2. Ideally, mums should be cut back and pruned starting in early to mid-June. My mother taught me to "pinch off" the top leaves as they grow to force the plants to get bushy rather than spindly. Hardy mums are mums that can handle overwintering. Horticulturist Jessica Walliser is an award-winning radio host on KDKA Radio’s “The Organic Gardeners” in Pittsburgh. After the plants have grown 3-5 inches from the first pinching, it is time to pinch again (1-2 inches). Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous if ingested. Mums are phototropic, meaning they rely on day length to trigger blooming. But to get big, bushy plants full of blooms, you'll need to pinch or cut back the plant. Chrysanthemums or mums are one of our favorite flowers in the fall. It's best if you do this just below a pair of leaves however this isn't essential. It is best to plant rooted cuttings immediately. It will also result in a riot of flower buds, as you have discovered. Do not pinch mums past mid-July or you risk delaying their bloom time so much that they won’t produce any flowers at all before a hard frost arrives. 3. Many gardeners are surprised that their garden mums start to bloom in mid to late summer. Spring-planted mums will have plenty of time for root growth. It will also increase the number of buds that appear on your plant. The rule of thumb is to make your last pinch by the 15th … Pinching mums results in bushy, compact plants with additional flowers. Pinching mums, first and foremost, delays their bloom-time. Repeat the process about 2 or 3 times over the course of the spring and into early summer. Please enter your email address. Snip off the top inch of any stems that are 6” or longer. You can remove as many as half the total height of each stem, or you can choose to remove just the topmost growing point, if you want the plant to be taller. You can prune the mums in the late fall or in the spring. Pinching Back Mums: 1. When and how to pinch back mums If you decide to prune your mums, you can start pinching stems in spring when the plants have reached a height of about 6 inches. If you're like me, and keep your fingernails clipped short, you can use a pair of sharp pruners or snips to cut the stems. Cut the stems back so each stem has four leaves. All Rights Reserved. The original species are often unclear, but horticulturalists generally categorize garden mums by flower shape: These mums do not need to be pinched at all as their natural flowering time is late autumn, though pinching can help keep the plants more compact. Pinching is one task that challenges many growers for various reasons. Pinching can be done with your fingers or a pair of hedge clippers. Each terminal stem portion that’s removed by pinching will develop into two new flowering branches, substantially increasing the plant’s “flower power.” If you pinch the plant twice (once in early June and again in early July), you’ll have even more flowering branches. To pinch them back, grab a stem between your thumb and index finger about 2 to 3 inches above the base of the plant, and just above a leaf, and simply pinch it off. Pinch back to a pair of leaves. To pinch back your mums, use your thumb and forefinger to snap off the terminal portion of each stem the plant produces. One final note on purchasing mums. Pinching to Encourage Bushiness Pinch mums during late spring and early summer. Thank you for choosing this service. Pinching for branching is… Repeat the process with every 3-5 … Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). Lost your password? When buying, look for hardy mums. Pinching mums back should encourge lots of new shoots which should be shorter and sturdier than if you didn't pinch at all. Our experts will call you on your preferred time. Look For Mums To Keep! This may seem like a drastic measure, but come fall you will be rewarded with compact bushy plants that are robust with flowers. Continue pinching until early July. "Every time they grow five to six inches, pinch the tip of each shoot about two to three inches down the stem, just above the leaves," he advises. 2. If you want fall flowers on your mums, you will need to pinch the plants back periodically throughout the summer. Stop pinching your plants around mid-July. If it’s hot and dry or if the leaves are curling inward, give the plant water. When this is done, it forces the plant to produce lateral (or side) branches, increasing the number of branches and keeping them more compact. Hot summers can cause mums to flower later than usual. One is to get more branches by pinching out the growing stem tips (soft pinch), the other is to get more flowers or larger flower size (disbudding). Let me explain. To pinch a plant, remove the growing tip of a stem by nipping it between your thumb and forefinger. Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you’re one of the lucky gardeners who has a returning mum every year, early July is an important time to pay attention to them. Mum growers know that it’s beneficial for your plants to pinch back the earliest buds of the season. Understandably, many growers are thinking about moving to the “no-pinch” technique but have many questions. Garden mum season is almost upon us. Q: I have lots of chrysanthemums. Pinch chrysanthemums 2 to 3 times from spring to mid-summer. It's also adviced to pinch off the tops of stems in the … Before placing the plants in the cooler, inspect them for damage from heat or cold, breakage, or wilt. Snip off the top inch of any stems that are 6” or longer. Pinching Mums: Tips For Pruning This Fall-Flowering Plant. Cushion mums are common finds at garden centers and nurseries every autumn, and many gardeners who enjoy these late-season flowers as fall decor go on to plant them in the garden after the blooms fade. Pinch your mums, please. Pinching mums also doubles or even triples the number of flowers the plant produces. © 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. This procedure usually begins in spring when the plants are about 6 to 8 inches tall. You can either dispose of the removed stem tips in the compost pile, or root them according to these directions to grow more plants for subsequent seasons and to share with friends. Take a sharp pair of pruners and cut the entire plant back by about half. Garden mums can be direct stuck in the finish pot or rooted in a liner before pinching and transplanting. 1. But, these opened flowers can become heavy with rainwater … You will receive a link and will create a new password via email. 1. This means removing the early buds with pruners. Your mums can be divided every two years in early spring. To pinch them you just need to remove the first 2 inches of any new growth by holding it in your fingers and then pinching it with your nail. Perennial Mums vs. Hardy Mums When the morning temperatures turn chilly and the air smells of dried leaves, I get the overwhelming urge to buy chrysanthemums. If you want mums that return every year with little fuss, these cultivars are worth investigating. These mums will bloom longer, flowering for up to 45 days or more. The stems ooze a milky sap, which irritates the skin of susceptible people. If necessary cuttings may be stored for 2-3 days in a cooler at 33-40ºF. Remove the stem tips when the shoots are 6 to 8 inches tall. Please try again. One of the secrets to encouraging flowers on mums is to pinch them back. The further north you live, the earlier you should pinch your mums because of shorter growing season of northern climes. You can also use a sharp pair of pruning shears to pinch the ends. Hundreds, if not thousands, of different garden mums have been bred. Pinch again when these new shoots reach a length of 6 to 8 inches. She’s the author of five gardening books, including the Amazon-bestseller, Choose The Right Coop & Run For Your Chickens, 3 Recipes For Homemade Holiday Chicken Treats, Build This DIY Weasel Box To Keep Your Hens Safe, 6 Christmas Gift Ideas For Farmers In 2020, Recipe: Cinnamon & Sugar Brioche Is A Rich, Tender Treat. You might also want to pinch your mums’ buds to make them bloom as much as possible. There is error while submitting your request. As you pinch back the buds through mid-July, check the soil for moisture. General pruning of mums begins with using your thumb and forefinger to remove the tops of new shoots that are 3 to 4 inches long, leaving two or three leaves on each shoot. The best time to pinch plants is around July 4th, but you can do it earlier. Pinching mums is a necessary chore, and it must be done sometime in June or early July. The real flowers are tiny yellow clusters in the center of the bract. Pinch weekly up to mid-August to give the plant time to form flowers and bloom at the right time. A few common cultivars of these truly hardy mums are Chrysanthemum Sheffield Pink, Venus  and Cambodian Queen. Pinching refers … Wear gloves when cutting poinsettias. This will push the plant to produce bigger, fuller flowers later in the season. By pinching the mums correctly you will be able to shape the plant and keep it compact. Godfrey says the secret to maximizing flower production is to begin pinching the stems of your mums in the springtime. Cutting Back And Pinching Blooms. Unlike some perennial plants that, with an occasional deadheading, bloom off and on all season long, mums are one of many plants that flower only once each year. Pinch back to a pair of leaves. Please call us at: 1-800-HOME-DEPOT (1-800-466-3337), Please enter in your email address in the following format: you@domain.com. This is especially important for chrysanthemum stems, which are brittle and can snap if they get too long. What look like flowers on a poinsettia are actually bracts, which are modified leaves. Ideally, you want to pinch the stem as close to above the leaf nodes as possible. Local store prices may vary from those displayed. And in the end, results in a thicker, bushier plant with more shoots for blooms. Your email address will not be published. Be certain that the rooting medium is slightly damp. The summer annuals on the porch are running out of steam and being threatened by the first frosts … Place them in an area that provides bright, but filtered light. Mums like moist, but not overly wet soil. Pinch out the center leaves on mums when they are 4 to 6 inches tall, by pinching them free of the stem with your thumb and finger. Products shown as available are normally stocked but inventory levels cannot be guaranteed, For screen reader problems with this website, please call 1-800-430-3376 or text 38698 (standard carrier rates apply to texts). To pinch back your mums, use your thumb and forefinger to snap off the terminal portion of each stem the plant produces.