Monday, October 6, 2014

The Curious Case of the Color Changing Chrysanthemums

Fact:  In September I bought some white mums for my whiskey barrel planters.  
I present this picture for evidence:

Exhibit A
Fact:  Two weeks later, the WHITE mums in my two planters had somehow turned into...

Exhibit B
PINK mums!

Closeup of Exhibit B
Fact: After several more days, the flowers turned an even darker pink.

Exhibit C
Is it some sort of crazy color-changing cultivar?

Or a condition of the cooling fall climate?

Closeup of Exhibit C
Any gumshoe gardeners out there that can crack this confounding case?

I'm almost sure this isn't the scheme of my shifty, scalawag squirrels...

20 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm not sure. But a couple of years ago, I had an amazing display of mums in a rainbow of fall colors. Previously, they had only been yellow (I think, if my memory serves me correct). For the past couple of years, many of the mums disappeared and they don't seem to be blooming. The only thing that changed was that the town put in a very bright nighttime street light. Not sure if it was that, but ... Your mums and asters are certainly lovely!

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    1. Interesting! I know mums will mutate from one year to the next fairly easily. I just didn't expect the color to change so rapidly! That is too bad so many of your mums disappeared. Maybe all the light confused them?

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  2. Very strange. I know some flowers change color as the blooms age. Perhaps this is a quite marked example of that? Interesting.

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    1. I've been searching online and found a passing reference to cultivars that will turn pink. It's really hard to find information on it. I have no idea what cultivar I have either.

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  3. Are you sure someone did not dump pink food coloring in there? That would do it. Whatever the cause, the pink mums are lovely!

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    1. Ha! If my daughters knew about that they probably would have done that, since pink flowers are their favorites! I actually do like the pink better than the white :)

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  4. I have seen other white mums change colors to more pink...I expect it is the cultivar or the weather though I don't really know why...big help aren't I?

    Wait, I did a search and it seems colder weather can turn white flowers pink even mums...a little help? Seems it happens quite a bit is what I am seeing although no definitive answer as to why except colder weather is probably the culprit.

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    1. I've read things like that. Then again, I see other white mums that others have planted that seem to be staying white. So did I get a cultivar that is more sensitive to cold weather? I would love to figure out the science behind it! Well, either way, I do like my newly pink mums :)

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  5. I love both the white and the pink! I'm having a similar experience this year, Indie. I agree with Donna, it is probably the cold weather. P. x

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    1. It's fascinating, isn't it? I would love to figure out why the cold changes the color like that. We are actually enjoying the pink more than the white, so it is a fortuitous change!

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  6. Uh-oh, you have begun orbiting the Crooked Moon.

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    1. Haha! At least I have evidence, so it's not just me going crazy (it must be the whole garden, right?)

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  7. I've never heard of such a thing...cold weather changes a bloom's color. How fascinating!

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    1. Yeah, I'd love to know how that happens. And there are mums that stay white, do I have a cultivar that is more sensitive to cold weather? It's hard to find info online about it!

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  8. Exhibit A appears to have less sunshine. Maybe it is supposed to be pink but needs sunshine for the pink pigment?

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    1. No, I have two planters, and the white mums in both turned pink. (I just didn't have a good picture of the white mums in both planters). In contrast, a neighbor's mums, which also get a good amount of sun, are staying white. Curious, huh?

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  9. I thought for sure that you would tell us at the end that the white ones faded and you replaced them with pink mums:) I've never heard of this happening with mums, but Donna's explanation makes sense. I bought some mums that were barely budding so that they would last longer, and I'm still waiting for them to bloom. They're supposed to be a vivid orange, perfect for Halloween, but at this point, I'll be happy to see any color!

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    1. Ha, I have some flowers in the yard that I swear have had buds for several weeks. The cold weather is probably slowing down their blooming, but I'm anxiously waiting! I hope yours blooms soon for you :)

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  10. Hmmmmm.... tiz a mystery. I shall need my notepad & pen and a sniffer dog.
    BRB :)

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  11. I had yellow mums turn bronze between one day and the next once. No clue why. But it really happened.

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