Is it too late to cut back Mums/Asters?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAJune 22, 2014

It is on my list, but haven't gotten to it yet. Is it too late to do it now? I thought last year I cut them back too late and they bloomed very late. Can't remember the date I did it last year. Anyone else cutting back now?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aachenelf z5 Mpls

I thought the rule of thumb for mums was July 4. For some reason that date sticks in my mind.

A few weeks ago, I was going to start a thread about what to pinch back this spring since it's been a topic we've discussed in the past so many times. Never got around to it.

In any case, I did remember this year to pinch and pinched back the mums, asters, a tall goldenrod, some veronica - all to control flopping. It's nice to see all the bushy new growth underway. I think I'll do the mums one more time today. At some point in time, I'm going to do the dahlias too. I had one growing in full sun last year grow to over 6 feet tall. It was beautiful, but very nerve wracking whenever we got a thunderstorm. I was fully expecting the whole thing to come crashing down, but it didn't.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 3:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kevin, that reminds me, I used that July 4th date last year and felt my Mums bloomed later than I wanted them and I decided to try to back that up by a week or two, so I guess now is exactly right. Thanks for the reminder.

i did remember to cut back Hibiscus 'Kopper KIng' last week by half, to try to get a bushier plant with smaller but more numerous flowers this year. I have two asters that are planted behind Pennisetum 'Hamelin' and I'm debating leaving those tall and not cutting.

Where did you get your Dahlias, Kevin? I always thought the tall Dahlias needed staking? I bought a series of shorter Dahlia bulbs at Brent & Becky's one year that worked out great. They grew in containers and were under 2ft. I hope you will post photos of your Dahlias when they are blooming.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 6:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you cut back Aconitum arendsii?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I didn't cut back my mums at all last year and they bloomed MUCH later than normal, some being destroyed by frost while just starting. Just food for thought...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lisaslists2000(7b Charlotte)

hmmm ispahan, do you think they need the stress of cutting back to initiate bloom sooner?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aachenelf z5 Mpls


I was going to order some of the more spectacular dahlias from one of the better dahlia nurseries, but never got around to it, so I just picked up a few from a local garden center. I love the big bold ones in the 3-4 foot range, so I was looking for taller growing ones, but 6 feet was a bit much even for me.

I should have mentioned, I did stake that one, but when it grew so tall with so many stems, I didn't trust that I had done a good enough job. When you get these strong thunderstorms with really high winds, even the best staking job sometimes doesn't do the job. Luckily, the plant never experienced any major damage when the storms hit.

I don't have a photo of the entire plant of that tall one, but here's a individual flower pic:


    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Shadyplaces, I have an Aconitum that has not bloomed yet, so have never thought of cutting it back. I think I need to move it to more sun.

Ispahan, that's interesting. I would have thought they would have bloomed sooner.

Kevin, you sound like me. In any given growing season, I'm doing the same thing. Wanting to order something, not getting around to it, getting a plant that surprises you the way it grows, trying to solve the problem, then maybe it's not good enough of a solve, worrying about the weather for the plant, and then dodging the bullet on it. A very typical growing season. [g]

That's a great looking Dahlia! And look at all the buds! I do understand the attraction to the really large and eye catching blooms on the taller Dahlias. If I had more sun, I am sure I would give them more of a try.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

shadeyplace wrote:

Can you cut back Aconitum arendsii?

I did it successfully last season. Read in this thread for more detail.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chelsea Chop for MH

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just cut back my asters and mums yesterday...for the second time. I will give them another trim in two weeks.

I love all the late blooms. My favorite time of the year....

This post was edited by lilsprout on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 9:43

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Doesn't it depend on which zone you are in? It seems that would make a difference.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

is it technically even summer yet... cut them back ... crikey .. lol

yikes.. it was yesterday ... dont do it... its too late ... lol ..

just do it.. you spent more time turning on the computer.. to ask.. than i would have take with my sickle to mow them down.. now thats a mind picture.. lol ...


    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Re actinium: one year deer pruned my actinium and they bloomed very late. Fortunately we had a late frost so got to see some bloom though the blossoms were small.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

No, not too late. Just cut some of mine down yesterday. I'm still pinching hibiscus, too.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 2:41PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Trying any new perennials this year?
Just wondering what new perenniaks everyone is trying...
flowers of Doc.Martin TV show
I am trying to ID the flowers on the side of the road...
Im looking for rare edible perennials for zone 5
I want things that require vary little work and do...
Echinaceas in my Rain Garden
In a rare stroke of luck I just finished my rain garden...
How to ask Houzz a question?
When the switch over first happened I could easily...
Patty W. zone 5a Illinois
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™