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Keyword Search Results for:
Mums

12 Found

Question: 130-5201
I planted mums under my oak tree. Every year they bloomed except this year. Should I move them? Leona, Warwick, RI

Mort's Answer:
They should produce some flowers this year. Look at the ends of the branches for buds. You have a situation that is producing more and more shade each year as the tree gets larger. Eventually, you should move your mums to a sunny location for earlier fall blooming.

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Question: 327-5201
Is spring the best time to move mums ? Some are a foot across. Louise, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Mums are easily divided in either season, if they are established in the garden. I prefer to split them in the spring. You could get five or six from a 12 inch clump. Dig up the entire clump. Then slice the clump with a sharp shovel. I use a D handle pointed shovel. If you purchase mums in the fall, quite often the roots will not establish themselves in the soil. A good three inches of mulch will help insulate them from a frost heave.

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Question: 328-5201
I planted mums under my oak tree. Every year they bloomed except this year. Should I move them? Leona, Warwick, RI

Mort's Answer:
They should produce some flowers this year. Look at the ends of the branches for buds. You have a situation that is producing more and more shade each year as the tree gets larger. Eventually, you should move your mums to a sunny location for earlier fall blooming.

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Question: 643-4511
Why do my mums that I buy in the fall not do well? Julia, North Kingstown, RI

Mort's Answer:
Garden mums are not bred for hardiness. Although some retailers do not specify if they are hardy or not, many do not realize that you cannot expect garden mums to survive in zone 6. Hardy mums should survive but can have problems if planted wrong. All mums should be planted so that the peaty soil is mixed with the surrounding soil. Peat absorbs nine times its weight in water. This means it will pull water away from the surrounding soil and create a dry barrier for the roots to spread. Another problem is drying from the wind. Mums should be cut down to the crown after blooming and covered with sand for the winter. Lastly, drying can occur when ice forms under the root. As the ice expands, it raises the mum and it will dry out especially if the soil has not been mixed.

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Question: 777-2612
Most of my mums are in bloom now. Should I cut them back so they can bloom again in the fall? Mary, Springfield, IL

Mort's Answer:
Welcome to the club. A lot of gardens in zone 6 enjoyed the early arrival of mum color. My yellow mums are also in full bloom now. I am enjoying them and do not intent to cut them back until thy wither. Mums are easily forced inn greenhouse for Mother's Day and Easter. The heat in March gave them a fast start and the cooler month of May with the cloud cover allowed for the natural forcing. Since I usually cut them back in August to create more branching for more flowers, I expect that we will all have that extra bonus this year.

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Question: 851-4712
I have some potted mums that are in bloom in plastic pots. I just purchased them this fall. Can I plant them now and will they come up in the spring? Marilyn, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
You can plant them now and cut them back when they finish blooming. Many mums that are sold as garden mums are not hardy enough to survive in zone 6. You should inquire if they are hardy mums when you buy them. When you cut them back to an inch from the ground, put a layer of sand over the top. Be sure to mix the soils of the mum with the surrounding area to help the side roots. Mums are often raised by frost and dry out in the winter as a result.

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Question: 1005-3613
How do I keep my mums from popping? Valerie, Ashburnham, MA

Mort's Answer:
Chrysanthemums that are hardy can be accommodated by mixing the soils of your garden with the sides of the mums. Hardy mums are sold as such. Garden mums will not survive in zone 5 through the winter. Water collects under the peaty soil and expands when it freezes. This causes the popping that allows the plant to dry out on hardy and garden mums. Cut them back to the ground and put an inch of sand on top of them.

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Question: 1074-313
Every year I buy mums without too much success the following year. I have a pot of mums out of the ground. Will it survive the winter? Jean, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
It will probably not make it. It is worth trying to recover, if they are hardy mums. Always ask your store if they know for sure that they are hardy. Garden mums are just as attractive as the hardy ones but are not bred for more than one year. Take the entire plant out of the plastic pot. It should come out in once piece. Cut the plant down to an inch from the soil. Place the root against the foundation on the south side of the house. Put a foot of sand over the beheaded clump. There is a one in ten chance it will resurrect itself in the spring.

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Question: 1186-4314
How far back and when should I cut my mums? Dottie, Griswold, CT

Mort's Answer:
Hardy mums can survive the winter without cutting back in the fall if they are not newly planted. Plants that were purchased this fall need to be anchored with sand after cutting back to an inch from the ground. You should have also blended the soils to prevent layering of the water absorption. Sand between the stems will also contribute to side wise rooting of new shoots in the spring. You can wait until the flowers have turned brown to cut them down this fall.

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Question: 1240-1315
I have five mums in a 18 " deep planter. Can and should I mulch them now? Valerie, Ashburnham, MA

Mort's Answer:
You will do no harm by putting a mulch around the hardy mums. If they are garden mums, they would not survive regardless of your efforts. Adding mulch will prolong the period that the plants remain frozen. I would suggest leaving them to their own devices. Thawing will come as sure as God made little green apples. I would not prolong the process by adding mulch, especially this year. In the fall cut them back to an inch above the soil. Put an inch of sand on top of the plants in the fall. This will cause more lateral growth for divisions later.

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Question: 1317-4215
We have yellow mums that we bought at the market on the patio. Should I just toss them out after they are finished blooming? Jim, Salem, CT

Mort's Answer:
Your plant could be a garden mum, which is not hardy in zone 6. I would try anyway to help therm survive outdoors. Plant it now in the ground. Add some sand under the plant and around the sides. After it has finished blooming, cut it to two inches from the ground and add sand to the top of the decapitated mums. This sand will encourage new roots to anchor the plant. Often times they pop up when a frost gets under them and dry out in the winter. Unfortunately, many stores are mum when they sell them and do not specify if they are hardy plants.

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Question: 1407-517
Many of my mums have not survived the past few years. Is it the weather? How can I help them survive? Bill, Ledyard, CT

Mort's Answer:
You can cut them to the ground now. Pour some coarse sand over the tops. This will give them some room to grow laterally. If you do not buy plants that are labeled or sold as Hardy Mums, they are unlikely to go trough a winter in zone 6. While garden mums are very pretty in bloom in the fall, they are just not bred for hardiness.

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