Pruning Mums

Here are my tips for pruning mums and how to use the pinch pruning method so chrysanthemums produce more flowers and grow more attractive in your garden.

Pinch pruning chrysanthemums, means taking out the tip or tips to encourage them to grow plenty of sideshoots from the buds where the leaf stalks join the stem, lower down.

This type of pruning results in a bushier and more attractive chrysanthemum plant, because of the many extra flowers it will produce.

The more frequently a mum is pinched pruned, the greater the number of sideshoots and flowers it will produce.

For the best success, the mum plants need to be growing strongly, so feed every 10 days with a balanced fertilizer.

Always water well before and after applying fertilizers.

STEP 1 When the plant is 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) tall, pinch out the tip of the shoot just above the leaf joint, using your finger and thumb. Remove only the small tip to encourage the maximum number of flower-bearing sideshoots, known as breaks.

STEP 2 Side buds grow and develop into shoots. When these shoots have developed four leaves, repeat the pinching (called the second stop). Pinch pruning stimulates shoots from the tip and lower down the stem, creating a bushier plant.

STEP 3 Keep pinching out the tips of the shoots until the plant is furnished with plenty of bushy growth. Stop pinching in early fall to let flowering shoots develop.

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