The Q&A Archives: Growing Chrysanthemums

Question: I am not sure when to trim my mums. Is it after the first freeze and then again in the second week of June?

Answer: Chrysanthemums are easy to care for. Sturdy plants and big flowers are the result of frequent pinching in the spring. Remove the tip from the first stem that emerges. This will force lateral shoots. Continue to nip the top two leaves from each shoot that reaches 5 inches in length. Stop pinching in mid-summer. To promote a single, large flower, pinch out all but the top flower bud on each stem. Or, leave all the buds on for a bouquet of flowers on a single stem. You should cut the plants back to the ground after the first freeze. Then mulch the crowns of the plants. New stems will develop in the spring, and pinching should resume then.

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