One of the secrets to encouraging flowers on mums is to pinch them back. 2. To pinch back your mums, use your thumb and forefinger to snap off the terminal portion of each stem the plant produces. Pinch monthly until mid-September to give the plant time to form flowers and bloom at the right time. Please try again. Hardy mums are mums that can handle overwintering. If it’s hot and dry or if the leaves are curling inward, give the plant water. Water when the soil feels dry and add more mulch before your average first fall frost date. To pinch: remove the top inch or two of new growth once or twice a month to keep plants 6 inches tall. It's also adviced to pinch off the tops of stems in the … Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). It's best if you do this just below a pair of leaves however this isn't essential. This may seem like a drastic measure, but come fall you will be rewarded with compact bushy plants that are robust with flowers. After the plants have grown 3-5 inches from the first pinching, it is time to pinch again (1-2 inches). Horticulturist Jessica Walliser is an award-winning radio host on KDKA Radio’s “The Organic Gardeners” in Pittsburgh. There are generally two kinds of pinching that are done on mums. 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. Pinching Mums: Tips For Pruning This Fall-Flowering Plant. Q: I have lots of chrysanthemums. The term “pinching” comes from the fact that gardeners actually use their fingers (and fingernails if they have them) to pinch off the tender, new growth at the end of the stem. Required fields are marked *. Pinching mums results in bushy, compact plants with additional flowers. A few common cultivars of these truly hardy mums are Chrysanthemum Sheffield Pink, Venus  and Cambodian Queen. Continue to do this until the end of the first week of July. This will push the plant to produce bigger, fuller flowers later in the season. And in the end, results in a thicker, bushier plant with more shoots for blooms. 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. Cut the top growth back to the next branching growth area and the plant will produce more stems and bigger, more profuse buds. If you find you can’t get a clean break by using your fingers, you can also use a pair of sharp, clean pruners or even a scissors when pinching mums. Godfrey says the secret to maximizing flower production is to begin pinching the stems of your mums in the springtime. 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. When buying, look for hardy mums. Repeat the process about 2 or 3 times over the course of the spring and into early summer. Cut the stems back so each stem has four leaves. Simply reach down in the plant and pinch off the new buds. The original species are often unclear, but horticulturalists generally categorize garden mums by flower shape: Lost your password? This procedure usually begins in spring when the plants are about 6 to 8 inches tall. But to get big, bushy plants full of blooms, you'll need to pinch or cut back the 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. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Be certain that the rooting medium is slightly damp. This means removing the early buds with pruners. 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. Thank you for choosing this service. Spring-planted mums will have plenty of time for root growth. Pinch about half of the tender new growth at the top of the shoot; choose some stems with buds and some without. 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. Pruning on chrysanthemums will give you better looking plants at bloom time. 3. There are many reasons to grow your vegetables, including health benefits, better flavor, and environmental protection. 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). Pinching (as described below) removes the terminal portion of each stem. Some mum cultivars are more resistant to frost than others; pinching mums back hard by the Fourth of July helps to ensure vigorous bloom before first frost. Pinch your mums, please. It will also increase the number of buds that appear on your plant. Ideally, you want to pinch the stem as close to above the leaf nodes as possible. Take a sharp pair of pruners and cut the entire plant back by about half. There is error while submitting your request. The stems ooze a milky sap, which irritates the skin of susceptible people. Place them in an area that provides bright, but filtered light. To pinch back your mums, use your thumb and forefinger to snap off the terminal portion of each stem the plant produces. You can also use a sharp pair of pruning shears to pinch the ends. What look like flowers on a poinsettia are actually bracts, which are modified leaves. 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. 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. Wear gloves when cutting poinsettias. Hot summers can cause mums to flower later than usual. 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. 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. © 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. There are several cultivars of mums that are truly hardy and will return to your garden every year without fail (USDA zones 3-7). The rule of thumb is to make your last pinch by the 15th … 1. 2. A far better bargain than just a week or two! Look For Mums To Keep! But, these opened flowers can become heavy with rainwater … Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. 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. All rights reserved. This is especially important for chrysanthemum stems, which are brittle and can snap if they get too long. Garden mum season is almost upon us. Pinching can be done with your fingers or a pair of hedge clippers. This keeps the plant more compact and full of foliage. Pinch your plants twice a month to encourage leaf growth and discourage flowering. Pinch back to a pair of leaves. 