The Q&A Archives: Unpruned Mums

Question: i planted mums last october, and didnt know that the flowers should have been pinched. i just left them, and now its april, and they still are brown, no signs of new growth. are they dead, or if i prune them now, will new shoots start sprouting?

Answer: Go ahead and remove the winter-killed stems and tops by cutting them off short. Do not damage any new growth you see coming up from the ground. This new growth is what will need to be pinched or trimmed lightly, beginning when it is about four inches high. Nip off the growing tips every other week until the middle of July. This will encourage the plant to grow bushy and will increase the number of flower buds on the plant. It will also delay the flowering until fall. Next fall, once freezing weather has killed back the tops, go ahead and cut them off neatly at about six inches. The following spring, trim them back very short again. Good luck with your mums.

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