Before placing the plants in the cooler, inspect them for damage from heat or cold, breakage, or wilt. Mums grow best with full morning sun, at least 5-6 hours daily. Look For Mums To Keep! This means removing the early buds with pruners. This allows for plenty of nutrients for the season. Pinch back to a pair of leaves. Mums prefer rich, fertile and well draining soil, so adding compost when planting is a big key to success. One final note on purchasing mums. The goal is to allow them to go dormant without freezing. Pinching can be done with your fingers or a pair of hedge clippers. These mums will bloom longer, flowering for up to 45 days or more. Talk about a serious savings to the pocketbook! Pinching to Encourage Bushiness Pinch mums during late spring and early summer. If the roots have grown too big for the same size pot, and they likely are, move to a larger vessel, or split and divide to allow room for root growth. If you want to instead regrow your mums in a pot or container again, you will need to re-pot them with new potting soil. Cut the top growth back to the next branching growth area and the plant will produce more stems and bigger, more profuse buds. After that each time you see buds, roll them off the plant. 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. Next, for best success, store in a cool corner of the basement or a semi-heated garage. Pinch chrysanthemums 2 to 3 times from spring to mid-summer. In fact, with just a bit of care, you can overwinter hardy mums with ease. If your mum plants appear next spring, pinch the tips (just trim off the last inch or so) of the buds a few times before July to encourage more bushiness. This one … Pinching Mums: Tips For Pruning This Fall-Flowering Plant. Be certain that the rooting medium is slightly damp. The stems don’t all have to have flower buds on them. The mums you purchase have been pinched early and often. 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 should encourage fuller plant growth by pinching back new growth in spring, readying the mums for the fall blooms. Mums are very heavy feeders. Best of all, it’s not hard to do. I try to have mt last pinch done by the 4th of July. Always move your mums to safety on nights with a freeze, or extremely low temperatures in the forecast. When the plant is 4 to 6 in. There are several cultivars of mums that are truly hardy and will return to your garden every year without fail (USDA zones 3-7). This will push the plant to produce bigger, fuller flowers later in the season. When your decorating season is over, or when the temps simply become too cold, it’s time to move the plant to safety for good. As the mums start to produce new growth every spring, use your fingers to pinch off the top inch of growth from the ends of each growing stem. I would also put a slow release fertilizer in the ground. This will keep the mums foliage tight and close, and allow the timing of the blooms for fall and not late summer. Hardy mums are mums that can handle overwintering. Pinching mums also doubles or even triples the number of flowers the plant produces. Pinch or cut off any flower buds that begin to develop or open in late summer or early fall before you want flowering to begin to encourage a stronger, more uniform blooming period later. Whether grouped with cornstalks and pumpkins, or simply left on their own, they bring autumn to life. If you purchased your mums in early fall and planted them in the ground for display, they can be left to overwinter. Look for plants that are full of buds, or barely beginning to open up. Pinching mums, first and foremost, delays their bloom-time. Pulling old blooms off by hand is not recommended because it leaves the entire stem looking out of place, and it could also damage the stem. Pinch weekly up to mid-August to give the plant … 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. Although you won't … Don't pinch any more after the 15th of July . With potted mums, the first key is to never let them endure a freeze in their pot or container. Mum blooms can be ruined if nipped by early frost or damaged by heavy rain, but browning can sometimes be prevented by covering the plants with a plastic tarp when frost or rain is expected. 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. Pinching refers … When those new branches are 6 inches long, pinch off an inch from their growing tips. Keeping your mums alive from year to year all starts with selecting the right mums at the time of purchase. For a larger blossom, pinch off the side shoots so that all the plant’s energy goes into flowers opening only on the main stems. To pinch back your mums, use your thumb and forefinger to snap off the terminal portion of each stem the plant produces. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. As your garden mums head into summer, you will need to pinch or cut off the blooms of your mums early on. Continue pinching until early July. If necessary cuttings may be stored for 2-3 days in a cooler at 33-40ºF. Horticulturist Jessica Walliser is an award-winning radio host on KDKA Radio’s “The Organic Gardeners” in Pittsburgh. But can they ever be expensive! Pinching mums for more flowers. the will encourage more new branches. Meanwhile, larger mums in larger pots most often tend to be savable garden mums. When this is done, it forces the plant to produce lateral (or side) branches, increasing the number of branches and keeping them more compact. Again, this will force new growth from each stem. Keep them watered during dry spells. A few common cultivars of these truly hardy mums are Chrysanthemum Sheffield Pink, Venus  and Cambodian Queen. Pinch Mums and Basil. Other common names for these colorful fall characters are based on the shortened version (\"mums\") of the genus name. One side note about fall mums. 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. From the first growth of buds until July, every 2-4 weeks you’ll want to pinch off half of the new growth that your mums have produced at the top of their stems. You reach down each stem to what Mark calls "the first truly mature leaf" (which should be an inch or two from the top of the plant) and literally 'pinch' it off the same way you'd pinch a mischievous child—or be pinched BY a mischievous child; squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger. 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. Alternatively, pinch … Ideally, you want to pinch the stem as close to above the leaf nodes as possible. Pinching Back Mums: 1. (See: How To Care For Mums In The Summer). She’s the author of five gardening books, including the Amazon-bestseller, Tips For Planning The 2021 Kitchen Garden, Breed Profile: The Jersey Stands Out Among Dairy Cows, Learn To Weld & Fix Your Own Farm Equipment, Sky Island Farm Puts Faith In Its Community Supported Agriculture Initiative. Simply reach down in the plant and pinch off the new buds. Pinching is the way to get the most flowers, but if you want a taller, more natural-looking mum, do it just once. 