How can I tell if my mum overwintered?

paulsiu(5a)April 3, 2012

I attempted to overwinter a mum in a pot with a bit of mulch. So far, I haven't seen any shoots. I am wondering if it had died. Should I wait a month or two?


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you are still awful early in z5 ...

there should be green there ... all winter long ...

tip the plant out of the pot.. see if there is any new white root tip growth ... if not.. not a good sign ...

put the pot in some sun.. to warm up the soil ...

MANY hothouse mums.. sold in fall.. ARE NOT FULLY z5 hardy ... basically.. disposable plants ...

since they root very easily.. pinch a few from local friends.. who have the types that live forever in your area ...


    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 1:48PM
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If you've had anywhere near as mild a winter and warm a March-early April as we've had here in central Ohio, you should be seeing live growth.

If not it's probably dead, but you can wait a few more weeks to be sure.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Paul was the pot outside or did have it in garage?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 5:17PM
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It was outside, I thought Mums were hardy enough to overwinter. May be it wasn't a hardy mum then. Someone gave it to me as a gift.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:59PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

I had a 'pin cushion' mum (meaning it stayed compact like a pincushion and didn't require pinching back before July) that was a gift, the kind sitting in front of grocery stores, etc (no longer have it).

Mine always looked very dead early on. Didn't keep any green. Can't say for sure (don't remember) but probably didn't cut it back until early season (since I'm not much on cutting back in fall unless I'm supposed to).

And then come spring or summer, I'd see little green growth coming out from the 1" dead wood. Sorry I can't tell you WHEN exactly -- but just saying -- mine would look VERY dead. It did not stay green all year.

And I'm thinking - not sure, tho - but since it blooms so late it didn't start sprouting when everything else did.

Dunno if this 'test' applies to flowering perennials (y'all correct me if I'm wrong) but do you have any wood sticking out of the dirt? My 'gardening guru' just taught me this after I called her recently about some $25 shrubs I found (still in pots) thrown out for trash and didn't know if they were worth saving.

She said to do the "fingernail test". Scrap the wood closest to the dirt with your thumbnail and if there's green underneath, then it's still living. Don't know if that applies to plants like mums, tho. I think I remember new growth coming off mums' old wood so would think it would be the same???

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 11:25PM
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They are, if in the ground but not in a pot in our zone. I also overwintered a mum in one of those plastic pots but I kept in the garage. It put a green shoot when it started to get warmer. I would give it until the end of the month to see if there is any growth.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 12:44AM
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Rule of thumb for over-wintering plants/perennials in pots/containers is the plant has to be hardy to two zones colder than yours. Generally it would need to be Z3 hardy to over-winter in a container outdoors in Z5 but the extremely mild non-winter that just ended may have given your mum a better shot than it might have had spending several months out in a normal Z5 winter.

I grow perennials, trees, shrubs, etc. from seed via winter sowing and normally see only a handful of seed types germinate in March. In past years, most have sprouted in April. This year 45 perennial seed types sprouted in March.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:35AM
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