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Thread: coloring mums before they bloom

  1. #1
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    coloring mums before they bloom

    Three years running I have purchased potted mums that are blooming red with yellow centers. I nurture them, I take cuttings and the following year I have all these lovely yellow mums, so I have decided that something must be being added to the watering to get the blossoms to have the red edgings.........Anyone have any suggestions for me so that I too can get them to have that nice red edge on the flowers??
    Thanks, Linda
    Linda

  2. #2
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    Apparently not........I have tried watering them with red food colored water a couple of times. the blooms are tight, so when they open, I will post again...
    Linda

  3. #3
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    Londa,

    My mums get a pinkish -red edge and sometimes even turn completely red wehen the tepts drop below 50 or 60 degree, could that be what caused your originally purchased mums to have the edge? Or were they treated like they sometimes treat Poinsettas?


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  4. #4
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    You may want to research whether some chrysanthemums are chimeras. Ie., cuttings of chimeras can revert back to the parent plant. Many variegated plants are chimeras, for example.

    I have grown the small, deep flowered red one with the large yellow eye, and it always came back as the same. But, I must say that I never tried to take cuttings of it. It was eventually smothered by a trumpet vine which I won't talk about because I am still trying to get rid of it. (One of those bargains that wasn't a bargain.... Live and learn! )

    It is one of my favorites but does not spread as rapidly as the garden mums. BTW, I noticed that there is a new term for garden mums. They are now called 'Landscape Mums'!
    Ann B.
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  5. #5
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    Well, the buds are swelling and they are not yellow!! I watered again with food coloring water, and they should bloom in a few more days, so we will see!! Maybe just a little food coloring at the right time does the trick!! I am kind of excited.....

    These mums are large daisy-type blooms, and I have noticed that later blooms in the same plant in the same pot are a pure yellow, which is what got me to thinking. But I now have them in the yard and in pots, and watering them all with about a tablespoon of red food coloring in the 2 gallon watering can seems to be doing the trick!!
    Hate to think that I am meddling with Mother Nature, but I did really buy all these guys thinking I had big red/yellow petaled mums for eternity.....
    I will photograph one if this works....
    Linda

  6. #6
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    Somehow, I really don't think they are using a type of die. There must be some other reason for the difference in color.

    I see the same problem with numerous plants, bulbs (like Amaryllis) included. So, I also wonder why the difference in color, especially when the soil mix, the lighting, the moisture and everything is the same.

    If it's not the fact that it is a chimera, it also could be that your mums are self sowing.

    Unfortunately, many of the hybridized mums do not come true from seeds, and I wouldn't be surprised if propagating them from cuttings doesn't require some sort of 'trick' like making sure that you include a 'heel' or piece of the stem with the cutting. This would be the chimera mystery.

    I have started a lot of mums from cuttings, but most of them have been landscape mums since I don't have room for overwintering and caring for the florist types.

    Keep us posted on how you do with these! I am very interested. I bought one on discount that is gorgeous, and I'm waiting to see if it will produce viable seed before I try to take cuttings and see if they will grow in the garden.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
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  7. #7
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    Well, all buds so far are red. No one has opened yet. But, and here's the rub, I forgot to water one cutting with the food-coloring water, and it is budding out red too..........so much for my food colored water theory!!!! I do seem to have lots and lots of red-colored buds on these guys, so even though I haven't watered but twice, they are going to bloom red, I think. I guess that these cuttings are going to stay true to the parent. that is great news to me!!! since I will finally have another color of mum in my yard besides yellow!!
    Linda
    Linda

  8. #8
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    Linda,

    I have a few patented mums that I planted in the garden. I'm afraid that I planted them where there is now too much shade. To my surprise, though, they always come back. This year, I think I have some seedlings.

    Here is the patented one:
    Attached Images  
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #9
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    And here is the one that I suspect is a seedling:
    Attached Images  
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
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  10. #10
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    Here is another that I like that comes back every year...
    Attached Images  
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
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  11. #11
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    What fun, I love flowers. These are wonderful!! I will keep my eyes open and look for seed pods later. Right now I keep picking all that look near blooming so I can force them indoors. I never have grown mums from seed!!
    I have some rasberry mums with daisy-like petals and yellow centers, I will look for seed pods on them as well.

    I never seem to be brave enough to really keep my mums trimmed back all summer and they are usually very leggy by fall. Is there any information online that demonstrates how to cut and pinch back mums all summer so they stay neat in habit and bloom like a small bush instead of a rangy set of twigs???

    Linda
    Linda

  12. #12
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    This doesn't directly answer your question, and perhaps someone can suggest another link.

    But here is a good link that contains a lot of information about mums...

    http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1096/ANR-1096.pdf
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  13. #13
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    Wow, that article was actually very informative. I can see that I have been way too timid in pinching back my mums in the past. and next spring I will get more aggressive.
    Thanks, Ann
    Linda

  14. #14
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    I will try a picture but I think the answer has shown up. The flowers I forced before the frost were yellow with red edges, and the flowers brilliantly blooming since the frost are all rust red with yellow centers.....So much for red food colored water, it has to do with the temperature I bet. I intend to let a few go to seed so I can try to grow them that way as well.
    Linda

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