Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How to prune garden mums

Now is the time to pinch back hardy garden mums for more fall color. Many garden mums are flourishing while others are showing the effects of last November’s dramatic temperature fluctuations. A few garden mums didn’t come back at all. You can choose to leave your garden mums alone and they will begin blooming soon.  If you want them to bloom later in the season, it’s time to prune them.

 Cutting or pinching off the top of the stem encourages the plant to grow two stems in its place. This will keep the plant more compact and should produce more flowers.
As you look at your garden mum, you may find that it’s starting to show small flower buds already.  Several buds grow off each stem.
You’ll want to make your cut or pinch at the base of the stem. If your plant doesn’t have buds yet, the new foliage will be at the top of each stem. It will be a lighter green then the rest of the foliage.

Pinch this or cut this off at the base. The rule of thumb is to not prune mums after the Fourth of July, so there’s time for flower buds to form and bloom.
After pruning, you can feed your garden mums with some 11-15-11 fertilizer, such as Fertilome‘s  Gardener’s Special.
You can also top-dress around each plant with some peat moss and compost to improve the soil.
Time spent pruning your mums now will give you more flowers in the fall.

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