Hearty Mum Question

I purchased a mum last fall, and watered all winter, and it continued to live. Now it has grown quite large, and has flower budds on it. I was wondering if it will flower all summer? Should I keep it in the shade. I live in Pittsburgh, PA and we average around four days over ninety, but have had week or two long heat waves.
Thanks
Tom
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On 5/13/2008 7:37 AM, snipped-for-privacy@city-net.com wrote:

The usual flowering period for 'mums is late fall. However, I have a spoon-flowered 'mum (similar to a spider 'mum except the petals are open at the ends) that blooms on and off all year long.
Here, 'mums are indeed an outdoor plant. Even with summer temperatures reaching 100F and more, they prefer at least part-sun if not full sun.
Once they bloom, they should be cut back to about 2-3 inches. As they then sprout, each shoot should be pinched when it reaches 3-4 inches; this makes the plant more bushy, resulting in more flowers.
When flower buds (not "budds") form, remove all of the side buds, keeping only one bud on each shoot. This makes the flowers larger. Shoots might have to be staked to support the flowers.
Every 2-3 years, the plant needs to be renewed. Take cuttings from new shoots. When they root, discard the parent plant, replacing it with 1-2 rooted cuttings.
If none of the cuttings take root, then divide the base. Dig it up (or remove it from the flower pot). Break the root ball apart. Discard the older portions, and replant pieces that have new shoots from the roots.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On Tue, 13 May 2008 07:37:06 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@city-net.com"

Cut it in half now, and again at the end of July. Just take a garden shear and chop it in half. What it's doing now is probably producing what is called "King buds" and you don't want those. Your plant will be twice as beefy and flower ten times better in the fall, when it's supposed to bloom.
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