learning to love another mum: ‘sheffield pink’

sheffield pink mumANOTHER MUM IS TRYING TO WOO ME. This time it’s someone a lot less brash than my longtime one-and-only, but despite the quieter demeanor, it’s starting to grow on me. What do you think of ladylike ‘Sheffield Pink’ (or just plain ‘Sheffield,’ as it’s also called)?

‘Sheffield Pink’ has 3-inch-wide, pastel-pink blooms in October here, lasting a month or longer, and though the catalogs all describe them as “apricot-pink,” I don’t see any hint of orange in its blush. The plant will grow from about 2½ to 3 feet, and as with any garden mum will perform best if divided regularly and flower most prolifically if pinched once or twice. The routine:

When the first signs of growth appear in spring (May for me), dig the old plants and toss the oldest, woody bits, replanting vigorous divisions 18 inches apart. Note: There will be far more than you can use, especially if you haven’t divided in awhile.

Once the transplanted divisions settle in and get to about 6 inches high, around June here, pinch off (with fingers or a pruning shears) about ½ inch of topgrowth from the terminal point, repeating after another 6 inches or so of new growth is produced. This will encourage bushier plants. If you like a looser mum, pinch just once, and in either case don’t pinch after about mid-July (the approximate time here when buds set in earnest).

I know, I know; ‘Sheffield Pink’ isn’t ‘Will’s Wonderful,’ but for now it has this other detail to recommend it: ‘Sheffield Pink’ is available, while ‘Will’ is looking for a new mail-order home. Find ‘Sheffield Pink’ at Bluestone or Lazy S’s; stay tuned about where to find ‘Will’ perhaps in the coming spring. (UPDATE: Lazy S’s has ‘Will’ for sale now.)

36 comments
October 26, 2009

comments

  1. Louis Manfredi says

    Ours, (Cambridge MA) are extremely bushy and healthy looking– as a matter of fact kind of taking over our microscopic front garden, but so far (9/4/13) no obvious signs of blooms. Should we be worried, or patient, or should we do something else?

    They had very pretty blooms last year when we bought them about this time, lasting till the weather got cold.

    • says

      Hi, Louis. Mine don’t bloom till later in September or even October when they’re grown in the ground (they get off to a later start than ones in nursery pots, I guess). Do you see buds?

      • Louis Manfredi says

        Hi Margaret:
        Thanks for the reply, and great site you have here, thanks for that too!

        I don’t see anything that looks at all different from the buds of new leaves, which continue to grow prolifically as they have all summer.

        But it has been a hot summer till now, perhaps now that we’re getting some cooler weather I’ll start to see some bloom buds coming along too.

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