Hydrangeas, Mums & Daisies.......

lagrangeny(z6 NY)November 8, 2008

Zone 6a

Fall questions?

___ A - Hydrangeas...planted in Summer....did very well...Do I leave them alone and let them come back by themselves in the Spring ? Cut to ground in the Spring ? Cut to ground now in the Fall ? Other ideas ?

___ B - same for Mums...what should I do with them ? Half a planted in the ground....the other half are in the nursery pots...

___ C - same for Montauk Daisies ????

Thank you for your recommendations !!!

LaGrange NY

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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

It is my understanding that recent research shows that mums do better if you do not cut them back until spring. Also may depend on the mums you have, 'My Favorite' are not to be cut back or mulched over the winter.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 7:28PM
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Whoah ... No! Don't cut those hydrangeas or you won't have flowers next year, unless you have one of the varieties that blooms on new wood. Most hydrangeas bloom on old wood, so by this time have already set their flower buds for next year. If you need to prune the shrub back, do it in August, at the latest. If it's an older shrub and way overgrown its space, you could remove up to one third of the canes (usually the oldest or damaged, diseased or poorly placed canes) to the ground. This is called "renewal pruning" and will prompt new growth from the base, resulting in a fuller, more compact plant, without the loss of a the next season's flowers.

As for the Montauk Daisy (one of my favorite perennials) - I find mine do best when I follow the simple advice to cut them back by at least 1/2 twice a year: December 1 and June 1. If you want more Montauk Daisies, you will probably have great success rooting those June 1 cuttings - just stick them in pots of starting medium, set them in dappled shade, and keep moist until they've struck roots; at that point you can move them out to full sun. Keep them well watered their first summer, after which they'll be established well enough to thrive in a rather dry soil. They will probably bloom for you the first fall.

I've never had much luck with mums; succeeding years they just aren't as full, and the colors not as vivid, as in their first year, so I usually don't bother with them any more ... when I do, I treat them as annuals. All the advice I've seen is to start pinching back in spring and continue pinching until July 4 or something like that ... never worked well for me, though. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 12:54AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

Ditto re the hydrangeas. Do NOT cut any of them back in the fall or winter. You can prune hydrangea in the spring ONLY if you know exactly what kind you have. (I never cut them to the ground, only back by a few feet depending on their size.) I have some that bloom in early summer and some that bloom in late summer. If you have the late summer varieties, it's OK to shape them up in late winter/early spring - like you would a butterfly bush or Rose of Sharon - which are late bloomers. In fact, they will bloom better that way. But if you're not sure, leave them alone or you won't get any flowers that year. Take note next year when exactly they start to flower.

As for mums, leave them alone right now. They do better if they overwinter with their stalks on. Some additioinal mulch doesn't hurt either.

I don't grow Montauck Daisies, but it sounds like you've been given good advice there.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 1:08PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Don't cut back the hydrangeas. The Hydrangea Forum is a great source of info if you have the time to mosey over there.

Don't cut back the mums, either, right now. Wait until spring. Agree that they have a better chance for survival if allowed to overwinter intact.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 10:23AM
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lagrangeny(z6 NY)

mnwsgal 4 Henn MN
agardenstateof_mind 7a/b NJ
nancyd 5/Rochester, NY
mxk3 z5b/6 MI

To the above... I thank you very much for your help & wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving !!!

LaGrange NY

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:10PM
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