All Things Gardening forum→Overwintering Chrysanthemums

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Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Aug 20, 2021 6:38 PM CST
Does anyone ever have success overwintering the mums that show up in stores every fall? I have a few old fashioned perennial varieties like Clara Curtis and Mary Stoker but today I was taken in by one bred by Ball Seed. It's called Pumpkin something and is the perfect shade of orange. I've tried heavy mulching before with poor results so I was thinking about putting this one in a pot and keeping it in the cellar. Cool and dark but not freezing. Please share your experiences with mums, I'd really like to hear them!


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The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Aug 21, 2021 2:12 AM CST
It's been hit and miss here with them. I planted 5 last year but only 3 came back for whatever reason.
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Aug 21, 2021 6:08 AM CST
I read that because they are sold in bloom the plants do not put energy into developing roots which in turn leads to them being heaved out by the frost.

I was able to find another (also by Ball Seed) back in the spring so perhaps with a full season to establish it will return well.

How well did your mums return Amanda? Are they lush plants now or just a few stems?
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pepper23
Aug 21, 2021 8:12 AM CST
Very lush. Poor clay soil also.
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Aug 21, 2021 6:26 PM CST
Did you plant them in the fall as well?
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pepper23
Aug 21, 2021 6:31 PM CST
Yep. I've had alot of hardy mums over the years and most do well. I've even had florist mums come back for a couple seasons when winters were just right. I plant them and mulch them and refuse to baby them. Nothing gets babied after the first season here.
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Aug 21, 2021 7:45 PM CST
Thanks for your experiences, I'd like to try a florist mum as well. I saw some really nice red ones for sale Lovey dubby
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pepper23
Aug 22, 2021 7:40 AM CST
Those tend to be not hardy but occasionally you might get lucky. Add lots of mulch and hope they come back but don't be surprised if they don't.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Aug 22, 2021 8:14 PM CST
i've never overwintered one INDOORS successfully, granted I've only tried late arrivals and fancy strains... if they were easy, they wouldn't be a rare find i tried to baby all winter, but i've tried many times with no success, I do much better in ground outside, frozen solid

i think they key is buying them early, before they are in full bloom, dig a wide hole so roots can easily take advantage of remain warm weather... because even though they don't bloom till it gets cold, they only actively grow when it's HOT. They are hot weather wolves in cool weather sheep's clothing.

mulching is another good idea, at least in the first winter if purchased in fall. it's a great excuse to do less yard clean up too- which I am all about ! i get very lazy after a full season of watering and weeding.. i do blow all the leaves toward the center of the lawn, give the giant pile a couple passes with the lawn mower to shred it, then just blow it sloppily back into a reasonably even layer that's not too ugly on the flower beds, so grinding with the mower first is key. garden loves it, lawn loves it and so do I when spring comes
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Aug 24, 2021 7:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Aug 22, 2021 8:19 PM CST
i've never overwintered one successfully, granted I've only tried late arrivals and fancy strains... if they were easy, they wouldn't be a rare find i tried to baby all winter, but i've tried many times with no success, I do much better in ground outside.

i think they key is buying them early, before they are in full bloom, dig a wide hole so roots can easily take advantage of remain warm weather... because even though they don't bloom till it gets cold, they only actively grow when it's HOT. They are hot weather wolves in cool weather sheep's clothing.

