Mums keep growing and growing and.......

rolojohnsonAugust 14, 2013

We picked up a ten pack of mums in the one gallon (maybe 2) pots from one of the big box store last Oct 2012. They were very pretty with their yellow blooms. Each plant stood 5-7 inches tall at planting. They all went dormant over the winter, but come spring time, the entire flower bed got feed with 10-10-10. All other plants did wonderful when it came time to bloom. But the mums didn't. These things are about 3-4 feet tall.
Can someone tell me what happen? Thinking about either digging up or pruning back to see they will bloom next spring.
Thanks
Robb in Riverdale

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Most likely the original producer (last year) used growth regulators on the plants to keep them small for the pots and to help them bloom earlier than usual.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:03AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

What did a soil test tell you about the soil nutrients?
Those mums look like they were fed too much Nitrogen, always a problem when a "fertilizer" is spread around without a good, reliable soil test.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:45AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Thinking about either digging up or pruning back to see they will bloom next spring.

==>>> mums do NOT bloom in spring ... [of course.. i dont know where riverdale is]

i am confused ..

at best.. mid summer to early fall ...

and later fall.. if using the PINCH BACK method ...

are you sure there are no buds on them??? .. could we see a closeup of the tips ... also.. there are a multitude of mums.. perhaps if we could narrow down what type it is.. it might help ...

pretty lush lawn.. any chance they were hyper fert'd with high nitro lawn fert..

ken

ps: you cant go on when they were blooming at bigboxstore .. they may have been forced ...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:22AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Mums are typically pruned heavily twice a year in order to stimulate flowering in the spring and fall. It's part of the normal maintenance routine for mums. Take jean's and even kimmsr 's comments into account, then read up on the need for cutting back.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 8:22AM
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calliope(6)

Mums are typically fall blooming unless they were forced under cloth to bloom in spring. They bloom responding to daylength (actually hours of continual darkness). Different varieties have different blooming dates...........some as early as late august, and some as late as november. I used to sell mums both in spring and fall. I sold in spring, because planting them at that season allows them to establish better, but their typical bloom season is fall. There will usually be a few flowers on a spring sold mum, even without forcing, but if not grown with artificial lights, the plants will be coming out of a flowering growth phase and quite small. I was a licensed mum propagator and my growing house had specific mum lighting for just this purpose.

They do not have to be pinched to bloom. Pinching just increases branching so that there are more branches with blooms on them. It also controls height. The newer Belgian mums are bred to branch profusely with no pinching and that's about the only variety you see anymore on a retail store level. You may have a variety we called a season extender with a quite late bloom date and wouldn't even notice the tiny buds initiating in August. It only takes six to eight weeks to go from a pinch to a bloom.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:25AM
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calliope(6)

I reread your original post......you bought it blooming in October and you said it didn't bloom this year? It should bloom in October. If they were as short as you said they were, they probably were a crop started off late cuttings so that they were obliged to start budding at the start of short days, when they were not at their normal height. I used to have a second run date too from cuttings I took off the primary crop (yes, I paid royalties). What you are seeing is the mum at its normal height, because you didn't pinch it early and has plenty of time to bloom yet. None of my mums are blooming but the very earliest variety I could buy at the time.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:31AM
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rolojohnson

Thanks for the response all. after looking at the fertilizer I used, it 1s Scotts 21.8.4. did not do a soil test. I looked closely but there are no buds yet. and yes it was mid to late Oct 2011 when we planted. so maybe there is still time to bud up and bloom.
keep you posted.

robb in georgia

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:14PM
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calliope(6)

Too much nitrogen. It should be more balanced, if you even need any at all.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

If these are going to blossom this year you should be seeing buds by now. A lawn fertilizer does not work on flowers since too much N causes lush, green growth at the expense of blossoms.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:23AM
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calliope(6)

There is time for buds to form on October (or any other) late blooming mums. If it's the belgian type mum, the buds are quite tiny,btw, and numerous and hard to see. If you have a yard light, or any other intense light shining on these, it can stop the bloom. They are dependent on certain intervals of darkness to initiate bloom. Some mums sold as floral mums are quite hardy, actually, but have such a late bloom time, hard freezes will nip them before they bloom unless you have extraordinarily mild winter. I would suggest next year, if you still have them to give them at least one pinch and do it around June, to keep them compact.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 6:02PM
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susanzone5(z5NY)

In plain language, they will bloom in the fall. Your plants are fine, just not ready to bloom yet.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:28AM
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susanzone5(z5NY)

Deleted duplicate post

This post was edited by susanzone5 on Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 19:04

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:29AM
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susanzone5(z5NY)

Deleted triplicate post! What gives, gardenweb?

This post was edited by susanzone5 on Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 19:06

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:32AM
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