Fall has arrived and that means it time to decorate with Fall Color. Garden mums are the perfect flower to decorate porches, pots, flowers beds, and more for the colorful Fall season. Have you ever wondered how these blooming beauties produce their flowers, or why some years they are late to bloom? Continue reading to learn.
In the world of horticulture, garden mums are known as “short-day” plants. Short-day plants set their flowers when the day length is shorter than a critical time. Most garden mum varieties need less than 12 hours of day length in order to set buds. As the days naturally shorten after June 20 (the first day of summer), garden mums will form their buds. July 15 is the approximate date when the day length is short enough for the mums to initiate flower buds.
Bloom time in garden mums is also influenced by temperatures. Heat delay occurs in garden mums when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The exceptionally warm temperatures of summer 2016 in the mid Atlantic region has caused a delay in garden mum bloom time of 7-10 days throughout this region.
Another factor influencing garden mum bloom time is the cultivar. There are hundreds garden mums cultivars. Here at D.R. Snell we have, mid, early season extender, and late season extender cultivars so there are mums to fit the needs of our customers from August to early October.
If you want to help ensure that your Garden Mum will return next year we encourage you to plant with Compost and Pine mulch. By using pine mulch in the hole at the time of planting you will improve drainage. The additional drainage with prevent rotting which the main cause of Mum failure. We also recommend adding pine mulch to act as a winter blanket for the Mum.
As the calendar moves towards Fall, it is time to think garden mums for your Fall gardening needs!