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. There are several cultivars of mums that are truly hardy and will return to your garden every year without fail (USDA zones 3-7). Pinching can be done with your fingers or a pair of hedge clippers. How to save your mums all depends on what they are in, and how you will be displaying them. Pinch Mums and Basil. Don't pinch any more after the 15th of July . This allows for plenty of nutrients for the season. It's also adviced to pinch off the tops of stems in the … There is error while submitting your request. Although you won't … In fact, with just a bit of care, you can overwinter hardy mums with ease. 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. 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. Pinching mums for more flowers. With their shallow, tender roots, they simply do not have the root structure to withstand any cold at all. To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. How To Save Mums! When buying, look for hardy mums. The rule of thumb is to make your last pinch by the 15th of July. When those new branches are 6 inches long, pinch off an inch from their growing tips. With a hardiness from growing zones 5 to 9, it is these mums you want to purchase and save! 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. Do this after they have been killed … Mums: Pinching will encourage more flowers. Snip off the top inch of any stems that are 6” or longer. Floral mums also usually tend to have smaller blooms. When the plant is 4 to 6 in. Your email address will not be published. But what if they are not labeled? And when it comes to potted mums, that means indoors for the first winter, and not outside in the ground. The best time to pinch plants is around July 4th, but you can do it earlier. One side note about fall mums. Here is to overwintering your garden mums and saving them for next year! For starters, the plants are often labeled as “hardy”, or as a garden mum. Pinching mums also doubles or even triples the number of flowers the plant produces. But if you dug them up to pot them, you will once again need to overwinter indoors until next spring. Simple Secrets To Overwinter Your Hardy Mums, (See: How To Care For Mums In The Summer), Fall At The Farm! 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. You will want to water them from time to time through the winter, but only lightly every few weeks. Next, for best success, store in a cool corner of the basement or a semi-heated garage. Continue pinching until early July. Keeping your mums alive from year to year all starts with selecting the right mums at the time of purchase. Please try again. It's better to buy plants with unopened buds. 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. If you want mums that return every year with little fuss, these cultivars are worth investigating. Cut the top growth back to the next branching growth area and the plant will produce more stems and bigger, more profuse buds. Chrysanthemums or mums are one of our favorite flowers in the fall. the will encourage more new branches. If you are planting these mums and growing them as perennials, it is important that you continue pinching plants every spring. Pinching can help. The mums you purchase have been pinched early and often. You can also use a sharp pair of pruning shears to pinch the ends. Pinching mums, first and foremost, delays their bloom-time. Look For Mums To Keep! When this is done, it forces the plant to produce lateral (or side) branches, increasing the number of branches and keeping them more compact. Caring for Mums in the Winter Cut your mums back to the ground. Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary. After that, it’s too late, because you’ll pinch off flower buds. Garden mums are a true perennial, and with a little fall preparation, can be kept and grown year after year. But can they ever be expensive! Let’s first talk about mums in containers or baskets. Pinching refers … Once subjected to even the slightest of frost, they quickly succumb. For these mums, do not cut back the foliage until spring, as it will help provide protection for the first winter. You'll get more bang for your buck. One final note on purchasing mums. 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? Simply cut apart into equal sections with a sharp knife or shovel and replant. The easiest method is to simply plant your mums into the landscape. If necessary cuttings may be stored for 2-3 days in a cooler at 33-40ºF. After that each time you see buds, roll them off the plant. Even with heavy mulching. Remember that mums left in the landscape can be left there overwinter. Remove the stem tips when the shoots are 6 to 8 inches tall. Unfortunately, mums planted back into the ground in late fall have little chance for survival. Generally, the only way to successfully mechanically pinch a direct-stuck mum is to allow the plants to grow to a “large” size, which can result in excessively hard pinches on some plants when plants are pinched (Figure 1). ..or do a soft pinch. You can prune the mums in the late fall or in the spring. Before bringing indoors, cut the mum back a few inches above the potted soil line. Pinch about half of the tender new growth at the top of the shoot; choose some stems with buds and some without. If covering is not possible or is not effective, pinch off all brown blossoms and any damaged leaves to encourage new growth. Required fields are marked *. I would also put a slow release fertilizer in the ground. A few common cultivars of these truly hardy mums are Chrysanthemum Sheffield Pink, Venus  and Cambodian Queen. One of the secrets to encouraging flowers on mums is to pinch them back. Water when the soil feels dry and add more mulch before your average first fall frost date. (See: How To Care For Mums In The Summer). Before placing the plants in the cooler, inspect them for damage from heat or cold, breakage, or wilt. These mums will bloom longer, flowering for up to 45 days or more. Whether grouped with cornstalks and pumpkins, or simply left on their own, they bring autumn to life. Old World Garden Farms At The Peak Of Autumn Color. Meanwhile, larger mums in larger pots most often tend to be savable garden mums. Prune the plant periodically, pinching off dead blooms to make way for new growth and to keep it looking lovely. 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. Or leave your mums alone for a … As the warmer temperatures of spring roll around, it’s time for action! 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. This will push the plant to produce bigger, fuller flowers later in the season. Mums can survive light frosts and cold fairly easy, but a hard freeze can kill roots in pots permanently. 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. This is a case where the genus name has become such a commonly used name that capitalization is often abandoned (as will be the case in this article). Ideally, you want to pinch the stem as close to above the leaf nodes as possible. It is best to plant rooted cuttings immediately. 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. 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. Pinching is the way to get the most flowers, but if you want a taller, more natural-looking mum, do it just once. Another reason mums are pinched is to improve their growth structure. It's best if you do this just below a pair of leaves however this isn't essential. Best of all, it’s not hard to do. Repeat the process with every 3-5 … Before bringing indoors, cut the mum back a few inches above the potted soil line. Once mums bloom, deadheading can generate more blooms. This procedure usually begins in spring when the plants are about 6 to 8 inches tall. Pinching (as described below) removes the terminal portion of each stem. 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. Mums are very heavy feeders. Next, for best success, store in a cool corner of the basement or a semi-heated garage. This one … Cut mums back to within a few inches of the soil line before bringing indoors. As always, feel free to email us at thefarm@owgarden.com with comments, questions, or to simply say hello! 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. 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. Always move your mums to safety on nights with a freeze, or extremely low temperatures in the forecast. tall, pinch out the growing tip with your fingers or use a small pruners to snip out the tip. This article may contain affiliate links. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. 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. For overly large mums, this is also the time to split and divide them to create new plants. The stem will produce new side branches at the pinched spot. 2. By pinching the mums correctly you will be able to shape the plant and keep it compact. Pinch back to a pair of leaves. Mums are synonymous with fall decorating. Pinch chrysanthemums 2 to 3 times from spring to mid-summer. Let me explain. The stems don’t all have to have flower buds on them. The further north you live, the earlier you should pinch your mums because of shorter growing season of northern climes. Your email address will not be published. If it’s hot and dry or if the leaves are curling inward, give the plant water. As your garden mums head into summer, you will need to pinch or cut off the blooms of your mums early on. Be certain that the rooting medium is slightly damp. All rights reserved. Pinching Back Mums: 1. Alternatively, pinch … Talk about a serious savings to the pocketbook! The goal is to allow them to go dormant without freezing. Mums prefer rich, fertile and well draining soil, so adding compost when planting is a big key to success. When the threat of frost has passed, you can plant them as you would any other perennial. When those new stems are about 6” tall (the whole plant is now almost a foot tall), pinch off or prune about 1” from the top of each stem. 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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