How to Collect Mum Seeds
Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum x morifolium) are a favorite among fall flowers, adding color and texture to autumn garden beds within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5a to 9a when few other plants are in bloom. The most commonly grown chrysanthemum varieties are hybrids or cultivars that are propagated using cuttings or divisions, so they rarely produce seed, according to Missouri Botanical Garden. However, they may occasionally produce seeds that can be gathered and used to grow new plants, although the plants may not have flowers that look like the parent plant.
Gathering Chrysanthemum Seeds
The Washington State University Spokane County Extension classifies chrysanthemum plants as “seed spillers,” meaning the seed heads gradually ripen and break apart to spill the seeds on the ground rather than retaining them or ejecting them like other plants. The seed heads ripen on the lower part of the stem first, and then later, the top seed heads will ripen. Mum seeds can be gathered whenever they have turned fully brown, and the seeds have started to drop. Do not pick green seed heads because the seeds will not finish ripening once removed from the plant.
Snip off the mum seeds with pruning shears and break them apart, spreading the seeds on a sheet of paper towel to dry out for a day or two before storing them in airtight jars. Purdue University recommends putting a scoop of powdered milk or rice into the bottom of the storage jar to absorb any excess moisture. Place a piece of paper towel on top of the milk powder and then put the chrysanthemum seeds on top of the paper towel. Seal the jar and label it with the date and the type of chrysanthemum seeds. If stored under cool, dark and dry conditions, the seeds should stay viable for two to three years.
Starting Chrysanthemum Seeds
Burpee recommends starting chrysanthemum seeds indoors two months before the last spring frost. Start the seeds in 3-inch nursery pots filled with very moist seed-starting compost. Sprinkle three or four mum seeds on the surface and cover them with a 1/8-inch-thick layer of compost. The seeds need temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit to sprout well, so place the pots on a seed-starting heat mat if needed and near a very bright window with southern exposure while they germinate. Keep the compost moist and watch for seedlings in 10 to 21 days.
After the seedlings emerge and produce a mature set of leaves, thin out the seedlings to one per pot. Water whenever the compost feels dry on the surface. Chrysanthemum seedlings need very high light to grow well, so consider placing a fluorescent lamp 3 to 4 inches above the tops of the seedlings, adjusting the height as they grow. Keep the lamp on for 16 hours each day and turn it off for eight hours at night to give the seedlings a chance to rest.
Transplanting Chrysanthemum Seedlings
Chrysanthemum seedlings need to be hardened off, or acclimated to outdoor conditions, before being planted in the garden. Move the pots outdoors after the last spring frost, setting them in a bright, sheltered location out of direct sun. Leave the pots outdoors for a week, bringing them indoors if frost is forecasted. Take the pots back outdoors to continue hardening off the morning after a frost once temperatures warm. As the seedlings acclimate to outdoor conditions, gradually reduce their water and let the compost dry out just beneath the surface before watering again.
Chrysanthemums grow best in full sun with moist yet well-drained soil, according to North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service. Missouri Botanical Garden recommends not planting chrysanthemums in areas where they will receive light exposure at night, such as near a street lamp, because the extra light can interfere with their blooming. Space the plants 18 inches apart and be sure to plant them at the same depth they were growing in their nursery pots.
How to Collect Mum Seeds. Hardy mums (Chrysanthemums spp.) produce abundant fall blooms in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5 through 9. You can propagate mums by seeds collected from the old flowers in late fall, although only nonhybrid varieties produce new plants that resemble the parent. Mum seed …
what do seed pods look like on mums
I got several mums as gifts when my son passed away . i would like to save the seeds but dont know what they look like or where they can be found on the plant.
Sorry about the lose of you son.
You need to find out if you have “hardy garden mums” or “florist mums” then find out if it does produce viable seed, some hybrids don’t, otherwise you might be able to take cuttings or increase it from division in the spring.
The center of the flower is where the seed head will form; this will dry and turn brown. Once dry cut the seed head from the plant, place it in a paper bag with the top open to continue drying before separating seed from chaff. When that is done, place seeds in a clean, dry jar with a desiccant pack (like the ones in shoe boxes or medicine bottles). Some gardeners just crumble the whole seed head over garden soil in the spring.
Welcome to the famous Dave’s Garden website. Join our friendly community that shares tips and ideas for gardens, along with seeds and plants.