Should I cut back these mums? If so, when? (pictures included)

mumsymumJune 8, 2011

Hi everyone!

I'm in need of some plant wisdom. I have two chrysanthemum plants (not sure what they are), and I've heard that they should be cut back in the summer in order to keep them healthy and beautiful for the fall. Problem is, I never know the best time to do the cutting. I certainly don't want to make a mistake and cut them back too late or too early. Every year I chicken out of doing it, but I figured I would go ahead and ask for some advice.

Here are pictures of each of the plants and their stems, just in case that would help in assessing them. Any help would be appreciated!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would ... i seem to recall 6/6 and 7/6 cutting, if not another in august ... looking for late fall bloom ... in my z5 MI

second pic.. look down the long stems.. and see where there are little florets in a leaf node.. if you trim just above one of those ... it will trigger growth ... and that part will take over leadership ...

and when that one gets another 6 inches tall.. look for the next one.. 3 inches back ...


    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 9:42AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

There are 3 reasons people usually trim mums. First, if they are flopping over. Second, if they want to delay the blooms until later. Third, if they are leggy and thin. Yours don't look floppy, and are bushy and full, so the decision would hinge upon whether or not you want blooms sooner or later.

If you want, pull the dead leaves from the bottom of the stems. The plants will look more tidy.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 10:00AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

up here in the great white north known as MI ... these are pruned for fall bloom ..

since nothing else is blooming in sept/oct ...

is that different the further south you go?????

BTW.. you can root any cuttings in a glass of water ... every easily ...

anyway ... all plants have one goal .. procreation ... once they bloom .. and once they set seed, they are done ... some/most can be deadheaded to prolong bloom ...

but if it blooms in a few weeks.. no matter how much you deadhead ... it isnt going to be much of anything by fall ..

so it comes down to you .. when do you want it to bloom ???


ps: let it bloom on its own schedule.. and buy some new ones for fall bloom .... what the heck ... lol

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 1:27PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I pinch (or clip with hand pruners) in order to encourage greater abundance of blooms and also to delay blooming, as Ken mentioned. To my eye, mums blooming in mid-August look, well...odd.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 2:56PM
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I gave up on pinching them back last year. They still bloomed until frost.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 5:24PM
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I really appreciate all the responses!

What I'm gathering is that pinching the mums will encourage and delay the blooms. If I decide to do that, should I just remove the top one to two inches of new growth?

I certainly don't want them to bloom mid-August, and I will probably buy new mums when fall comes around. I know I probably won't be able to resist!

Thanks again everyone!!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 7:09PM
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