The Q&A Archives: Pruning Mums

Question: I have several mum plants in baskets, etc. and generally I put them in the ground after they start to wilt in the pots I have done this in the past and they have all come back the next season.
But I was wondering if I should cut them way back when I first put them in the ground this fall when they are
starting to wilt and dry up.

I know that in the spring you are suppose to prune mums once they start blooming until July l5.

Catherine Durda

Answer: Mums may be pruned back to about six inches in the late fall after frost has killed the tops. Then, in spring, prune the old stems off as short as possible. The reasoning behind this is that the old stems provide a little bit of extra protection for the plant during the winter. During the growing season, periodically shear the plant lightly or pinch back the growing tips to encourage branching. Stop doing this in mid July to allow time for the flower buds to form and bloom before the cold weather sets in.

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