Mums and Containers and Winter Storage

arjayvee(Z5 SW Michigan)September 9, 2007

Hi,

Every year around this time the stores are full of Mums that people seem to buy, put on their front steps and then discard when the plant fades.

Okay, my question is if I could possibly rescue these plants, water them and care for them until the first frost and then store the containers in the garage for the winter.

I have lots of luck storing other plants over the winter - Annabelle Hydrangea and Stella D'Oro day lilies but that is all.

What do folks think?

Thank You!

Arjayvee

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hitexplanter(8 a)

I don't see why not. I did this with a few left overs from last fall. I left them outside for winter but the lows are only in the high teens to low 20's and even this is not but a few time periods thru the winter. Cut back all the spent flower heads and slowly aclimate them to dormancy and you may well get a spring flush of fall flowers come late next spring. I don't recall offhand what zone they are hardy to in the ground because I don't need to know. If they are hardy in 5 then maybe you should plant some in the ground and mulch over the winter as well and see how each of the methods work for you.
Good Luck and Happy Growing David

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 10:37AM
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hillbillygardener

arjayvee, in all probability mums will not survive as they have not moisture retention ability for winter storage. What I would suggest is this, repot the plants into a larger container and leave them outside until frost kills the tops down. Then create a make-shift cold frame in a protected area (this can be very inexpensive or extremely versatile) such as the south side of a building, etc. Place a 4" to 6" layer of insulating material such as straw, leaves, sawdust, etc. on the bottom and then place your pots inside and pack the same material around the pots and cover them with with 4" to 6" of the same material. Don't forget to water them every so often, especially whenever you have a warm spell. Remove them when the weather starts to warm in the spring, place in a sunny location and water as usual. With any luck, you'll have mums resprouting next spring. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information on this or any other gardening issue.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 1:33PM
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