Diana Hartman is the president of the Oklahoma City Chrysanthemum Society. We had a good visit this Saturday and she explained how mums are grown for show blooms.
Hartman takes cuttings from March to June, roots the cuttings in her greenhouse, then trains each of them onto a bamboo stake.
She removes all of the leaves and buds (called disbudding) below the one show bloom so the plant can reserve its energy to produce one, large, perfect flower.
The National Chrysanthemum Society at www.mums.org is a resource for all things mum.
Clicking on the mums.org map shows that there are very few chapters - none in MO, KS, AR, NM, etc.
Hartman and her chrysanthemum buddies are the only chapter in our area. They started their chapter 5-years ago.
In an email conversation, the largest U.S. mum specialty grower, King's Mums told me that they are going out of business. Hartman said that when they close, it will be the end of an era since members usually bought their plants from the California supplier.
This is an opportunity for someone who is ready to start or expand a nursery business. Can you imagine fall without mums?
An Internet search for unique mums to grow yielded few choices -
Search parkseedplants.com and Shasta Daisies are the only choice.
Thompson and Morgan has a 15-plant special that combines 5-each of Reflexed, Incurved and Patio for 20 Euro. Well, plus shipping from Europe.
Faribault bought Mums of Minnesota and offers a good selection of garden decorative, football and novelty varieties.
If you enjoy mums, you might want to order some of your favorite varieties and keep them going in your greenhouse and garden.
Do you know of a good supplier? Please let us know. This research has made me anxious to buy a few.