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Mums Don’t Start Blooming Until Fall So How Can Anyone…

Katrina Asked

Mums don’t start blooming until fall so how can anyone cut from new growth in early spring and summer when they are dormat?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Katrina in Kentucky: Chrysanthemums, like other plant material, go through a period of dormancy when they slow down or stop growth due to changes in weather. When the temperatures cool down in the fall, plants slow down their growth as well. They remain this way until the warmer temperatures return in the spring and plants slowly break dormancy. They eventually use the energy stored up from last season to put on new growth (if hardy). So, even though chrysanthemums bloom later in the season this does not mean they do not have any foliage during the spring and summer months. The most common chrysanthemums, or mums, are all hybrids, and depending on the cultivar they may or may not be hardy. The mums that are found in the garden centers this time of year are probably not a hardy variety. They can potentially come back for a few years but are not a long-lived, reliable perennial. Some gardeners pinch or cut back mums during the spring and early summer before bud formation to encourage a bushier plant with more blooms.

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