Too Early For Mums?

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Carol Cook, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member
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    I have been planning all winter to put a Mum accent in my front yard for a burst of Fall color. Been reading up on how to get a striking display.. how to "pinch back" until the Fourth of July... how to feed and water. I am about 3 weeks away from the possibility of the last frost in this area. I am ITCHING to plant!! I know Mums are hardy and perennial. If we do get a late season frost here, it will be light. I'm thinking Mums would take it.. I cannot wait to hit the garden center.. What do you think? Too early?
     
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  2. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I think of mums as a fall and winter flower. I'm not sure about there but I don't think they tolerate the summer heat very well here. I think geraniums would be a better summer choice.
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I have not ever had any luck with mums lasting over the winter, and I am in the South, where the winters are mild. Every fall, they have those beautiful displays of yellow and orange mums (the short ones) on sale at the garden department, and I get a few, bring them home and plant them. They last for the fall season, and then never come back.
    Are there different kinds of mums, maybe ; do you know what is the difference @Carol Cook ?
    I would say to go ahead and start some now if you think you are past the cold weather, and then if you do get another surprise blast, you might have to replace any that don't make it. You can always cover them over if the weather turns cold overnight.
    We had tomatoes clear up until after Thanksgiving one year by covering the tomatoe vines whenever we had a frost, and they lasted until we had a hard freeze that killed everything.
     
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  4. Carol Cook

    Carol Cook Active Member
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    From what I understand, never buy fall mums... plant them and expect them to survive the winter. They won't. To live through the winter, they need a very hearty root system.. Planting in the fall does not give them time to establish good roots, and the plant has spent all it's energy blooming. It's best to plant mums now.. This gives them all summer to set in good roots. You pinch them back all spring so the plant sends out side shoots. Then stop pinching in July. The plant will then produce it's gorgeous colors. Even though they are considered hardy, they need to have mulch over them for the winter and it's best not to cut them way back, but to leave some dead foliage on them.. Anyway. this is what I have been reading... We shall see.. I've planted 8 really nice plants today, from a reputable nursery. 4 red and 4 purple pink. I'm going to follow the directions and see what happens.

    Oh and one more thing.. It's important to pick the right place for mums. They like about 6 hours sun per day, preferably in the morning. I have them on the East side of my house where they get just that amount.. Now.. fingers crossed.
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Awesome, @Carol Cook ! Be sure to let us know how they do, and pictures when they bloom . Thank you for telling me what went wrong with the ones I bought in the fall. That was the only time I really saw them out there; so I didn't even think about getting some in the spring.
    Next trip to Lowes, I will be checking the garden area for some pretty ones, too. The front of our house faces east; so we can have them in the front yard.
    I like things that once they are established, they keep coming back each year !
    We were looking for the Jerusalem artichokes, and I think that they are starting to sprout again now, as well. At least something is coming up out near the irises, and I think that is what it is. They are good for spreading and coming back each year, too.
     
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  6. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I do know Carol that this can be done....although this knowledge came by accident. I bought some mums in the Spring a few years ago for the first time and planted them in our flower bed. I kept cutting off the blooms as they died and more would come until they just stopped blooming sometime as the weather got real hot. Come early Fall, those mums started perking up and after a short while they also produced blooms again. Now with your explanation I understand what happened.
     
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