The Q&A Archives: Mums

Question: Most of my mums have had buds come out that I have been pinching off, they usually bloom in October. But now it seems like there are too many blooms to be pinching. Should I just let the plants bloom or continue to pinch them off. Will too much pinching cause them not to rebloom when the weather is cooler?

Answer: Chrysanthemums produce flower buds in response to the shorter days and longer nights of autumn. Some years they will produce flowers early and some years they will produce flowers later, depending upon weather. There are many varieties of mums and they are categorized as early, mid- or late-season bloomers. So, your plants may be acting naturally, regardless of your pinching and pruning. The general rule of thumb is to stop pinching in mid-August. I would stop pinching the buds now and allow the flowers to develop. If you want larger flowers, simply pinch out all but the largest bud in the cluster. When the flowers are spent, clip them off the stems and you should see additional buds develop. They should continue blooming until after the first hard frost. Enjoy!

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