Garden mums are the largest floriculture crop sold between the first of July and the end of September. Within garden mums, there’s a lot of diversity in day length response and flower forms. At MYP we carefully track mum trends and extensively trial mum varieties in order to help growers make informed buying decisions.
Fast & Early: In recent years, mum breeders focused on meeting grower demands for varieties with shorter response times. They wanted fast and early mums. A shorter response time gives growers the possibility to get two crop turns in per season, thus increasing their sales.
Large & Bicolor: Breeders have been crossing garden mums with pot mums’ larger and bicolor flowers. Dummen Orange’s “Magnum” garden mum series was bred, for example, using pot flowers to achieve the large flowers.
Color Retention & Longevity: The trend is to breed mums with the longest possible bloom duration. As flowers age, they tend to fade, so breeders are looking for varieties that retain their color over time.
Hardiness: For many years, garden mums were considered a hardy perennial. There was a period of time where breeding focused on flower forms and types, resulting in some mums loosing hardiness and actually changing their designation from hardy to garden mums. A trend we’re seeing now is renewed consumer demand for hardiness, evidenced by increased sales in Igloo mums, which are considered fully hardy.
Mum Mixes: An increased consumer demand for multi-colored pots has resulted in breeders working on series in which three different colors can be planted in the same pot and flower at the same time.
Color Families: Flowers and response times are different in mums across colors. Growers building their mum programs choosing different colors within families ensures uniformity of crop timing.
Mum Trials at MYP
Our innovating department runs yearly mum trials each year so that we have one year of experience finishing the mums before we start selling the young plants. We grow private trials for many prominent mum breeders so we can begin to learn the newest varieties before they come to market. Additionally, with mums different vigor, habit and photoperiod requirements make substitutions more complicated, and our trials position us to provide options that meet growers’ needs.
Some growers prefer growing their mums naturally and choose varieties from early through late to stage the ripeness over the season. Others prefer to force mums into bloom by shortening the day. We trial all varieties both ways so we can understand how each variety responds to each of these growing conditions:
Natural Day Length Mum Trials – We grow trials under natural day length in order to fully understand each variety’s natural seasonal timing .
Forced Day Length Mum Trials – We grow varieties in different spots under a short-day treatment. We create artificial days with less than twelve hours of light by pulling black cloth, also called panda poly, over the trial to initiate the mums to flower.
Mum Trial Results
MYP’s trials were especially important in 2020 given that Covid-19 travel restrictions prevented many sales reps and customers from seeing these at field trials and industry events such as Cultivate and CAST prior to making their 2021 selections. Since many of you couldn’t travel to us (or anywhere else!), we’re bringing our trials to you and publishing our 2021 trial results and insights here.
Click to view and download our 2021 Mum Introductions insights.
You may also be interested in our 2020 Trial Garden Report as well (link).
Feel free to contact us with any questions related to our trials.