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Drawing a blank about mums and cold

Posted by aachenelf z5 Mpls, MN (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 21, 13 at 11:24

I should know the answer to this question, but for some reason my mind isn't retrieving the necessary files at this time. Every had that happen? Frustrating....

The mums are still going strong, but some haven't even opened yet. The weather has turned yucky and tonight we're expecting lows around 26 F. Usually with these first killing frosts, we only reach the lowest temp near daybreak and for a couple hours at most. I think the mums can take this without protection, but I would sure like some reassurance from others past experience. If I remember correctly, the flowers and buds really don't freeze until the temps are in the low, low 20's.

Kevin


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

Kevin, our overnights are going down into the mid thirties this week and my Mums just started blooming last week, so I'd like to preserve them as long as I can. I'm planning on putting something over them on those cold nights to see if that will help them keep going a little longer. Maybe a sheet, or a piece of plastic or some of that spun white fiber for covering vegetables, the name is escaping me at the moment.

And next year, I'm planning to pinch back the Mums a little earlier, say mid June instead of the first week of July like I did this year. Just a couple of weeks earlier on the bloom would be just about right for me.


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

I think something about the environment triggered very late bloom in many autumn flowers in general this year. I never pinched back any of my mums since I like the tall, airy look. Most of them now have buds that are barely beginning to show color, let alone starting to bloom. We also have a grim and unseasonably cold forecast in the works and I fear I must forsake many of my fall bloomers this year. Several different asters are also running behind.


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

I didn't pinch anything this year and kind of regret it with a few mums. The wind and rain last week flattened them in full bloom. I've made notes as to which to pinch next year because not all of them needed it. Some did just fine without the pinching.

Yes, I also somewhat blame the lateness to the early growing season as part of the problem with bud development and blooming this year. They were very late to say the least.

I didn't cover anything last night. Before I went to bed, the forecast changed and the low was predicted to be around 30 F which should have been fine. It's now 5 am and the outside temp at my house is 25 F. Rats!! The gardening season is now officially over. I'll have to wait until the sun comes up to see what happened to the mums especially the ones only in bud.

Kevin


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

I think something about the environment triggered very late bloom in many autumn flowers

==>>> wasnt this the spring where march was blistering hot.. april was normal'ish .. and then may was like march was supposed to be ... COLD ...

in the midwest anyway ...

if may was cold ... then does it surprise you.. that everything.. all year .. is/was behind...

who was that guy.. who couldn't get his morning glory to bloom this year??? .. and many peeps complained they were late this year????

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: it was v1rt ...


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

It was either May or June that we had a lot of cloudy weather. I felt my tomatoes got off to a bad start because of this and the plants themselves were only a third the size they normally are. Every year it's something. :-)


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 21:11

What are you guys talking about? Spring was fantastic -- what I'd call "normal spring weather". My goodness, plants don't grow and produce exactly the same amount at exactly the same time year to year due to myriad factors. Some years things bloom a little earlier or later than other years. Some years the flowers/yield is more abundant. So what. That's nature. The plants know what they're doing. Look at the Michigan apple crop. Utterly dismal last year to record-breaking this year -- theory being lack of yield last year resulted in a bumper crop this year. (and I only say so what to those of us not making our living off the land -- OF COURSE it matters to those who rely on crops for their livelihood)

Kevin - did the mums get clipped overnight or were the blooms fine today?


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

I didn't go outside into the garden yesterday, but from what I could see through the windows everything looks to have survived just fine. When it first became light, everything was covered with frost and looked a bit droopy, but when the temps finally got above freezing the plants perked up. I want to wait until we actually get some sunshine to see if the flowers and buds were affected, but I don't think they were or at least not very much. Oh, I take that back. My one pink mum looked to be frost bitten. The flowers changed from soft pink to kind of brownish overnight.

We definitely had a hard freeze because my dahlia was completely frozen, but once again I was reminded of how much cold perennials can take before they freeze. I think the corydalis and hostas were cut down, but even the daylily foliage which was sprawled on the ground at first light is upright again and looking good. The same goes for just about everything else.

