Avatar for Gracie2018
A comment from Gracie2018
September 1, 2018
Margarden, here is where the word "cut" comes from:
Quote: when new shoots appear, regularly cut or pinch them back Unquote.
Not only are you rude, you are unable to read.

West Hartford, CT
Avatar for Leora
A comment from Leora
September 1, 2018
Winston Churchill stated that ending a sentence with a preposition was a situation "up with which I will not put."

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A comment from Sbrant
September 1, 2018
Seriously Margarden!!..this is a gardening blog not a grammar blog..get over yourself.

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A comment from kumimorris
September 2, 2018
I love reading the comments in this blog, even if they veer off track from the original post or questions. Hilarious.

Name: Kathy Gronokowski

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A comment from kathy_llc
September 2, 2018
Cut back the plants in mid- summer to keep it to compact. There should be an increase in number of buds.

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Answer from erniesax
September 1, 2018
remember it depends how much sun they get and also what side of your house you plant them on...

Name: Kathy Gronokowski

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Answer from kathy_llc
September 2, 2018

The genus Chrysanthemum was separated into several unique genus in 1961. The individual genus is commonly used in botanical nomenclature. The "corrected" genus for these common garden plants is:
Dendranthema - hardy garden mums
Leucanthemum - oxeye daisies, shasta daisies
Tanacetum - feverfew, painted daisies, tansy

Chrysanthemum is still commonly used for marginally hardy florist mums to differentiate from the true hardy Dendranthema.


I have many Dendranthemas in my garden for late blooms also many produces daisy-like blossoms such as:

Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema) 'Will's Wonderful'
Will's Wonderful' is a late October and November with strawberry colored buds which open to 1" creamy yellow to strawberry blossoms; get tall and lanky (3') so pinch back plants to the ground around the fourth of July for a tidier plant (18-24") . Spreads buy stoloniferous roots, and is happiest in well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade.

Name: Janet
Merriam, KS (KC area) (Zone 6a)
Answer from jkwgardener
September 2, 2018
I'm uncertain if anyone correctly answered the original question, although I do think bits and pieces emerged from several posts. Almost all mums that are found in garden centers or even hardware stores in the months leading up to fall (late August through early October) and hardy in "most" areas. I've had them in North Dakota and also in Florida. But there are some--usually sold in the spring for Easter or in florists--that have larger leaves and usually larger flowers that are not hardy in most areas. It's not unlike azaleas; there are hardy ones and floral ones; the latter usually only grow in very southern climates.
As for cutting them back, it's best to cut them back once or twice before the 4th of July. I usually don't find there's too much magic to this cutting; just cut them back about 1/3 each time. And if they grow really well, I sometimes cut them back a third time.

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