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. Local store prices may vary from those displayed. To pinch them back, simply 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 pinch it off. Pinching mums also doubles or even triples the number of flowers the plant produces. This doesn’t need to be done on mature fall plants, but it should be done on younger mums that you plant in the spring. That task needs be done roughly one to four times each month, but don't prune the shoots after July 15 or Aug. 1 at the latest. Snip off the top inch of any stems that are 6” or longer. Snip off the top inch of any stems that are 6” or longer. Mums are phototropic, meaning they rely on day length to trigger blooming. Your email address will not be published. Modern Mums Shouldn't Need Much Pinching. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email. 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. Garden mums can be direct stuck in the finish pot or rooted in a liner before pinching and transplanting. "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. Pinch weekly up to mid-August to give the plant … Many gardeners are surprised that their garden mums start to bloom in mid to late summer. Hundreds, if not thousands, of different garden mums have been bred. Our experts will call you on your preferred time. Pinching refers … The best time to pinch plants is around July 4th, but you can do it earlier. You can prune the mums in the late fall or in the spring. If mum plants are not pinched back to remove their initial flower buds, the plants will produce their flowers in the summer instead of the fall. 1. Chrysanthemums or mums are one of our favorite flowers in the fall. The summer annuals on the porch are running out of steam and being threatened by the first frosts … Keep the soil slightly moist, not wet, and plants fertilized properly to avoid stress that can induce bloom. Delaying blooming in climates with cold winters can take mums past the first autumn frost without yield… Before placing the plants in the cooler, inspect them for damage from heat or cold, breakage, or wilt. Pinching for branching is… Pinching mums, first and foremost, delays their bloom-time. Mum growers know that it’s beneficial for your plants to pinch back the earliest buds of the season. Ideally, mums should be cut back and pruned starting in early to mid-June. 2. Pinching Back Mums: 1. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous if ingested. 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. Pinching back mums and poinsettias makes the plants compact and strong, and keeps them from becoming leggy. The real flowers are tiny yellow clusters in the center of the bract. Your mums can be divided every two years in early spring. 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. When growing mums indoors, as opposed to outdoors, direct sunlight can harm them. As you pinch back the buds through mid-July, check the soil for moisture. Let me explain. By pinching the mums correctly you will be able to shape the plant and keep it compact. Mums and poinsettias add color and signify the holidays are near. If you want mums that return every year with little fuss, these cultivars are worth investigating. If you want fall flowers on your mums, you will need to pinch the plants back periodically throughout the summer. Pinching to Encourage Bushiness Pinch mums during late spring and early summer. Mums like moist, but not overly wet soil. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. To encourage plants to branch and produce more flowers, you’ll need to pinch and remove the growing tip of every stem. You might also want to pinch your mums’ buds to make them bloom as much as possible. When this is done, it forces the plant to produce lateral (or side) branches, increasing the number of branches and keeping them more compact. It is best to plant rooted cuttings immediately. Your email address will not be published. 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. The further north you live, the earlier you should pinch your mums because of shorter growing season of northern climes. These mums will bloom longer, flowering for up to 45 days or more. Understandably, many growers are thinking about moving to the “no-pinch” technique but have many questions. New lateral shoots will develop along the stems. Another reason mums are pinched is to improve their growth structure. Cutting Back And Pinching Blooms. All Rights Reserved. Pinching mums is a necessary chore, and it must be done sometime in June or early July. 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. Pinch chrysanthemums 2 to 3 times from spring to mid-summer. 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. Plant mums in containers with fresh, well-drained potting media. If you prune them after that time, you may eliminate some flower buds and delay the blooming of those that remain. Need Help? Stop pinching your plants around mid-July. One final note on purchasing mums. 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). Please enter your email address. The health benefits are exponential with the combination of nutrients, sunshine, and exercise gained through vegetable gardening. Though the mum varieties sold as “hardy mums” often do not survive the winter, especially in colder climes, sometimes the plants do return to the garden each spring. My mother taught me to "pinch off" the top leaves as they grow to force the plants to get bushy rather than spindly. Pinch again when these new shoots reach a length of 6 to 8 inches. It will also result in a riot of flower buds, as you have discovered. Pinch weekly up to mid-August to give the plant time to form flowers and bloom at the right time. If necessary cuttings may be stored for 2-3 days in a cooler at 33-40ºF. Repeat the process with every 3-5 … Remove the stem tips when the shoots are 6 to 8 inches tall. Mums grow best with full morning sun, at least 5-6 hours daily. Continue pinching until early July. 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