How to select mums and make them last as seen on KDKA’s PTL

One important tip to making mums last is buying them before they are fully in flower.

I’m often asked “what can I do to make my mums come back in the spring?”
The reality is that there’s only a 50/50 chance that the plants will overwinter.
They’re expending so much energy when they bloom right now that it’s hard for the plant to establish a good root system.
Here are some tips-
Buy from a good grower who’s taken care of the plant. All the mums I used on the show are from Hahn Nursery in Ross, but any good nursery will work.
Choose plants with tight buds. I know gardeners love to buy their flowers in bloom, but the plants will flower much longer if bought in this stage.
Keep the plants watered when it doesn’t rain.
Plant them with the help of compost, always improve the soil.
Don’t cut them back until the spring. Mums benefit from holding onto their branches over the winter.
If they come back, give them a haircut, removing the buds, twice during the season. this will cause lots of branching and in turn, lots of flowers.

Cool Plants You Should Grow as seen on KDKA’s PTL

Plant breeders tease gardeners as they introduce wonderful new plants each season.
Here are few that might not be brand new, but they are new to me.

Crape myrtle 'Cherry Dazzle.'
The dwarf crape myrtle ‘Cherry Dazzle is an amazing plant. For years only southerners were able to enjoy the late season blooms of crape myrtle. Now breeders have come up with hardier specimens.

Hydrangea ‘Strawberry Vanilla’ has pretty white blossoms which turn a deep pink as they fade late in the season.

Hydrangea 'Strawberry Vanilla'

Kousa dogwood 'Wolf Eyes'

One of my favorite new trees is the kousa dogwood ‘Wolf Eyes.’ Not only does it have pretty white flowers in late summer, red berries in the fall, but also beautiful variegated foliage year round.

Rudbeckia 'Little Henry'
Check out the interesting blooms of Rudbeckia ‘Little Henry. Amazing flower form for this perennial winner.
Anemone 'Pamina'
I love this double anemone ‘Pamina.’ This is a fall blooming perennial that’s a real show stopper.
All these plants came from Hahn Nursery in Ross, 412-635-7475.