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The Mystery of the Color-Changing Mums

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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 03:46 PM
Original message
The Mystery of the Color-Changing Mums
OK, all you floral Miss Marples and Hercule Poirots here's a puzzler for you...

Back in August, I need some flowers for the table for a pot-luck picnic. Running shot on time, I decided to grab whatever was on offer at the grocery store. Bad idea. It's was dyed-carnation city and not much else. They DID have some potted white mums on the sale table (probably b/c they were in need of some serious dead-heading, despite having many nice new blooms too.) So, I picked the best of the lot and brought it home.

After it did its duty on the serving table (tucked into a short wide-mouth pitcher), I re-potted it in a larger container and added it to my "garden." After a week or so, all the remaining blooms died and, though the foliage looked good, I didn't see any new buds forming.

Oh well, leave it alone and it will come back next year, I thought.

Then, about 10 days ago, it started making buds. Something was odd, but I thought "That must be a trick of the light... surely mums can't change color?"

But, sure enough, when they bloomed they were a bright hot PINK.

I thought maybe there were two kinds on mums in the pot, but close inspection proves that these pink flowers are on the same plant that had pure white blossoms in the summer. Only the sunny yellow centers are the same.

Could the potting soil or fertilizer (both organic) have caused this change?

Has anyone else experienced color-changing mums??

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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, I've seen white varieties that age to pink.
So maybe it will work the other way, they may pale out as they age.

Who knows, though, maybe a pH thing like hydrangeas. I finally got my blue hydrangeas to bloom blue after several years of acidifying the soil with Aluminum sulfate, powdered sulfur, and deep oak leaf mulching each fall.

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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
2. Some flowers just have the ability to do that - certain Lantana do -
Miss Huff has flowers that go from yellow to orange to pink - and Pulmonaria go from pink to lavender or even blue. It's all in the chemistry! I did some googling - seems that in some cases, there is an evolutionary advantage to doing so in regard to certain pollinators (yes, another example of evolution - take that, you right wingers!!!)
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Maybe because I planted them in a ROUND container instead of
Edited on Sun Oct-23-11 03:44 PM by beac
FLAT EARTH? ;)




edited for typo, b/c I'm an educated elitist :)
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. ah, good one!
:thumbsup: :hi:
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. maybe they were grafted onto something pink originally?
I've seen that happen with other store-bought flowers. :shrug:
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
6. Mutant mums
I planted some deep crimson ones in my front yard last fall.
This year they came up orange, except for a stem with small pink mums.
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