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Mums for 1990

R.E. Widmer, P.D. Ascher and M.C. Stuart

two images, one of red mums, another of yellow mums

Snowsota (82-135-88) produces an informally mounded plant topped by 11/2-inch, full, white, long-lasting pompon flowers with light yellow centers. Centers fade to white, and blooms resist pinking in low temperatures. Clean, medium green foliage clothes stiff stems on 15-inch high, 24-inch wide plants. Blooming in the Twin Cities usually begins the last week of August. Parents are Spartan and Chiquita's Rival.

Maroon Pride (82-A31-12) displays 3- to 31/2-inch, rich dark red, slow fading, fully double, flat decorative flowers atop medium height, uniformly mounded plants. Flowering in the Twin Cities usually begins the last week of August. Flowering peaks within several weeks, and continues to produce new blooms thereafter. Stems are clothed with clean, semi-glossy medium-dark-green foliage on 18-inch high, 28-inch wide plants. Flowering time is similar to Torch Song and about one month earlier than Minngopher and Minnruby. Parents are Ruby Mound and Autumn Fire.

Both cultivars are adaptable to pot culture as spring-flowering plants in natural days. Application of a chemical growth regulator is recommended.

Chrysanthemum culture

Planting time-Plant chrysanthemums in the spring after all danger of killing frost has passed. Use small plants derived from rooted suckers of old plants or new plants from a local source. Larger plants in various stages of development may be planted anytime during the summer or early fall.

Soil, site, and fertilizer-Garden mums grow best in full sun and well-drained soil. Incorporate peat moss, compost, or well-rotted barnyard manure and superphosphate (3 to 5 pounds per 100 square feet) into the soil. If you use peat moss or do not add organic matter, apply a commercial fertilizer in the spring (such as a 5-10-5 or 10-10-10) according to package directions. Sidedressing plants with a complete fertilizer in early August, especially in years of abundant rainfall or irrigation, is recommended. If the fertilizer applied in the spring is a slowly-available type, the second application may not be necessary.

Cultivar selection-Select cultivars that will bloom before the end of September in the Twin Cities area. Later-blooming cultivars will fail to bloom before damaging or killing frosts in most years. Cultivars usually bloom earlier in northern Minnesota and later in southern Minnesota.

Watering-Do not let plants suffer from a lack of water. One good watering or rain per week, the equivalent of one inch of water, usually is adequate. Insect and Disease Control-Spraying or dusting with an all-purpose insecticide-fungicide mixture twice a month from June through September is recommended.

Late flowering-Possible causes include wrong cultivar selection; insufficient sun (shaded), fertilizer, or water; pinching too late; root competition from nearby trees and shrubs; unusually hot weather, especially nights, in August; unusually cold weather in August and September; insect or disease injury.

Over-wintering-To be reasonably certain of carrying plants over the winter, use one of these methods:

Dividing-Although no cultivars are consistently hardy under Minnesota winter conditions, sections of clumps frequently survive. If the entire clump survives the winter, it is preferable to divide it into small clumps with two or three growing points.

Popular University of Minnesota Chrysanthemum Cultivars
Variety Flower color Plant description Height Blooms (Twin Cities)
Burnt Copper Orange-bronze 3" double pompon over 18 inches September 1-15
Centerpiece Rose-lavender/gold centers 4" full over 18 inches Before September 15
Grape Glow Bright rosy purple 31/2" flat decorative 12-18 inches September 1-15
Lemonsota Lemon Yellow 1" pompon to 12 inches September 1-15
Mellow Moon Cream 41/2" semi-incurved decorative 12-18 inches September 1-15
Minngopher Crimson red 21/4" decorative to 12 inches After September 15
Minnpink Rose pink 11/2" flat, decorative to 12 inches Before September 1
Minnqueen Bright rose pink 3" decorative to 18 inches September 1-15
Minnwhite White 2" decorative to 12 inches Before September 1
Rosy Glow Deep rosy pink 4" decorative incurved 12-18 inches September 1-15
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