Wood's Pink Aster or Mammoth Mums

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)August 9, 2009

Any suggestions for long blooming aster or mum?

I'm in zone 5 and seems many nurseries don't have alot of Asters and Perrenial mums.

I found Wood's Pink Aster and Mammoth White Mum.

Any experience with these?

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a2zmom(6a - nj)

I grow Monch's aster and it normally starts blooming mid-July right through September/October. I just planted Wood's Pink so that one I can't say anything about.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 11:32AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Wow, Monch's has quite the bloom period. Sounds like there is limited overwintering success with it in zone 5 though.

I just taked to a nursery and they said they see alot of lower foilage dieback on common culivars like Wood's Pink and Purple Dome.

They recommended October Skies which seems like one hell of any aster. It just has a shorter bloom period.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Yeah, I had Purple Dome and every year after the first it would turn brown starting at the base and work its way up. Last year almost all the leaves were brown up to the flowers by the time it started flowering. I replaced it this year with a hardy mum. I don't know how well it will do yet but there are a series bred by University of Minnesota that are supposed to be good.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 2:18PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

This may or may not work in your climate, but I gave up on mums a few years ago and now I plant fresh marigolds in fall colors in my beds come late summer. The blooms last longer and are less trouble.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 6:29PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I haven't grown Wood's Pink but I have grown Wood's lt. blue. That one spreads like crazy and I haven't been impressed with it. October Skies is an awesome plant. If there are any brown leaves at the base you'd never see them,as the stems and leaves are so dense. No flopping!
It's a fairly compact (15-18 inches) mound of blue when it blooms. It reseeds, but does not run.So far, the seedlings appear to come true. I bought a small 4 inch pot of mammoth pink mum spring of 08. This year it is 3 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide and loaded with buds. How long it lasts remains to be seen, though last winter was brutal here. I should note that it is planted on a slight slope so has good drainage.
Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 7:32PM
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Mums do better when planted in the ground in spring. I bought some for containers last fall and left them on the front porch all winter and then planted them out into the garden this spring. They are huge, mounded and full of buds and ready to bloom. I pinched back the tips up until July 4th. I'm in zone 7.

As for asters, my Monch's didn't winter over.

Several of my garden blogging friends highly recommend Mum Sheffield because they bloom for 2 months.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sheffield Mums

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 7:44PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Hostaholic, what is the typical bloom period for your October Skies...2 weeks in late September...longer?

wonbyherwits, I do like the Sheffield, looks like its listed to zone 4.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:03PM
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Most asters suffer terribly from the ugly legs syndrome, turning brown for the first foot or so. I've done away with most of them for that reason. I do grow A. 'October Skies', but I have to say that it has been tricky to place for me. It will grow in any soil, but it prefers a place that does not get irrigation and one where the soil is not well amended.

My favorite mum is Chrysanthemum 'Country Girl'. An excellent plant.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:27AM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I think it was pretty close to 3 weeks and it's late Sept., early Oct. Last year we had an early frost and it bloomed right through it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 12:23PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

I have Morden Garnet, Tigertail, Dreamweaver and Showbiz hardy mums..they are all amazing! They've been blooming since mid-July (a bit early, but this is their first year..I planted them this spring) and they are going strong. They are dense mounded plants and the flowers are VERY long lasting. I anticipate the blooms will keep coming until hard frost.

I also planted Woods Pink aster this year...no dieback at all so far...but I can't speak about bloom time yet, as they are just starting and this is my first year with it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 2:52PM
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Woods Pink is a beautiful aster, as are all the Woods series. It's short and low to the ground, and if it ever suffers from bad foliage, you won't be able to tell because of all the bloom. It's late to flower, and the flowers are a particularily delectable soft pink. Foliage will disappear underneath all the flowers. It has a mounding form that works well at the front of the border.
I use them extensively in my gardens and intend to tuck a few more in because they perform so well.
Aster frikartii 'Monsch' has an incredibly long bloom season and is definitely worth acquiring. I have never noticed foliage damage or the "bad knees" so many asters suffer from. But it is best planted early, probably before July, to ensure its survival. I've had it for almost 10 years in our gardens north of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. It's about midway in height between the Woods and October Skies.
October Skies is a lovely soft blue in colour. I have never noticed any damage to the foliage, but if would be easy to ignore because this plant is so floriferous. The foliage has a slight mint scent when bruised. I've situated it in a prime position at the front of a border and it's worthy of the spot, though rather tall. It proved to be more vigorous than I expected and eventually swallowed up a few plants I had badly placed in front.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 3:56PM
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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

