Red Daisy Mums

I was wondering if any green thumbers on the boards could help me out a bit here.

My son got a pot of red daisy mums from his grandfathers funneral and I really want to keep them alive but I am pretty bad at taking care of house plants. I know they can be planted outside but fall is here and we are already getting frost warnings in Iowa.

Will I be able to keep them happy and alive in a pot for the winter or should I try to plant them outside and hope they come up next year?

I looked them up and they are a full sunlight plant and you can do something called wintering but I don’t think I’m that talented. I can grow damn near anything outside but I have a bad habit of forgetting to pull up some of the bulbs and as I said my inside plants cringe when I come near.

I think your chances are better planting it outside. Frost may be predicted, but it will be a while before the ground freezes. Plant the mum and keep it watered until the ground freezes.

They may be hardy mum or not. Hardy mums will survive and multiply. The others will be dead next spring, but keeping them alive indoors is not practical in your case. Enjoy them now and don’t fret their fate to much. You still have time to drop them in the ground until the end of October. Make sure they get water after planting outside, because the fall is normally very dry.

I’ve kept mine potted for a couple years now. I need to bring them into the garage for frosts. After the flowers go bad, I remove the pot and drop the plants in the ground. I keep them watered, and in the spring they go into pots again. You may have to divide the root clump in the spring.

So wait for the flowers to die and plant the stems?

And how could I tell if they are hardy or not? I would think I would know by next year if they come up again but in my case I would think I just killed them off. Are they pretty hard plants to kill off?

My son picked them from the plants they were letting people have because he thought they were daisies and he knows they are my favorite. I haven’t had the heart to tell him yet he was mistaken. I’ll wait a bit until he’s not as touchy about them being his grandpa’s flowers.

Thank you so much for the advice. I will do my best to keep these suckers alive. I think maybe I should explain all of this to my son and let him tend to the flowers. After all he can keep african violets alive and I hear that’s pretty hard.

You don’t know if they’ll survive over winter, because you don’t know the variety.
Plant the stems?
Are they potted mum plants in bloom or a bouquet?
You plant the roots in the soil at the same level as they are in the pot.

Your son picked them? They’re just stems with the flowers?

If that’s the case, they won’t grow. They aren’t the actual plants, they’re just more or less cut flowers. Keep them in water until they fade and then throw them out because they’re not plants, they’re just stems. It’s POSSIBLE to propagate mums from stem cuttings, but what you’ve got probably isn’t ideal for it if they’re random flowering stems.

The best thing to do might be to take some of the flowers and DRY them to preserve them rather than trying to keep them alive. I think you’d have better luck with that.
The odds are that they are the florist variety of mums (not hardy) unfortunately.

Since it’s okay to plant evergreen plants anytime that the soil is workable, if you have room for it, you might also want to consider getting a little shrub or tree to plant in Grandpa’s memory with your son. Then it can be your son’s job to water it until it’s established. That might take your son’s attention off the flowers if they do in fact die.

He picked them from the planters they were letting people take.

So chances are becuase they came from a flower shop they are a one time shot? It’s actually a pot of plants not an arrangement. Like what you would get from a store and leave on your front porch.

And what I meant by planting the stems is to plant what remains after the flowers wither and need to be cut off. I figured there would be the stems left and the roots and to plant that would make it look like I’m just planting stems. If I were to plant them would I cut everything down to right above the soild line in the pot?

I know I’m full of all kinds of technical jargon. But I am a quick study. :slight_smile:

If you’re dealing with the actual plant - with roots & all, I’d let the flowers be. Hopefully they got, or will get pollinated. Pull the plant in at night for frosts, out during the day. Wait for the flowers to die on their own and hopefully develop seed you can collect and plant in the spring.

As for the root-ball, I’d stick it in a cool basement type place over the winter, and just keep it watered enough to not completely dry out. With luck, it’ll come back to life in the spring.

OH! :smack:

You mean “he picked them” as in “he chose a pot of planted mums”! I was completely thinking you meant that he picked them, like you’d pick flowers out of your garden. My misunderstanding…sorry.

Unfortunately, florist’s mums aren’t usually hardy. You can TRY…maybe let them go dormant for the winter (water less frequently, but don’t stop altogether…see if you can leave them in a bright but cool (but not freezing or near it) place for the winter). It’s POSSIBLE that they’re actually hardy mums. You’ll probably find out by spring.

Levdrakon’s suggestion about seeds might not give you the results you want. You’ll get mums, if the flowers actually set seed. But the varieties are usually hybrids, which means they may not seed true…they may not be the red daisy type you’re looking at right now when they bloom.

Don’t even try to get seed it’s a waste of your time. The garden centers all propagate mums by cuttings.

The plant will come back from stem area just above the roots in the spring.
The plant will spread out from the roots as the years go by.

In the spring if it comes up then you can come back and ask about taking cuttings to multiply it. You can ask about selective pruning in the spring to get a full shaped plant.

Here’s the horticultural skinny on it: Potted mums are for great and good show, but have been pumped up on chemicals to get those blooms, so, when plopped into the ground after, are going through the heebie jebbies to adjust to the “real world”. Late fall is the worst time for their adjustment phase; not enough time to recoup root development before cold weather.

Since this is a sentimental plant, I’d press/dry some of the flowers with your son, then, plant the mum in decent soil(well drained loamy). If it’s a spongy type of medium in the pot(probably), and the roots aren’t well established in the pot, get rid of the spongy stuff. That can cause wetness and cold puddling, not conducive for growth. Put it in really good garden soil, cut all the flowers off so the plant can concentrate on root growth without trying to maintain the effort of flowers. Make sense? Seems harsh at first. Give a nice blanket of mulch, too.

This is such a hard call, because your son really wants to see his Grandpa’s plant do well, and it might not. Pressing the flowers, especially in a journal, or special space, will do a lot to help with that, commemorating his remembrance.

I hope that the sweetness of this planting will give it good grace in growing next season, Kricket.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this goes well.

We did cut a few of the flowers and I’m having a friend hang them to dry. He’s a friend I usually take my funneral roses to and hopefully he can get them to dry well. I also put some between waxed paper and pressed them.

And I’m sorry jayjay I suppose I wasn’t to clear when I said “picked them”.

And my thanks again to everyone.