Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hardy Mums Require Pinching, Frequent Division

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hardy Mums Require Pinching, Frequent Division

Article excerpt

Q * We have a great many chrysanthemum plants in our yard. Those from the previous fall were not nearly as full as those new ones planted last fall. They appeared more "spindly," being taller and thinner with fewer flowers per bush. Is there a proper method and timing for pinching or pruning mums to assist their growth for the coming year?

A * "Pinching" is the technique used by mum growers to produce stocky plants. Pinching is a simple pruning method for breaking off the growing tips of plant stems (approximately inch) by nipping them between your thumbnail and forefinger. Repeat on the tip of each stem, making each pinch just above a leaf. First pinch is in spring after approximately 6 to 8 inches of growth has occurred. The plant responds by producing 2 or 3 new shoots just below the pinch. After these shoots grow to 4 to 6 inches in length, pinch them out also. Keep this up until mid-July, when you make your last pinch.

Mums should be grown in full sun in a well-drained soil. …

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