How Long Does It Take for a Mum’s Seed to Grow?
Mums (Chrysanthemum x morifolium) brighten autumn gardens with their cheery flowers. They are typically grown as annuals, although mums are technically perennial within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9. Although most commonly propagated from cuttings or divisions, mum seeds will also grow readily in just 10 to 15 days. However, the seeds must be started at the right time of year and kept under appropriate conditions to perform their best.
Starting Mum Seeds
Mums take up to four months to flower from seed, so it is best to give the seedlings a head start by sowing them indoors in early spring. Start the seeds roughly eight weeks before the last spring frost, which is mid-February within Mediterranean climates. The seeds can also be started outdoors anytime from after the last spring frost until two months before the first autumn frost. However, the seeds germinate less reliably when sown outdoors due to temperature and moisture fluctuations in the soil.
Germinating Mum Seeds
Light exposure is key to successfully germinating mum seeds, so they must be sown at the appropriate depth. Sow two or three seeds in each pot by lightly pressing them onto the surface of the soil. Spread a very thin layer of soil on top so they are covered but still somewhat exposed to the light. Dry soil may shift during watering, so mist the surface with a spray bottle and gently tamp it down to increase contact with the seeds.
A warm, bright room with south- or west-facing windows provides the ideal conditions for germinating mum seeds. Arrange the pots within 3 feet of a window. PennState Extension recommends temperatures 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit for germinating mum seeds, so warm the pots with a heating coil or propagation mat and keep them covered with plastic wrap to ensure favorable conditions. Keep the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil moderately moist during the germination process using a spray bottle.
If the room receives less than six hours of bright, natural sunlight each day, suspend a fluorescent grow lamp 12 to 15 inches above the pots to supplement the available light. Closely monitor the moisture level in the soil when using a heating coil or fluorescent lamp because artificial heat will cause it to dry out faster.
Tending Mum Seedlings
Once sprouted, mum seedlings quickly put on growth, so the emergent seedlings must be thinned out promptly to prevent overcrowding. Remove the spindliest seedlings from each pot and leave the most robust one. Water at the base of the seedlings, taking care not to splash water onto the leaves.
After the last frost, move the mum seedlings to a sheltered and lightly shaded area outdoors to harden them. Leave them out for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the length of time over the course of two weeks. Transplant them 12 inches apart in a sunny bed with rich, fast-draining soil once the soil warms up.
Other Mum Propagation Methods
Although mums grow readily from seed, they readily cross-pollinate and, as a result, the seeds may not produce a plant that resembles the parent plant in flower color, composition or growth habit. Most seed propagation is done solely to create new mum varieties and it is not advantageous to home gardeners. Clonal methods such as growing mums from cuttings or rooting mums in water provide the only reliable means of reproducing a particularly attractive or hardy mum variety, according to the University of Kentucky.
How Long Does It Take for a Mum’s Seed to Grow?. Mums (Chrysanthemum x morifolium) brighten autumn gardens with their cheery flowers. They are typically grown as annuals, although mums are technically perennial within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9. Although most commonly propagated …
Propagating Mums: Growing Mums From Cuttings And Seeds
Chrysanthemums are one of the heralds of fall although they are also produced for spring blooming. The flowers come in all the hues of the harvest and echo the changing leaf colors. Mums, as they are commonly called, are easy to grow and can be propagated by a variety of methods. Propagating mums can be from seed, started from division or even from cuttings. With so many ways to propagate it is easy to learn how to start mums.
Easy Mum Propagation Through Division
Propagating mums is fast and easy when done through division. Mums benefit from division every three to four years to enhance the form and flowering of the plant. This is done in spring and yields a spare plant or two. The centers of mums can begin to get leggy and may even die out when they get older.
In spring when the mum begins to show signs of sprouting, dig out the entire root ball of the plant. Use a sharp soil knife or spade and use it to cut the root ball into three to five sections. Each one of these sections can be planted to make a new chrysanthemum.
Planting Mum Seeds
You never know what you will get when you plant mum seeds. They will bloom the first year after planting but may not be true to the parent plant. Growing from mum seeds is easy and can prove quite an adventure due to the uncertainty of the type of bloom.
Because of the long growing season required for mum seeds, it is best to start them indoors six to eight weeks before the date of the last frost or sow the seed in spring in a well prepared bed. Cover them lightly with mulch and keep the bed evenly moist. Transplant the mums when they are 6 to 8 inches high.
Growing Mums from Cuttings
Cuttings are how to start mums for quick blooming plants. Cuttings produce the fastest mum plants, which will bloom within months. Spring or summer is the best time to take cuttings for mum propagation.
Use a sharp sterile knife to remove a 2- to 3-inch (5 to 7.5 cm.) section of new growth at the end of a stem. Pull off the leaves on the bottom 1 inch of the cutting and insert it into peat moss or perlite. The cutting must always be moist but not soggy. It will root within a couple of weeks and then you should pinch off the top growth to encourage the new plant to form lateral growth.
Propagating mums is a task that you can enjoy as a home gardener. The variety of methods for reproduction means you just have to decide how to start mums. Chrysanthemums make excellent potted plants for special occasion gifts or as perennials in the garden bed. You can bring them indoors or out for early spring or late fall color.
Chrysanthemums are one of the heralds of fall. Propagating mums can be from seed, started from division or even from cuttings. With so many ways to propagate it is easy to learn how to start mums. Read more here.