28 September 2008

Mums the Word

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.

2 comments:

Lanna King said...

King's Mums is not going out of business, just changing ownership. Orders can be place in spring of 2009 at the King's Mums web site. The new owners will be Ray & Kim Gray, of Sunsetflowers, located in Oregon City, OR. They purchased the King's Mums name and will continue offering all of the same cultivars to the home grower.

Martha said...

That's terrific news, Ms. King.

Lots of collectors will be happy to know that they can still come to King's Mums (http://www.kingsmums.com/)for the beautiful specialty plants available on the website site after the Oregon relocation.

Anyone interested can read about the sale and story at this link - http://www.sacbee.com/165/story/1398060.html.

Good luck and happy growing!

Martha