mulching is another good idea, at least in the first winter if purchased in fall. it's a great excuse to do less yard clean up too- which I am all about ! i get very lazy after a full season of watering and weeding.. i do blow all the leaves toward the center of the lawn, give the giant pile a couple passes with the lawn mower to shred it, then just blow it sloppily back into a reasonably even layer that's not too ugly, so grinding with the mower first is key. garden loves it, lawn loves it and so do I when spring comes. anywhere there is a plant, the leaf shreds will catch and create their own mulch pile. I do cut them back (and mulch that too) so it's not a total mess, but rather than cutting to the ground, I'll leave 4-6" .. it's helps to collect mulch and ID placement in the spring when I do cut down to soil level
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: brenda reith
pennsauken, nj (Zone 7a)
nature keeps amazing me
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breith95
Aug 23, 2021 1:50 PM CST
I agree The earlier you plant them-July is ideal-the better chance they have of establishing roots thus surviving the winter. DO NOT PRUNE THEM BACK IN THE FALL. just let them die back naturally. the left on stems will protect the crown of the plant. first sign of life in the spring give them a gentle nip. keep pinching back to keep the plant dense and bushy-but controllable in size. stop pinching by the 4th of July. thats when they'll set their buds for fall bloom. and do whatever Paula said too. 100% correct. one year I made a panic purchase at Aldis and got 2 mums for $1.99. i did not plant them nor put them in bigger pots. just plunked them into cement containers in their original pots. come spring I was totally amazed to see that they had survived. sheer luck I guess. BTW that is a perfect shade of orange. gorgeous!
listen to your garden
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Aug 23, 2021 8:48 PM CST
Thanks everyone for your input so far! I'll make a point of getting it in the ground ASAP and piling on the mulch this fall.

I find a lot of these massed produced fall mums lack depth of colour. Maybe it's just me but I feel a lot of the shades are quite wishy-washy and lack the vibrancy of the old fashioned types . So I was quite excited when I found this orange one Big Grin Crossing Fingers!
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: brenda reith
pennsauken, nj (Zone 7a)
nature keeps amazing me
Image
breith95
Aug 25, 2021 10:19 AM CST
I agree I avoid the mum madness come fall because none of the colors satisfy me. they "re kind of blah. I'd love to find a good orange like the one you have. they just don't seem to be out there. or maybe it's just this area. the ornamental cabbage is ok for an autumn display if you use it with gourds and pumpkins because it too has muted colors. however it does make a great centerpiece with some silver artemesia and oat grass if you can get some.
listen to your garden
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pepper23
Aug 25, 2021 5:22 PM CST
Bluestone Perennials has some good looking ones. https://www.bluestoneperennial...

Grow Joy has some but not really any orange ones. https://www.growjoy.com/store/...
Name: Tamara Paloma
Banda (Zone 11a)
Amaryllis Hibiscus Tropicals Ponds Plumerias Orchids
Container Gardener Critters Allowed Butterflies
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Cocoplum
Aug 25, 2021 8:22 PM CST
The best thing you could do is try to overwinter it using a grow light or try to get the same kind in the spring and plant it just before last frost and protect it so that it has longest time possible to establish roots and become hardy.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pepper23
Aug 26, 2021 2:22 AM CST
Mums aren't sold in person anywhere in our zone during spring time that I've seen. They are strictly a fall seller unless you order online and even then most places will still ship closer to fall to be close to bloom time. Just plant them in the ground before first frost and mulch it good. Still no guarantee it will make it but that goes for all plants.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Aug 26, 2021 3:52 AM CST
Mammoth Mums

https://sunnyside-gardens.com/...
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

Rileyspal
Aug 28, 2021 9:59 AM CST
I am in Zone 5b and several years ago, in the Fall, planted 2 wine coloured chrysanthemums in my front garden which faces NW. They were bought at a grocery store and have been returning every year. I leave them in the ground. They bloom well every year and are blooming now. I cut them back in early summer to help give more blooms.
Name: brenda reith
pennsauken, nj (Zone 7a)
nature keeps amazing me
Image
breith95
Aug 28, 2021 4:44 PM CST
Welcome! Rileyspal-you'll enjoy being a member. so many great ideas, pics and information.
listen to your garden

kput4
Aug 31, 2021 1:26 PM CST
I lived just outside of Montreal in Quebec. My father got a bunch of Mums when he had heart surgery. I planted them outside. They all survived and each summer they grew larger and spread through the garden. Zone 4. I used fish emulsion when I planted them. I planted in early fall so they had time to spread some roots before they were frozen. I've over wintered and planted Mums in the spring with the same result. When I over winter inside I put them in larger pots, use fresh soil and shake as much of the old soil off the roots as I can. I use a bit of fish emulsion(the smell is gone fairly quickly. Do it over night.) .

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