Some of my favorite mums this year

aachenelf z5 MplsOctober 27, 2013

I'm officially addicted to mums.

All of these except 2 are from the link (Faribault Growers) posted in the other mum thread. Some I've had for years others were cuttings ordered this past spring.

Some of my favorites:

Cameo - A nice pink. I need more pink.

Rose Grenadine

Dorothy Dega

Purple Pride
Just started blooming about a week ago.

New this year. This one really glows in the sunlight.

I really love this one, but it blooms very late and sometimes a very hard freeze knocks it down. The flowers still aren't quite open all the way, but you get the idea.

Bolero (from Bluestone)
New this year and by far my favorite, favorite mum. The is from the "Autumn Crescendo Series" by Rika Bronsther. It's been in bloom for over a month and is still going strong.

Harmony (Bluestone)
Another new one this year and also from the above mentioned series. The flowers are very similar to Bolero, but maybe a bit paler. I think I like Bolero better. This is also a very late bloomer which can be risky around here.

Not a mum, but I thought I would share this too - Aster Bluebird.
I like this a lot, but it is a flopper. I need to stake it earlier next year or pinch it back. It seems slow to establish unlike most asters - but eventually I think it will be very nice. This is my second year with this one and so far it's only managed to reach about 2 - 1/2 feet. 3-4 feet is it's ultimate height. Again, a late bloomer which is very nice around here. Asters which bloom too early are often fried by late season heat.


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Kevin, do you happen to have Matchsticks? I ordered from Select Seeds this spring, but it turned out to be Dolliette.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:55AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Beautiful mums, Kevin. Most of mine are about done though do have a couple of late bloomers that have just started. All my asters are finished.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:00AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Lots of very vibrant colors, love it! I've noticed two different orange colors are looking a little faded due to cooler nights, but the reds and purples look very fresh still. I have a white potted mum that I reached out to touch this morning and the top of the flowers felt frozenâ¦lol. Would not have known it to look at it.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Lovely pictures, Aachen (will continue with Kevin, if that's OK).

Would love to see the mums in person.

Find smooth aster 'Bluebird' an excellent plant. It's true that, left to itself, it tends not to grow straight up, but I find the stems tend to grow straight, if at an angle. I do stake it to avoid this.

I've grown a fair amount of 'Bluebird' in recent years. I also find that, here at least, it doesn't tend to reach the higher end of it's supposed height range. It's invariably shorter than the 'Alma Pötschke'. Perhaps the fact that it blooms mainly a bit later is a factor (viz. colder).

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:50AM
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Sorry, duplication.

Still, beautiful mums, Kevin!

This post was edited by SunnyBorders on Mon, Oct 28, 13 at 12:01

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I also love Aster Bluebird. My tallest is about 4.5 feet tall and leans (at about a 45 degree angle) rather than flops completely. Gorgeous color, attractive foliage for an aster and not inclined to spread rapidly from roots/stolons below ground. The bees also love it. My only problem with it is that the rabbits also love it and they mercilessly attacked all my plants except for the tall one described above this year. I am not even sure if my other plants will have enough strength to make it through the winter.

Gorgeous mum photos, Kevin! Cameo, Dorothy Dega and Bolero are especially attractive to my eyes.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:16PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Thanks for the nice comments.

flowergirl - No, I don't have Matchsticks, but I've heard the name before. When I did a Google search for some photos, it sure looks similar to mine. In fact, it almost looks identical. I wonder what the differences between the two are? I did find this interesting comment in a blog post:

"Matchsticks, however, was my biggest disappointment. When nature combines red and yellow on one petal, the results can be harsh. Add to this visual uneasiness a flower whose petals are partly quilled and partly fluted and the result is chaos. Even though the bloom pictured above appears tame, multipy that image by hundreds and the result may be unpleasant. All together, this variety appeared unattractive in the flowerbed; and its visual energy was too high. Its frenetic appearance made me uncomfortable.