Kevin


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 23, 13 at 7:02

Yea, that reminds me -- I have to dig my geraniums for storage, will probably do that this weekend. I usually let them get a couple light frosts (key word being light) then dig.


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

Mxk3, I think the weather this entire season has been more "normal" than normal, lol! My point in mentioning the very late bloom this season was because I did not pinch or cut back my plants at any point this year, so I wonder if prairiemoon's mums are now blooming later than expected due to the season or to the pinching :-)

Knock on wood, no actual frost here yet but we are still not out of the danger zone. Garden still looks perky although I doubt much will continue to develop with these clouds and cold temperatures that hover just above freezing each night. Trees in my neighborhood are still mainly green but are now finally showing some color. I have done quite a bit of fall planting, transplanting and rearranging so I am counting on these soon-to-be-fallen leaves as winter mulch.


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

Our temperature was 50F on the back porch this morning and I haven't had even a light frost yet, although the weatherman keeps threatening us with one that doesn't materialize which I'm happy about.

It's interesting Ispahan, that we are in the same zone, and your overnight's are at least 15 degrees lower than mine. Do you ever have a mild fall with temps staying in the 50s and 40s at night?

I did check the Mums this morning and I see the color is starting to fade on a couple, so they don't really last very long I guess. Others still look fresh though. I took this photo this morning...


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

Prairiemoon, funny that you say that! I just overheard on the morning local news that we are a good 15 degrees below normal right now. For the past several (and more) years, our norm has been a long, extended, mild fall with the first light frosts coming toward the end of November or early December. I am lucky to live very near to the Lake Michigan shoreline which is an amazing temperature buffer. Although we are not out of the clear yet, my proximity to the lake has kept my garden above freezing (I have recorded 34-36 degrees past two nights on my home thermometer), while just a mile or two further away from the lake they are recording 32-34 degrees. And in the Chicagoland suburbs, I think it already reached below freezing for the first time 2-3 weeks ago!

My Montauk daisies are just now starting to open. Among my mums, I only have a pale yellow single in full bloom. A single bronze and a double white are just now starting to open. 'Will's Wonderful' and 'Mei Kyo' still have tight green buds with no signs of color. 'Emperor of China' has fat, juicy buds that are just starting to color up and parts of the foliage is starting to turn a delicious, striking burgundy. This latter mentioned variety is superb and truly ancient. If any of you have not grown it before, you should keep it in mind when/if looking for mums for your gardens. It is a big plant, much taller and rangier than most mums but it is therefore easier to tuck into a mixed border. It is also very frost tolerant and is known for displaying frosted pink double blooms at the same time as its beautiful crimson fall foliage. It has a heady "mum" fragrance to boot! I just hope we don't have a hard freeze before I can enjoy it this year. Sigh.


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

Ishpahan, we've also been having that long extended warmer Fall for a few years too, and this year has been really nice so far. The only thing I can complain about is that after a dry late summer, I always expect during hurricane season we will get a few good soakings before the winter, but not one yet this year and cloudy weather with sprinkles is all that is forecast so far.

Sounds like you grow a lot of Mums. That is a shame that so many are still in bud so late. I hope it warms up a little to allow them to open for you!


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

OK, I did an official inspection of my mums and except for the pink one already mentioned, there was no frost damage from that 25 F morning. Here's an example of how they came through.

Kevin


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

ispahan - I'm happy you mentioned Emperor of China as one of your favorites. I almost ordered it last spring, but went with something else for some reason. I'll put it back on the list for 2014. I also did a Google search for Mei kyo and it looks exquisite. I'm looking to add more colors other than the traditional fall colors and that one would definitely be nice.

I'm always a bit concerned with the really, really late bloomers, but I'm ready to risk it.

Kevin


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RE: Drawing a blank about mums and cold

Mei-Kyo blooms really late for me every year. It is just starting to open its flowers now. I'm in the equivalent of USDA z 4 (maybe? 5). It seems very frost-hardy, though.


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