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When The Yellow Flowers Of My Mums Died Off I…

Kathy Asked

When the yellow flowers of my mums died off I cut them back and fertilized them. Now the new flowers are red, not yellow: how can that be?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Kathy in Florida: There are hundreds of species of chrysanthemums and even more cultivars. These plants have been intensely hybridized by professional growers and now there are thousands of hybrids to choose from. Chrysanthemums, commonly known as mums, are available as annuals as well as perennials. Because of the hybridization that has been done, these plants flower in almost any color; some are even two-toned. So, not to get into the specifics of developing a new flower color, but essentially the grower takes two parent plants that bloom different colors to create a new hybrid that blooms a blend of the two parents. Sometimes plants revert back to one of their parents, which is what happened to your mum. It was a hybrid and one of the parents had red blooms. It has nothing to do with removing the spent blooms or fertilizing. Flower color can change in some plants with environmental conditions but this is not the case with your chrysanthemum.

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