If roses reign supreme among Western gardeners, chrysanthemums reign supreme in the East. Mums, as they’re known in China and Japan, have graced the monarch of Japan’s crest and seal for centuries.
As per the National Chrysanthemum Society, the Chinese believe they possess “the power of life.”
USDA zones 5 to 9 are ideal for chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium).
Chrysanthemum blooms are so beautiful and plentiful that they might cover the foliage of the plant. So if your mums aren’t flowering, their very existence is jeopardized.
How To Make Mums Bloom Faster
The following are conditions necessary to make mums bloom faster:
Prune timely by pinching back the mums
The process of pinching back chrysanthemums fosters new growth. It’s crucial to know when to pinch them back: if you wait too long, they won’t have enough time to form new branches and buds before frost and freezes set in.
Pinching entails removing the growing tips as well as approximately 2 to 3 inches of development. Illinois University Extension advises using your hands or sanitized pruning shears. When the tip is removed, side branches are forced to form. In turn, the side branches form buds and ultimately flowers.
Read also: How To Take Care Of Chrysanthemum Indoor
Pinch back your plants twice during the growing season, if possible. If your mums have overwintered in the garden, pinch them when they are approximately 8 to 10 inches tall in the spring. If you’ve just bought them, wait two weeks after planting before pinching them back.
The second pinch will take place on the Summer Solstice. Since this is the longest day of the year and the days will get shorter after this day, the plants should start setting buds in July.
Spring or summer mums
If your mums bloom in the spring or summer, they’ve been deceived into thinking it is fall, or they’re growing in a northern environment with very cool evenings in the spring and early summer.
Artificial measures are used by commercial producers to replicate short days and darker, longer nights to provide nurseries with lovely, flowering mums throughout the year. This is why you can get blooming mums at any time of year.
As per the University of Massachusetts, cold nights can also trigger the development of buds and flowers.
Chrysanthemums are short-day plants, which implies that when the days are shorter, the buds and blooms grow more quickly. Their temperature, on the other hand, is equally crucial.
Mums can start producing buds early if their growth site has several days of chilly nights in a row. Pinch off the buds and fertilize and hydrate your garden mums if this happens. Water stress can also lead to early bud development if the plants become dry.
Water your plants regularly so that they can grow aggressively in the spring and summer. Mums that flower early in the season like this may yield a fall crop if they are pruned back to encourage them to create more branching stems, which will generate new buds.
Add the right fertilizer
Chrysanthemums are sun-loving flowers. Utah State University advises choosing a sunny area with fertile, well-drained soil.
Dig or amend the soil to a depth of 6 inches, then add organic matter like peat moss, compost, or well-seasoned manure.
If the soil is deficient, add a 5-10-5 or 7-6-5 fertilizer to the mix. Your mums will not develop if your soil is heavy and frequently wet.
Plant bushier cultivars 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart, and taller cultivars 1 to 1 1/2 feet apart, so they have a more slim form.
Mulch the area well. During the growing season, give the plants plenty of water and don’t let them wilt.
The plants’ growth will be slowed or stunted if they don’t get enough water. If you didn’t apply organic fertilizer when you first planted, do so four weeks later.
Propagate and separate the mums
According to Utah State University, chrysanthemums dislike being congested, so separate them every two years or so.
After the last fatal frost, dig up your plants. Detach the roots with care to find the new, little plants that have sprouted next to the mother plant.
Purdue University Extension advises gently detaching these and planting them individually in a prepared bed about 18 to 24 inches apart.
The mother plant will not generate healthy growth or blossoms in the future, thus it should be discarded.
Cuttings can be used to reproduce more plants, but they must already be established in your yard; do not take cuttings from newly purchased plants.
Cut off about 3 to 4 inches of a stem in the spring when new growth has sprouted and put it into pots with clean potting soil or vermiculite.
Read also: How To Grow Chrysanthemums From Seed
Place the cuttings about 1 1/2 inches deep into the soil after soaking the ends of the stems in rooting hormone to induce fresh root growth.
Maintain a constant moisture level in the soil, but not to the point of saturation.
Control the temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit and keep the new cuttings out of direct sunshine.
Eliminate pests and diseases
According to Utah State University, chrysanthemums are subject to a variety of pests and illnesses that can disfigure, if not destroy, the flowers.
These issues can be seen on the leaves or buds of the plants, as well as in the size of the plants.
Aphids, lace bugs, leaf miners, and thrips are among the insects that attack mums. As per Clemson University, organic or less-toxic controls include insecticidal and botanical soaps and oils, as well as botanical insecticides like Neem oil, capsaicin, and pyrethrin.
Countless diseases, particularly mildew and rust, attack chrysanthemums, causing stunting or leaf disfiguration.
Sulfur solutions, sprayed or dusted once a week until the buds start to develop color, can suppress both of these fungi.
Septoria leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes the leaves to turn brown, yellow, or red, then produce black spots. Spray with a Bordeaux mixture every seven to ten days to eradicate leaf spots.
As per the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program, a Bordeaux formula is a mixture of copper sulfate, lime, and water, and it is a highly efficient fungicide.
If your leaves are wilting and you’re sure it’s not due to waterlogging, it could be verticillium wilt, a fungus.
Because this is a soil fungus, the sole remedy is to uproot and kill the affected plants. It’s best not to plant mums in the same spot twice.
Bud rot is likely the cause of browning chrysanthemum buds. Bud rot causes the plant’s growing tips and buds to become soft and brown.
These buds won’t open if they’re diseased. The best treatment, once again, is a Bordeaux mixture.
Why Are My Mums Taking So Long To Bloom?
Chrysanthemums are short-day plants, which indicates that when the days are shorter, the buds and blooms grow more quickly.
Their temperature, on the other hand, is equally crucial. Mums can start producing buds early if their growth site has several days of chilly nights in a row.
How Long Does It Take For Mums Buds To Bloom?
Garden mums are short-day plants that respond to a combination of day duration, temperature, and plant age to produce bloom buds.
Garden mums, on average, will not begin to set buds until the evenings are roughly 10 hours long. In six to ten weeks, blooms will appear.