HELP! -- Just bought mums, how can I make them survive??

last1earthNovember 10, 2006

I saw really cheap mums and me and my mom just had to buy them. I thought I had read about being able to keep potted mums by the house and they'd survive, but all the info I just looked up says negative.

Any body have any tips or tricks, I really don't want to lose them. Some are in small 4" and some 12" (but shallow) pots. Can I plant them in their pots, then cover with leaves and put big pots/buckets upside down over them?

Or would I have to buy a light to keep them under?

Has anyone succesfully kept late late bought mums alive? Thanks NJ

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inthegarden_k(z7 NC)

it is hard to know how they were raised. if they were raised outside, you can plant them and they should be fine. if not, they may not be hardy, and you will lose them if they are outside. if you keep them inside over the winter, they will never be likely to live outside (though you may be able to get cuttings going outside next year).

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 6:11PM
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Unlikely they will live over if planted outside though you can always try it. They really need to be planted in spring in order to winter over.
If you want to try them inside in a sunny window, cut them back, water sparingly and see if you can get them to just survive. In spring they can be divided and set out.
These are generally greenhouse forced and in no condition to survive either indoors or out.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 7:08PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

It can be hit or miss. Like inthegarden says, its hard to know how they were raised. On one hand, I've left potted mums outside by the house (forgot them, actually) and they survived and grew beautifully the next year. I've also planted some late in the season and had them for years. But I've also lost quite a few. So I guess it depends on how they were grown.

Funny, now that I think of it, the late-season ones I had success with were a few years ago. The last few years I've lost them. I wonder if they are being grown differently now than in the past.

As oldroser says, you can buy them in spring. I've had great luck with some spring-planted ones from Bluestone.

Since you have nothing to lose if you don't try, I would either plant them in a protected spot, or try to overwinter them in pots in an unheated garage. Don't cut them back till spring. Good luck!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 7:24PM
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leslie197(z5 MI)

I think it just depends. You might get lucky. Over the last 6 years or so every garden mum I have selected from my local nursery (not a box store) in the fall has overwintered for me. I plant them in pots in the front in early fall and transplant some of them in late fall to various parts of the yard.

I have yellow ones, orange ones, cream-colored ones, bright wine & deep burgandy ones, and even a pink one (gift) that doesn't fit with my orangish brick. It's getting to look like a circus here.

One year I bought 2 large yellow ones for pots in the front yard and added 2 small matching ones for my tiny porch. At the end of the season I transplanted one of the large ones into the yard and pulled out the rest.

The following spring I found that the 2 small ones had been overlooked in the fall cleanup and were lying on the ground with their bare rootballs up in the air along the side of the front walkway. Both of them had fresh green growth at the base so I planted them in the ground and still have them to this day.

Obviously my local nursery only stocks really hardy mums!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 3:55PM
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