If you want fall flowers on your mums, you will need to pinch the plants back periodically throughout the summer. 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. And in the end, results in a thicker, bushier plant with more shoots for blooms. Cut the stems back so each stem has four leaves. Pinch weekly up to mid-August to give the plant … If necessary cuttings may be stored for 2-3 days in a cooler at 33-40ºF. 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. This may seem like a drastic measure, but come fall you will be rewarded with compact bushy plants that are robust with flowers. 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. After the plants have grown 3-5 inches from the first pinching, it is time to pinch again (1-2 inches). As you pinch back the buds through mid-July, check the soil for moisture. 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. Hot summers can cause mums to flower later than usual. Water when the soil feels dry and add more mulch before your average first fall frost date. Ideally, you want to pinch the stem as close to above the leaf nodes as possible. Pinching for branching is… You might also want to pinch your mums’ buds to make them bloom as much as possible. It's also adviced to pinch off the tops of stems in the … Your email address will not be published. Pinch chrysanthemums 2 to 3 times from spring to mid-summer. Mums like moist, but not overly wet soil. If you prune them after that time, you may eliminate some flower buds and delay the blooming of those that remain. Need Help? 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 … Take a sharp pair of pruners and cut the entire plant back by about half. Pinching mums results in bushy, compact plants with additional flowers. A far better bargain than just a week or two! Modern Mums Shouldn't Need Much Pinching. Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. Let me explain. There are generally two kinds of pinching that are done on mums. Pinch back to a pair of leaves. All rights reserved. To pinch back your mums, use your thumb and forefinger to snap off the terminal portion of each stem the plant produces. Mum growers know that it’s beneficial for your plants to pinch back the earliest buds of the season. Snip off the top inch of any stems that are 6” or longer. There are many reasons to grow your vegetables, including health benefits, better flavor, and environmental protection. Spring-planted mums will have plenty of time for root growth. Mums and poinsettias add color and signify the holidays are near. Pinching to Encourage Bushiness Pinch mums during late spring and early summer. 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. If you want mums that return every year with little fuss, these cultivars are worth investigating. 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. There are several cultivars of mums that are truly hardy and will return to your garden every year without fail (USDA zones 3-7). 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). Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). 2. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email. Pinch back to a pair of leaves. Pinching (as described below) removes the terminal portion of each stem. 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. Pinching mums back should encourge lots of new shoots which should be shorter and sturdier than if you didn't pinch at all. Another reason mums are pinched is to improve their growth structure. 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. 2. By pinching the mums correctly you will be able to shape the plant and keep it compact. Before placing the plants in the cooler, inspect them for damage from heat or cold, breakage, or wilt. 2. When buying, look for hardy mums. But, these opened flowers can become heavy with rainwater … Understandably, many growers are thinking about moving to the “no-pinch” technique but have many questions. 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. Stop pinching your plants around mid-July. Pruning on chrysanthemums will give you better looking plants at bloom time. Pinch again when these new shoots reach a length of 6 to 8 inches. 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. Ideally, mums should be cut back and pruned starting in early to mid-June. It's best if you do this just below a pair of leaves however this isn't essential. Plant mums in containers with fresh, well-drained potting media. Pinch monthly until mid-September to give the plant time to form flowers and bloom at the right time. Many gardeners are surprised that their garden mums start to bloom in mid to late summer. What look like flowers on a poinsettia are actually bracts, which are modified leaves. The stems ooze a milky sap, which irritates the skin of susceptible people. 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. Keep the soil slightly moist, not wet, and plants fertilized properly to avoid stress that can induce bloom. You can prune the mums in the late fall or in the spring. © 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. The further north you live, the earlier you should pinch your mums because of shorter growing season of northern climes. Be certain that the rooting medium is slightly damp. Godfrey says the secret to maximizing flower production is to begin pinching the stems of your mums in the springtime. Pinching mums, first and foremost, delays their bloom-time. Q: I have lots of chrysanthemums. To pinch back your mums, use your thumb and forefinger to snap off the terminal portion of each stem the plant produces. Required fields are marked *. Horticulturist Jessica Walliser is an award-winning radio host on KDKA Radio’s “The Organic Gardeners” in Pittsburgh. To pinch a plant, remove the growing tip of a stem by nipping it between your thumb and forefinger. 1. When this is done, it forces the plant to produce lateral (or side) branches, increasing the number of branches and keeping them more compact. Pinching refers … Please try again. The best time to pinch plants is around July 4th, but you can do it earlier. Your email address will not be published. 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. Look For Mums To Keep! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. To encourage plants to branch and produce more flowers, you’ll need to pinch and remove the growing tip of every stem. Continue pinching until early July. All Rights Reserved. The original species are often unclear, but horticulturalists generally categorize garden mums by flower shape: Pinching back mums and poinsettias makes the plants compact and strong, and keeps them from becoming leggy. These mums will bloom longer, flowering for up to 45 days or more. Garden mums can be direct stuck in the finish pot or rooted in a liner before pinching and transplanting. Lost your password? "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. This will push the plant to produce bigger, fuller flowers later in the season. Pinching can be done with your fingers or a pair of hedge clippers. 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. Thank you for choosing this service. To pinch: remove the top inch or two of new growth once or twice a month to keep plants 6 inches tall. Pinch your mums, please. Hundreds, if not thousands, of different garden mums have been bred. Pinch about half of the tender new growth at the top of the shoot; choose some stems with buds and some without. 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