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. You can also use a sharp pair of pruning shears to pinch the ends. ( See : Our Homemade Potting Soil Recipe). Like with all container and basket plants, wait until the threat of frost has passed to pot up. There are two types of mums that are for sale in the fall – garden mums (hardy mums), and floral mums. They simply don’t have time to establish in the soil for protection. 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's best if you do this just below a pair of leaves however this isn't essential. Repeat the process with every 3-5 … When buying, look for hardy mums. With a hardiness from growing zones 5 to 9, it is these mums you want to purchase and save! If covering is not possible or is not effective, pinch off all brown blossoms and any damaged leaves to encourage new growth. And when it comes to potted mums, that means indoors for the first winter, and not outside in the ground. This is our rough schedule that we used in the garden club as we grew mums for sale in the fall. The further north you live, the earlier you should pinch your mums because of shorter growing season of northern climes. For these mums, do not cut back the foliage until spring, as it will help provide protection for the first winter. By pinching the mums correctly you will be able to shape the plant and keep it compact. Let me explain. The goal is to allow them to go dormant without freezing. 20-10-20 or maybe even triple 14 (14-14-14). Next, for best success, store in a cool corner of the basement or a semi-heated garage. 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. But if you dug them up to pot them, you will once again need to overwinter indoors until next spring. Now on to saving those mums! Remove the stem tips when the shoots are 6 to 8 inches tall. Garden mums are a true perennial, and with a little fall preparation, can be kept and grown year after year. 2. Do this after they have been killed … Did you know that with just a little bit of care, you can save your hardy potted and container mums to grow again next year? Unfortunately, mums planted back into the ground in late fall have little chance for survival. Remember that mums left in the landscape can be left there overwinter. 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. Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). How to save your mums all depends on what they are in, and how you will be displaying them. Floral mums on the other hand will not come back. As the warmer temperatures of spring roll around, it’s time for action! 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. It's better to buy plants with unopened buds. Simply cut apart into equal sections with a sharp knife or shovel and replant. Once mums bloom, deadheading can generate more blooms. You can prune the mums in the late fall or in the spring. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You will want to water them from time to time through the winter, but only lightly every few weeks. The stem will produce new side branches at the pinched spot. Once subjected to even the slightest of frost, they quickly succumb. But what if they are not labeled? Mums are synonymous with fall decorating. If you want mums that return every year with little fuss, these cultivars are worth investigating. 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. This process of growing and pinching should continue until August 1 when you will have a very fat, bushy plant and the flowering cycle will begin. Even with heavy mulching. Your email address will not be published. Here is to overwintering your garden mums and saving them for next year! It's also adviced to pinch off the tops of stems in the … 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. To pinch back your mums, use your thumb and forefinger to snap off the terminal portion of each stem the plant produces. 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. Snip off the top inch of any stems that are 6” or longer. If you see this, you know they are good for saving. 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. After that, it’s too late, because you’ll pinch off flower buds. It’s not a perfect science for sure, but a great starting point to know if the mums you are buying or have can be saved. How To Save Mums! Or leave your mums alone for a … Another reason mums are pinched is to improve their growth structure. All rights reserved. For overly large mums, this is also the time to split and divide them to create new plants. The rule of thumb is to make your last pinch by the 15th of July. If it’s hot and dry or if the leaves are curling inward, give the plant water. Continue to do this until the end of the first week of July. A far better bargain than just a week or two! Before bringing indoors, cut the mum back a few inches above the potted soil line. Old World Garden Farms At The Peak Of Autumn Color. Caring for Mums in the Winter Cut your mums back to the ground. Well, there are a few tell-tale hints that can help you know: Smaller mums in small, shallow containers and planters tend to be floral varieties that are not suitable for saving. 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 *. 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. As always, feel free to email us at thefarm@owgarden.com with comments, questions, or to simply say hello! Pinch about half of the tender new growth at the top of the shoot; choose some stems with buds and some without. As you pinch back the buds through mid-July, check the soil for moisture. Prune the plant periodically, pinching off dead blooms to make way for new growth and to keep it looking lovely. Especially when you consider most are tossed to the curb at the end of the season – even though the large majority sold are hardy varieties that can be kept and grown from year to year. 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Hedge clippers two types of mums that are full of buds that appear on plant. Better bargain than just a bit of care, you want mums that are sale... Left in the fall Chrysanthemum Sheffield Pink, Venus and Cambodian Queen want to water them from to! Give the plant and keep it compact have smaller blooms sure to keep well... Our free email list periodically, pinching off dead blooms to make your last pinch by! Flowering for up to 45 days or more, as it will help provide protection the! Again, this will keep the mums in the plant and pinch off flower buds it will help protection... Allow the timing of the tender new growth and to keep plants well watered for first. It 's also adviced to pinch the stem will produce new side branches at time... Growth structure about half of the basement or a semi-heated garage genus.. From heat or cold, breakage, or extremely low temperatures in the spring and into early.! 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