The Mammoth Mums were developed in Minnesota and are very hardy relative to most others, although as someone already mentioned, planting them into your garden in the spring helps with the winter-hardiness issue. Once established, they will be quite large.

I would agree with others re. the Woods Asters -- they are good plants, but much smaller compared to the Mum.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 4:09PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

'Monch' is a cultivar of Aster frickartii and is known for its long-blooming habit. I've had mine for many years in USDA z. 4, so it should be hardy for you. I would recommend planting it before mid-summer, though. I've grown all three varieties of Wood's asters, pink, purple and light blue. The pink and light blue are the most vigorous for me. Mine grow in fairly tidy clumps, very trouble-free. 'October Skies' is a cultivar of Aster oblongifolius, very drought tolerant and has quite woody stems. Mine sprawls over quite a large area before it finally bloooms in mid fall. Not what you call a tidy plant. I grow Hillside/Sheffield mum and it is longer blooming than any of my asters, except possibly 'Monch'. It is light pink, almost peachy-pink, and very attractive IMHO. Highly recommended. Another hardy mum that I grow is Mei-Kyo, a small double pink, late-blooming. Both these "mums" are well-known for their hardiness.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 11:39PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Ok, how do you get your Wood's asters to stay in clumps. Mine run everywhwere to the point I'm strongly thinking of digging out every last bit and composting it, that is if I can get all of it out.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 11:49PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

So I think I'm going after the Sheffield Mum, but its not readliy available, so I may have to go mail order.

Bluestone Perrenials has a set of 3 for $13, but each pot sounds like its 2 X 2 X 2. What are the odds of something like that surviving let alone mature to get even a decent size?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Two complaints about Aster 'Wood's Pink':

1. It is NOT a "true" pink, has a distinct lavander cast to it that didn't work in an
otherise "warm" pink bed;
2. It turned out to a thug and spread like gangbusters (soil may have been too
rich). . .oddly enough, my "Wood's Purple' behaved perfectly ! Go figure. . .

Spazzy Cat: Bet you got your Chrysanthemum 'Country Girl' from Niche
Gardens. . .just happened to snag one there a few years back and it has
become my absolute favorite as well. . .

While I have grown and enjoyed Aster 'October Skies', I have recently fallen for it's larger (and I think more robust) cousin, 'Raydon's Favorite', a virtual
blooming machine - and cutting them back by half in mid-June,as Tracy
DiSabato Aust suggests, makes them branch beautifully !


Here is a link that might be useful: Niche Gardens

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 5:13PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)


Has anyone had sucess planting these little 2" pots in zone 5?

I'd like to plant to the Sheffield Mums next spring. Looks like Bluestone Perrenials has them.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 5:40PM
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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

I planted 72s (smaller than 2") of Sedum 'Angelina' and Geranium 'Rozanne' in June of this year, and they've done great! I think timing and plant/variety type is the key to planting these really small "pot" sizes.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 5:46PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I've planted many of them and find it doesn't take long for them to catch up to bigger pot sizes.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 11:20PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

With regard to the Wood's dwarf asters, my purple form is the least vigorous of the three colours. That may be why it doesn't spread as much as the other two. Also my gardens are in a fair bit of shade and (except for this summer) are usually quite dry in summer. I think those factors, as well as my being in USDA zone 4 (shorter growing season) prevent the pink and light blue forms from being "invasive?".

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 8:38AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Everyone thanks for all your help!

Alot of "firsts" are going to happen in spring.
- Planting mums
- Planting less than #1 cnt. size
- Ordering from mail order

Any suggestions for a mail order company good for zone 4 & 5? I'm shooting for the Sheffield Mum from bluestoneperrenials

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 9:50AM
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