Q: I have five shin-high chrysanthemums I planted last fall. They have been loaded with buds for a couple of months and occasionally one opens. Are the blossoms “early bloomers” or is it just not time yet?
A: Chrysanthemums are “short day” plants. That means that they require “long nights” in order to bloom, usually twelve hours or more. The buds form in response to temperature and the number of leaves on the plant…but they won’t open in any numbers until they get a couple of weeks of long nights.
Some cultivars of mums respond faster than others. That’s why you might see some mums in bloom in August, while others wait until October. Sunrise today is 7:16 AM and sunset is 7:51 PM, giving your plants 11 hours and 25 minutes of darkness. They are probably on the verge of blooming! (Ed note: “today” refers to Sept 9)