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Article: Mum's the Word: Great article, Larry!

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Forum: Article: Mum's the WordReplies: 11, Views: 40
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Mackinaw, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 10, 2010
7:26 PM

Post #8205704

I've just recently become a mum convert, in the past couple of years, and have been frustrated at the lack of availability earlier in the season. I have managed to get three mums purchased in the fall to winter over and come back, but most don't have a chance to get established before the freeze hits. I'll have to look for them online in the spring! Thanks for the suggestion!

South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 10, 2010
8:37 PM

Post #8205824

You're welcome, Angie. Glad I could be of help. In retrospect, I should have mentioned that in our zone 5 garden, late-blooming varieties generally don't make it, even if I don't pinch at all. They get hit by frost just as they're about to bloom or shortly after the buds start to open.


Mackinaw, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 10, 2010
9:45 PM

Post #8205865

I am just recently becoming enamored of the spider mums. Any particular varieties you've had success with? I've never grown one, just admired pictures of them.

St. Louis County, MO
(Zone 5a)

November 10, 2010
10:37 PM

Post #8205900

Confession time: I have lots of mums in my garden at home and at church. I use a small hedge clipper to "pinch" and shape them. My grandfather taught me pinch at Memorial Day (May 30) and again on July 4th. In the fall I only cut them down half way, that way the leaves or other mulch stays put on windy days. You might have better success overwintering if you try leaving a good 4 or more inches of stems. I don't think I've ever lost a mum here in zone 5.
South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 11, 2010
2:16 PM

Post #8206794

Angie--I tried spider mums a long time ago and, as I recall, didn't have much luck with them. You might want to check with cathy4 (see her post above. Perhaps she's grown them successfully.

Cathy--Thanks for sharing your experience with growing mums. Obviously, you're doing all the right things. :-)
Mount Vernon, KY

November 1, 2012
8:56 PM

Post #9322438

Those special very late mums ; like the shaggy, football, spiders ;
My experience with them is:
I have kept an old fashion, leggy, white, shaggy looking mum -for 35 years. It is blooming right now. this is - after we had some heavy frost, freeze, and temps 33 degrees.It is blooming at the very end of Oct - first of Nov in zone 6b, but I have had it 20 years living in zone 6a --too, and what ever zone it was up in Michigan in the Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland area. It always blooms -but there is something about the lateness of the season that no one much notices it. It is gorgeous if I make a point to go look at it -- mostly the leaves of the trees lay heavy in its blossoms.
I did at one time think it was the color white that made no one much pay attention to it??? Untill some one gave me another spider mum with big huge blooms that was not white. I did not seem to notice it very much either???

The white one is an old fashion mum, that my mother insist I must keep. So I have.

I also had for yearsss a mulit colored bronze color spider one. OHHH geeze -- it was mid - November or later -- before it would bloom. It would bloom though --although no one noticed it, again; but me---that is the way those late bloomers work I think -- you watch untill you forget to watch. Does that make sense.

The bronze one I left in zone 6b when I moved to Michigan.

Give me those mound mums anytime over the other late blooming leggy mums. I have a row about 100 feet long of yellow and orange ones along the drive way.
Does that mean I am suggesting anyone who visits --a goodbye? : )
If so - it is not working - everyone that visits in September seems to rejoice at their bright, welcoming colors.

This makes 6 years I have had yellow, orange mound mums. The first year they tried to bloom early. I pinched and pinched till my fingernails hurt. Ever since - they have not tried to bloom early, but right on time in September. Am I just lucky? or pinching the first year made a difference?

And is it really safe to drink the leaves of mums in tea? Wonder how it taste? Wonder if it is good for any health conditions?
Municipality of Murr, PA

November 5, 2012
8:29 AM

Post #9325253

Hi Larry,
Great article!
A mum story: About an hour north of Pittsburgh, PA, my mother has two mum plants that she has had growing in her front yard for over 20 years! They are small white button mums, flowers no bigger than a nickel, which are fresh and white and age to a pinkish maroon. She never does anything to them; she's not a gardener at all. They were bought to be used as altar flowers for an October wedding, and then I planted them in her front yard. There were some years with particularly hot summers that they didn't bloom much, but other years with heavy, blanketing snow in the winter that they covered themselves with blooms the following Autumn. Deer never nibbled on them either.

