Sunday, January 4

Keeping Mum

Over the course of the year I have bought several pot mums from the local supermarket as they do quite well in our living room window. They last for ages and so are quite good value for money - especially considering my long term plans for them. I kept a keen eye on the colours that were available as I wanted a variety. I ended up with the four below - excuse the inaccurate colour (especially of the red flowers) but I was playing around using a flash in the dark.
Once the flowering period was over each plant was transferred to the greenhouse and then planted out at the allotment where I had initially intended that they have a second lease of life. Recently the plants started to flower again and we decided to repot them to give the flowers protection from the weather. Also you never know whether the pot mums are hardy varieties that would survive outdoors over winter.
Growers treat pot mums with a chemical which inhibits their growth keeping them pot plant sized and also induces them to produce masses of flowers. Once you plant them out in the garden the plants revert to their natural stature and flowering pattern. The plant in the bottom photo below was planted out in the garden earlier and now is a fairly large plant. All five plants are now in large pots in the greenhouse. They will probably be planted back on the plot and they may even be the source of some cutting material.
I could disbud the plants to get them to produce larger flowers but I rather like the smaller flowers produced in sprays. 

Back in September we went on a train journey to Betwsy-coed  and on our table was a small flower display comprising of chrysanthemums, dianthus and solidago. This is shown in the top photograph. On leaving the train we were given the display to bring home. The flowers lasted ages in our bathroom and inspired me to create similar arrangements.
The photo above is my version using some flowers from the ex pot mums and some ammi gathered from the plot. 

I'm hoping that the plants in the greenhouse continue to supply me with cutting material for some time. Now I'm on the lookout for more colours to add to the collection especially a nice bronze.


27 comments:

  1. I'm sure the Garden Centres don't want customers like you, Sue. They want their customers to throw away the plants and buy new ones - preferably very frequently!

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    1. It's even worse Mark - the plants came from the supermarket

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    2. I am sure garden centres love Sue, Mark - keeping garden interest going at this bleak time. I am under the impression that pot mums are not often hardy and need Winter protection. I will be delighted to be proved wrong.
      I have been imagining Sue playing with her flash!

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  2. I'm really grateful for this. My shop bought mums are well past their best and I was going to throw them on the compost this week, but after reading this I think I will give them a good watering, a feed, and cut the browning tops and dead flowers off. Reckon they have two chances, and maybe I'll be rewarded with either more flowers or some free plants to put in the garden come Spring! I don't have a greenhouse to overwinter, so it will be a case of what happens next!

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    1. The post has been written a while waiting to be posted, Deborah so I am glad it came in time to save the plant from becoming compost, Many chrysanths are hardy - the main reason for potting them up was to bring them from the plot so that I could 'get to;' the flowers. I may even take some cuttings from them next year.

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  3. It just shows that plants bought for a short burst of colour in the house can go on and on supplying us with colour for much longer than intended. I hope they continue to give you plenty of cutting material, your arrangement is lovely.

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    1. I thought that they deserved a second chance, Jo

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  4. I have tried this before without much success - I have three pots of mums in the greenhouse at the moment - looking very sorry for themselves.

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    1. Mine were kept in the house and then planted in the ground in spring, Elaine, The daisy like one is a couple of years old now, So far this autumn.winter I haven't bought any more, Maybe yours will rally when planted out

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  5. Love the little bouquets. I keep debating whether to put a mum in my perennial garden. I find them a bit harder to take care of then many other perennials. Though I suppose I could just let them grow naturally and see what happens.

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    1. Maybe if you try some winter hardy varieties, Daphne,

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  6. They are lovely Sue - I especially like you own wee display in the bathroom. I bought a cracking bronze coloured on from B&Q year before last, sadly I neglected it through winter. Might be worth having a look there when the time comes.

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    1. Thanks Angie - you looked closely :) I'll bear B&Q in mind.

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  7. I love these beautiful flowers ! Great pictures !
    Have a nice day !

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  8. You really are getting good value from your pot plants! I must remember to dig mine up. The posies are gorgeous!xxx

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  9. A great idea. I don't like to throw plants out either. I shall keep an eye out for some in pretty colours for the plot.

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    1. Some may not be fully hardy CJ

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  10. Interesting to know you've had success with pot mums. I've had a few plants over the years and once they've flowered they seem to die (almost instantly). I received a plant last month as a gift and this time after it flowered I cut it back and it seems to have revived and is growing again. Reading your post, I will try to keep it going.

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  11. Very interesting post Sue. I did not know that these potted chrysanthemums are treated. I have sometime "plunked" one in the ground. Most of the time they die (our winters being too cold for them), but once in a while one survives and prosper. However it is often very late by the time they bloom.

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    1. There's nothing to lose is there, Alain?

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  12. I never knew all that about the shop bought 'mums'. The arrangements are so pretty, well done. I have developed a great fondness for dahlias, but do not fancy having to keep them out of the ground over winter not having a greenhouse.

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    1. Try leaving them in the ground protect by a mulch id straw, swefling, When we had them in one bed we did this - <a href="http://ossettweather.com/glallotments.co.uk/liftdahlias.html>See this page on my website</a> which may be of some help.

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  13. Beautiful crysanthemum! So colorful!

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    1. The colours are very autumnal, Endah.

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