Question: My mums aren’t blooming like they’re supposed to. Our neighbors’ plants are flowering right on schedule. What could we have done wrong?

Answer: Check the light that might be hitting them at night. Mums measure the length of the dark period, and when lights, including bright street lights and security lamps, are turned on during the night, it can keep them from flowering entirely. It may also be that your neighbors’ varieties are different types of mums and that they bloom earlier in the fall. The small-flowering “cushion” mums generally bloom 4 to 6 weeks earlier than florist mums that have been planted from pots. If you pinched out the plants’ growing tips late in the season, that also could slow down their bud set and subsequent bloom.

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