Mount Vernon, KY

November 5, 2012
8:34 AM

Post #9325263

Are they late bloomers Sooo Serius?
South Amana, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 6, 2012
11:16 PM

Post #9326627

Liquid and Sooo, thanks so much for your comments!

Municipality of Murr, PA

November 16, 2012
3:15 PM

Post #9334939

Hi Liquidambar,
I remember them starting to bloom around the end of September and the flowers some years lasting past Thanksgiving, especially when there was no heavy rain or wet snow to lay the stems down to the ground.

I think that sometimes people don't notice yard mums because they're looking at the colorful trees - unless they're in a position where they're shown off, such as along a driveway, they seem to blend into the scenery. I know myself that blue or purple asters in bloom scattered among mums will always turn MY head. It's like they set each other off.
Unfortunately, deer have eaten every aster I've tried in this yard, even to the point of pawing at the roots to dig through the deer netting to get at them. That and too much shade have not allowed any to last beyond two seasons.

Don't drink just any mum leaf tea, the tea you want is of the species Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum, and usually the flowers are used. See this article:
Here are some nice pictures :

Chrysanthemum LEAVES are sometimes steamed or boiled to add flavor to soups or other dishes, but I was unable to find any more information about exactly which species is used for this purpose; I'd stick with Chrysanthemum morifolium. Chinese cookbooks may be of more help here.
Since I don't like the smell of Chrysanthemum leaves, I probably wouldn't want to eat them. Please be careful and do your homework before eating/drinking anything not familiar. Let us know how you like it! :D
Mount Vernon, KY

November 17, 2012
7:53 AM

Post #9335411

Oh, I proabably won't try it unless it comes up in some research on pubmed that it helps the immune system or endocrine system. I just am interested in herbals - but I have long since have stopped wanting to try them.
-- Yes, I believe that you are right! That is the exactly the reason we don't noitice them much. My white mums and my mother's white mums are still bloooming. They are coated in leaves. They seem to be just perfect to catch lots of leaves in their long stems and blossoms. And inspite of their beauty -- the leaves changing and dropping offf - giving us new views of the mountains ---- welll it is just a lot to catch the eye this time of the year.

I am sorry about the deer. I see that a lot of poeple on Dave's garden have ended up living in places were gardening is difficult because of deer.
I have no dear problems--- or deer problems either! :). I planted two of those asters you are talking about - a reddpurple and a bluepurple.I got them from Lowes. The blue purple only came back for just two years, , and the red purple made it three years. I imagine they are just bred up that way. So perhaps it is not so much the deer afterall???

I had a white aster come up in my herb garden this fall -- it was a weed but I just let it go - it was so pretty. There are pink and blue tinted white and very wild asters -- in different fields around here, and in my younger days I would perhaps have been foolish enough to think I wanted to capture them for my flower gardens. But now -- hummm; I will just enjoy them when I chance upon them in the fall.

Oh speaking of wild flowers made into tame culitivars. I bought a small dwarf golden rod last fall and enjoyed it a lot. But again with all there is to see in the fall it was not al that eye catching. It made it this years and bloomed in June??? It is so messed up -- poor thing. BUt you know -- I enjoyed it a lot this June anyway.

I also had two wild golden rods come in in a cotton easter and a sage. I let them be. Is this how it starts -- you let something like that in and then wham--- you just have all weeds?

Thanks for the links. I am gong to go look at them now .

This message was edited Nov 17, 2012 11:01 AM
Mount Vernon, KY

November 17, 2012
8:09 AM

Post #9335418

Well it does look like it could be an anti-inflamatory something -- which is what I do look for.
Perhaps they will sell it at Krogers and I will give it a try. I do notice that Krogers has an amazing almost daunting variety of teas that one would become water logged if they tried just three or four.

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