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How to beat the frost when it comes to Hardy mums?

Posted by cardarlin 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 30, 10 at 8:29

This is my first year gardening and I really have no experience with mums. I purchased a flat of 18 back in early June. They had been forced to bloom so we could see what colors they were. I was told by the florist to cut back the mums in mid June so they will bloom again in the fall. Well here it is almost October in Michigan. Some of my mums are in full bloom. The others have several buds on them and are wanting to open but just havent yet. All plants are massive and healthy. We are expected to get frost on Monday in my area. I'm assuming once it frosts the plants will go dormant. My question is...

At what time of year should I cut and pinch back my mums next year so that they will be in bloom by August?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to beat the frost when it comes to Hardy mums?

hi! my folks raised mums for years for sale at local festivals and to local markets. Mom says- and I've done it with mine for years- after they are done blooming in the fall ( or they freeze out) DONT cut them down. The old stems protect and insulate the roots. Instead, mulch them a little with fallen leaves or pull up some of the mulch you might have in the bed around them. If they arent in too wet a spot, they probably will come back. In the spring,clean up the old stems. You should see tiny little frosty green mums peeking out at the bases of the old stems. To channel their growth into bigger plants and more, though smaller, blooms you can pinch the growing ends out on May1, June1, and July1...thats an easy way to remember. Two pinchings work well, too...say may1 and the last week of june.

RE: How to beat the frost when it comes to Hardy mums?

Mums are genetically triggered to bloom at different times in the fall. As long as you don't pinch them too late (past July 1), they will bloom when they are ready. If yours bloom too late, then select for earlier blooming varieties. Cultivars are often listed as blooming in (1) early fall,(2) mid-fall, or (3)late fall.

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