More Mum issues (sorry!)

mmqchdygg(Z5NH)October 10, 2006

The basic questions:

1. What's the difference between "Hardy" mum and "Garden" mum? I thought the hardy ones were, well, the hardy ones, and the gardens were the annuals (not so hardy), but read on another thread just the opposite. Which is which?

2. Some knucklehead on the internet (google search 'keeping mums indoors) suggested that it's not worth the effort to try to get a mum to come back (outdoors)...that it's just not worth the effort for the lousy results. Well, from personal experience this year, I know that is hogwash, so am throwing out that 'official article' and that person's OPINION. Anyway, on the indoor thing, is it true that mums need the cold period, and to overwinter them indoors isn't something that should be done, or is ineffective? (Zone 4/5 for reference).


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Nancy zone 6

I was wondering something similar, I did find this article
I have always considered hardy & garden mums to be the same, with annual mums referred to as florist mums.
At the end of the article it also states that garden mums should be considered an annual. I have lost some mums in the past few years, but some of those I think were actually florist mums & purely annual. I have 4 or 5 that have persisted about 4 years & look great each year.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 1:55PM
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Someone told me that the ones with larger leaves are florist mums and the ones with smaller leaves are the hardier, garden mums. For best results I think you need to plant them in Spring, however. But fall ones do often make it.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 7:26PM
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The huge double mums, the spiders and florist types are not really hardy up here but I have several small flowered (cushion) ones that I've wintered over outside for years. I think the distinction should be between florist and garden mums. Most of those sold potted in the fall would be hardy if they were planted out in spring.
One option is to cut back the potted ones after the first frost and bring them inside to a sunny window. That would mean using an all purpose garden spray to avoid bringing in spider mite and other beasties. If wintered inside, they could then be divided and set out in spring.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 8:11PM
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Spring seems to be the consensus. I must have gotten lucky because I bought those smallish 'colored pot' cheapies from Wal-Mart (or was it HD?) last year, and although the pinks didn't come back, the yellows are HUGE and beautiful this year. I planted them in the ground as soon as I brought them home. Only one is showing signs of deadening in the middle.

I'll make an attempt at dividing them in the early spring before they come out of dormancy, yes? Or are you actually waiting til like April?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 3:19PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Though the common practice is to plant mums in the spring I always plant them in the fall as have no room to overwinter them, too many other plants brought inside. :-)

Most have survived and continue to bloom, some more than ten years old. I can't bear to toss them into the compost pile so pop them in the ground. The biggest problem I have is finding space in my gardens, some are culled to make room for a differnt color or flower shape.


I love my mums! They still look beautiful after the last two nights of frost.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:28PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I have mixed success, usually buying in the early fall: I never see them much earlier. Mine are all the small flowered cushion ones. I've been planting them yearly but not spending much since they are iffy on return. I'd say about 30% have come back, as long as I don't plant them too late. I've bought big potted ones and tiny 88 cent ones, makes no difference in survival. The big ones bought this summer were inhaled by slugs before I could turn around and put bait out. Actually disappeared almost overnight, eaten down to tiny short twigs. They are coming up from the base but I sure won't see flowers on those anymore this year. Since there's almost nothing exposed to cold and wind above ground, maybe those will live! The little 88 cent cheapies are doing fine.

When they emerge in spring (those that live...) I nip them constantly to make them bushy.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:55PM
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inthegarden_k(z7 NC)

if you see mums that you like, ask for a cutting. they root incredibly easily. and then the mother plant recovers beautifully. try asking around early will have flowers in the fall from a plant that you can ask about. there are a few methods of starting the cuttings, but if you trim most of the leaves off, and cut in half the remain 2-3 larger leaves, then sick in good potting soil, and keep moist, you will get roots. florist foam (oasis) also works. you will see roots coming out the bottom of the foam, or your pot, and then you know to plant it.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 4:39PM
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calpat(zone9ab No.Ca.)

I too, pinch my Mums from early spring thru July, but I use these pinching to start new plants. They are very easy to start and this keeps my supply going form year to year. About once every 5 years, I replace a lot of them with new stock/varities and colors.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 6:34PM
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