Help--Have mum dont know what to do!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by RachAnn in NW Okla, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. RachAnn in NW Okla

    RachAnn in NW Okla Well-Known Member

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    Hi~

    I just got a mum plant from the Vo-Ag dept at school....

    it was a Thanksgiving present...it is potted and about 1 foot tall--it has pretty yellow flowers on it (they are dying) I got it on Tuesday and today (Thurs) the flowers are looking sickly

    though this isnt MY plant it LOOKS like it

    picture of similar mum

    the students said it would be okay in that pot for maybe a month...but then what do I need to do with it?

    can I plant it outside right now? it is starting to stay really cool out some nights dipping below freezing
    Will is survive in the pot until spring?
    can they stay planted outside?

    I live in North West Oklahoma in Alfalfa County (I think I am on the line between zones 5/6)

    I dont know a hill-o-beans about plants

    the nice geranium that I got at last years FFA banquet died dispite a re-pot

    Rachel <--who always feels bad when the plants die, including the cactus that was killed years ago :eek:
     
  2. Cindy in NY

    Cindy in NY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would water it real well now - sounds like its gotten too dry. I plant all my mums outside. They do best here is a location that is sunny in the morning and a bit sheltered. I cover them with a heavy layer of mulched leaves and they come back each year.

    As long as your ground has not frozen, after it has revived a bit I would plant it outside. Keep it watered but not soggy. After a few days, cut off the stems, cover it with mulch and hope for the best.

    A lot of people have problems gettings their mums to come back in the spring so if yours doesnt', you're not alone!
     

  3. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    You are right about your zone. It is zone 5 and zone 6 in Ok. If your plant was green house grown and not hardened off it will be hit and miss as to survival. If it has been outside and hardened of it will be hit and miss also. Mums are perennial but around here which is zone 5 they are tender perennials. The yellow and white mums do best in full sun. The very dark ones will retain flowers and color better if planted in a light shade. Try to keep the foliage dry when watering, to avoid diseases. Cut back the foliage to about 5 inches, and cover with straw or oak leaves.
     
  4. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mums are perennial, but . . . I just found that the biggest propagators in this country are NOT breeding for hardiness and do not sell their cuttings as perennial plants!!! Most of the mums in all kinds of stores and florists originate from these propagators, unfortunately.

    The Univ. of Minnesota has a long list of hardy mums, and I found a propagator in Faribault to get the cuttings from. The Morden experiment station in Canada has developed hardy mums, but I haven't yet found a propagator.

    And most of the flowering mums are naturally late bloomers, so while they might live over, they bloom so late that the mid and late fall frosts/freezes kill the flowers before they open (bud and flower tissue are not as hardy as that of leaves and stems).

    So I guess I'm saying that while I agree with all the advice you've been given about taking care of your plant, don't hold your breath waiting for it to come back. The customer service lady said I was lucky to have had *any* come back!
     
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    So you see they are, what are referred to as, tender perennials. Hit and miss. Some people have better luck with them than others. Probably has more to do with soil structure and microclimate where you live. To keep them shorter you should pinch them back up until the fourth of July. This will also provide you with a bushier plant and alot more flowers. I've seen some that were 5 to 6 feet tall after the first year of growth.