how to pinch mums

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

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