The Q&A Archives: Triming Mums.

Question: Dear NGA, I have several mums.Some are showing new growth at base of plant or bush.Others are very long and with no branching off on each stem and there is no new growth at base. I find the long ones fall over and are not attractive. the others with new growth I feel I can trim back and prevent that leggy look.Please advise me as to what is the correct thing to do in trimming each.Thank you.

Answer: There are many varieties of mums and some of them are naturally short and denser and others are naturally more upright and sparse. The general care instructions however would be similar.

In late fall, after freezing weather has klilled back the tops, trim away all but about four inches of the mum stems. Do not damage any new growth you might see at the ground level.

Once the plants have wintered over successfully, remove any dead and browned stems from the previous year. You should see new growth beginning at the base. This would be the time to divide the plants, if desired.

Beginning when the plants are about four to six inches tall, shear them lightly or pinch the growth tips off. Repeat each time they grow a few inches. This keeps the plant from fornming flower buds and causes it to branch.

Stop pinching or trimming in mid July to allow flower buds to form for the fall display. You may find that the taller types need staking in order to stay upright.

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