Ask a Question forum: Chrysanthemums/mums in the garden

Views: 387, Replies: 8 » Jump to the end
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
Image
LysmachiaMoon
Sep 30, 2014 6:08 AM CST
OK, for nigh on 20 years now, every autumn, I buy some of those spectacular mums that are on sale everywhere, plant them, nurture them, light candles and offer up prayers and every spring, nothing. They either rot over the winter or send up some thin green shoots and then die. Just a mile down the road from me, a neighbor has 6 (SIX) magnificent huge clumps of wine-colored mums that come back every year, without fail, bigger and better all the time.

How in the heck do you grow mums as perennials?

I live in Pennsylvania, zone 6, with variable clay/loam soil.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Sep 30, 2014 7:05 AM CST
They need good drainage, so maybe a bit of soil preparation first. Plant the mums at the same depth as they were in their pots. Keep the plant mulched. Here is the hard part - once the cold weather arrives in Pennsylavania, cut the plant back to about 3 inches. That's right, just hack it off. Have faith (and good drainage) and you should succeed.

I might add that once the spring arrives and the plant starts to grow, you need to give it a 'haircut' to encourage branching and for more blooms.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Sep 30, 2014 7:22 AM CST
I agree Good luck!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
Sep 30, 2014 7:23 AM CST
Many of those fall mums are no longer hardy. They bred the hardiness out of them because they want you to buy them every year.

Buy some small plants in the SPRING/EARLY summer from a source like Bluestone Perennials or Mums of Minnesota that specialize in truly hardy mums. By fall they will not be small!!

Greene is right, mums do need good drainage. But sorry Green, DO NOT CUT THEM BACK UNTIL the next SPRING! Yes they look ugly over the winter, but they will reward you the following year. I have grown mums for many many years (I have over 100 varieties!) and last year was the only year I ever cut them back in the fall. I just couldn't stand the messiness. Thank heavens I did not cut them all back. Because most of the ones I cut back did not survive.

As Greene pointed out they do need to be pinched several times. The general rule of thumb is three times before the Fourth of July. You can even save the parts you pinch off and root them into new plants. They are as easy as coleus when it comes to rooting a cutting.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
Sep 30, 2014 8:21 AM CST
Here is mum care information from Faribault Growers/Mums of Minnesota

http://www.fgimn.com/retail-mum-care.php
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Sep 30, 2014 8:50 AM CST
I support Ken's stance, leave the foliage over the mums over winter. Fall bought mums do not have time to settle in, become established before winter arrives and the large majority succumb to winter's onslaught.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Sep 30, 2014 10:44 AM CST
I agree with Jennifer. Do not buy the fancy ones in bloom in the fall. I don't grow them here in Florida, but I have planted several in my daughter's garden in Salt Lake City in recent years and for sure, the ones we planted in bloom in the fall never made it to springtime.

Buy good hardy varieties from a reputable nursery in the spring, and they will be truly perennial, bloom like crazy and last for many years. You can also divide the plants in the spring to spread around the ones you like best. Maybe ask your neighbors for a division of the nice ones they have? Again, divide in spring when the new growth is less than a few inches tall.

I also think they survive better if not cleaned up until spring. The dead stems help to mulch the plant, maybe?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
Image
LysmachiaMoon
Sep 30, 2014 11:22 AM CST
Thank You! Thanks to everyone. I suspected that some of the varieties I'm seeing are not winter hardy, but wasn't sure. I am going to beg cuttings and divisions in the springtime and see what happens.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Lititz, PA (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Hellebores Bulbs Xeriscape Lilies Daylilies
Image
Sequoiadendron4
Oct 3, 2014 6:39 AM CST
I have only one mum that was purchased at a local nursery and reliably returns. Mostly, I would plant them, they'd come back the next year but then die that winter so they would be enjoyed for a season. I'm not going to plant nursery mums anymore because by the time the mums come around, the annuals I have where the mums would go are going strong. IMO, my annual zinnias crush mums for color and bloom quantity.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"