The Q&A Archives: Pinching Back Mums

Question: When and how and to where do you "pinch back" mums?

Answer: Sturdy plants with big flowers are a result of frequent pinching, which should begin in the early spring with the removal of the tips of the stems. Lateral shoots will form from below the pinched tip. Select 2-4 of these shoots for continued growth and remove the rest. Continue pinching all summer, nipping the top pair of leaves on every shoot that reaches 5" in length. Stake the plants to keep them upright. For large blooms, remove all but the center bud in the flower cluster as soon as they develop. This will direct the plant's energy into producing just one flower per stem.

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