Mums getting ready to bloom??

aachenelf z5 MplsJune 22, 2010

Last year I purchased a variety of Garden Decorative mums from a MN grower. They all bloomed around the time they were suppose to - late Aug - early Oct. This year almost all of them are getting ready to do so now. All have buds and some even have color showing in the buds which means they should be opening soon. What's up?

I thought most mums were daylight sensitive and the shorter daylight hours of fall triggered the bloom season. Or is it a combination of short days and cooler temps? We did have kind of a long, coolish spring with even some some snow flurries in early May. Could that be the reason?

Because I really don't want mums now should I simply pinch off the flower buds?



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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Yes, pinch them back.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 12:24PM
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I think they usually require pinching to get them to bloom in the fall. I've had to pinch mine, as well as my asters, two or three times already. Fortunately I only have a few of them.

Totally Confused

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 12:31PM
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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

I always pinch my mums on May 15th and July 1st, regardless of rain, weather, temps ect.

The first time back to 6" and the second time back to 9"

They always come back and put on a beautiful show for me in the fall.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:09PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Thanks. I pinched all of them back. Actually a couple of these plants were farther along than I had remembered. They had buds almost open.

So once again, why the early blooming?


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:19PM
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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

What makes sense to me.....

They prefer to bloom now but we (I) pinch them back to delay their flowering so I have color in the garden in the fall and they hold their color/flower heads longer in the cooler temps.

Most are not a 'fall bloomer' per-say... just a flower we associate with fall.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 2:15PM
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My last pinching back is always July 4th :>)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 3:19PM
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One of my six mums always blooms throughout the summer. The others wait until fall and grow into huge flower-filled mounds. I have never pinched any of them, although I've heard that's common practice. Somehow, I've always hated pinching off things that are growing nicely.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:43PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

There was another similar mum question posted recently but I can't find it. Not that this really answers your questions but it does address the need to pinch or not pinch certain mums.

Last year when I had a question about my mum, someone explained to me that there is a variety called a cushion mum and it has been bred to NOT require pinching to keep it from getting leggy and tall. It just stays compact. I remember doing a search and did find such a thing called a cushion mum -- I guess because it stays mounded and looks like the top of a pin cushion.

This being the case, I've never had to pinch mine. But I've not wanted to delay blooming either. However, mine is getting ready to bloom now too, and I just may cut it way back so that it reshapes itself, since it's been hidden under a bush I recently trimmed back so only half of it grew and it looks funny. Also, even tho it stays mounded, by the end of blooming season, it begins to fall open in the middle (being top heavy) and doesn't look very pretty.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 12:23AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I contacted the grower and asked them the question. If I receive a response I'll post it here.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 6:23AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Boy that was quick. Here's the message I received from the grower:

"Dear Kevin,

Our grower says to give the mums a hard pinch-pinch the stems back at least half way not just picking off buds-then give the plants a big dose of commercially produced fertilizer such as miracle gro or Peters and that should break them of their premature budding. Sometimes shade or real cool night time temperatures can make them bud earlier as well. Hopefully this will help.

Faribault Growers, Inc."

So it looks like the really cool night temps we experienced this spring can trigger the bud formation. I've included a link to this grower. If you're looking for a variety of mums at really reasonable prices, I highly recommend them.


Here is a link that might be useful: Faribault Growers

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:55AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

It is the short days and cool temps. Christmas cactus will bloom out of season too if the daylength and temps are correct.

Mums are usually pinched back to keep them more compact and promote more flowers regardless of whether or not they are budded. Otherwise they will grow tall and have fewer but bigger flowers.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 12:49PM
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July 4th here too. Had I not already trimmed them back in May they would have since bloomed and gotten too leggy.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 5:05PM
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jlcjlr(9b Sacramento CA)

I usually cut mums in half on July 4th. This year, I had to do it early because they were budding. Question for totally confused - you say you pinch asters too? Sorry to hi-jack the mum thread. Explain how to do the asters as mine get toooo tall and floppy.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 8:28PM
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I have a rather short cushion-type of creamy white buttom mum that was growing at my parents house for over 20 years. I brought some rooted cuttings here last year and this year I have a nice sized plant. The first flower opened on it today. I never remember it blooming this early. Once all the flowers are finished, I will shear it and I hope to get a whole second bloom this year, since it's only the end of June.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:14PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

I generally don't pinch back the ones at my folks' place and they bloom in August. This year, however, they're trying to bloom now. Very odd. The info which Faribault provided Kevin as to the affect of cool temps would seem to explain it though.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 10:53AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I thought there was another thread about this that I posted to a couple of weeks ago? Mine were very tall and starting to form buds, even two weeks ago, so I cut them all back. Asters too. My asters are full of bushy new growth. One is already getting tall and the other is short now. I think I cut one back shorter than the other. The Mums, some of them look much better but some are not filling in as I had expected. I will wait and see I guess. I'm thinking about cutting them back just a tiny bit more to make sure they go to at least late August before they bloom.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 2:09PM
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i'm new at gardening and to this forum so here goes. not sure what kind of mum i have, it's maroon. anyway i live in minneapolis and planted it in the ground last fall, about sept 15. it did very well. i didn't expect it to winter over but i figured mulch the heck out of it and cross my fingers. to my surprise it came out this spring and has been growing by leaps and bounds. i never pinched it even though i was told to. it's truly gigantic. 4ft wide and a little over 3ft tall. i wonder if that's normal for my area?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 12:39PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

mysteek - My neighbor has some sort of maroon mum she's had for years. It grows huge like yours, but also starting blooming really early - like July or so. Have no idea what kind it is.

Update to original post:

Well, after that drastic pinching off all the flower buds earlier this summer, the mums all rebounded fine and are either blooming or about to bloom.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 12:58PM
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