Furthermore, like Yellow Quill, Matchsticks is sensitive to the path of the sun; in the afternoon, it turned away from view. That only worsened the plants appearance. I expect that I will have to remove it from my flowerbed because not only is it disturbing to see but it also disrupts the serenity of the surrounding plants. In all fairness though, most garden writers have been delighted with Matchsticks bold and aggressive performance, so I suspect that I am the lone voice to reject it."

I think the same criticism could apply to Dolliette and to a certain degree I might agree with it, but I still like it.

Sunnyborders - Yes, PLEASE call me Kevin. That's why I always sign my name to a post. Actually I don't like my screen name, but at the time of setting up my account, that's what I picked. Aachenelf is the name of an iris I particularly like.

ispahan - Maybe flopping isn't the best term to use with Bluebird. You're correct when you say it leans. Or maybe arching might be better. In any case, mine does this a long time before the flower buds open, so when they do open they're all orientated in the right direction and I end up with more of a mound of blossoms.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 2:10PM
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NHBabs z4b-5a NH(4b-5aNH)

Very nice! Do they grow close enough that you can appreciate the colors together? I think that they would all look good with that aster. I am particularly drawn to the color mix in Rose Grenadine and the orange daisies of Bolero.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 12:09AM
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sandyslopes z5 northern UT

You're making me want to try mums again after pretty much giving up on them.
Forgive me if this was asked before, but I haven't found it in either mum thread... Do you do anything special before winter? Extra mulch to them? Also, any idea what soil they like? My soil leans alkaline. Are they acid lovers?
The colors are different from my asters, so I'm tempted, but I've been burned by mums too often. But I did save the link to Faribault Growers, so... maybe.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:35AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

nhbabs - Most of these are spread out throughout my garden, but because the garden is relatively small, all the mums can be seen with a couple of glances. I've thought about trying a mum bed, but have never done it. Spreading them out also makes the entire garden look more colorful than it actually is this time of year.

I did try a grouping of 3, but I kind of screwed it up. Evidently I didn't pay close enough attention to heights and the shortest one ended up in the rear and the tallest one in the front. It looks kind of weird.

Sandy - I don't do anything special for winter - no protection other than leaves that get caught in the dead foliage. I don't trim them back so that seems to help. I've only lost a couple in the last several years.

As far as soil ph, I've never paid any attention to this, but did find the following blurb from the University of MN Extension Service:

"Soil, Site, and Fertilizer
Garden chrysanthemums grow best in a variety of soils but must have excellent drainage conditions. Growth is poor and winterkill likely in poorly drained wet soils. Sunny locations are good sites. Plants in semishady locations will be taller, have weaker stems, and bloom later in the fall. Incorporate 2 - 4" of peat moss, compost, or well-rotted barnyard manure into the soil. If you use only peat moss or do not add organic matter, apply 3 to 4 pounds per 100 square feet of a complete fertilizer such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5 in the spring. Sidedressing plants with a complete fertilizer in early August, especially in years of abundant rainfall or irrigation, also is recommended. If the fertilizer applied in the spring is a slowly available type, such as coated or organic fertilizer, the second application may not be necessary. Space plants 18 - 24" apart, depending on the mature size of the cultivar."

and from another site:

: The ideal soil for chrysanthemum growing is a well-drained sandy loam of good texture and
aeration. The soil should be neutral or slightly acidic with pH 6.5 to 7.0 having high organic content.
Very light sandy soils are not recommended owing to their poor moisture holding properties"


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:42AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Kevin, thanks for the mum shopping list, this should make selections much easier this winter! Some really nice pictures.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:48PM
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sandyslopes z5 northern UT

That was nice you took the time to find that info. I have sandy well draining soil, but there are things I can do better, I suppose. I've only had one do well for several years, and it was along the curb. I thought it had to do with warmth, but possibly other requirements were being met in that spot. I'm especially glad to hear yours come back without babying them before winter. Looks like I'll be giving mums another try. Yours are very inspiring!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 3:24AM
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