Close Window
Click picture to enlarge
To get dense, bushy Chrysanthemums with numerous flowers, you will need to "pinch" them. Pinching refers to pruning soft, new growth with the thumb and forefinger. Tools such as a hand pruner or a large bonsai scissors may also be used.
Click picture to enlarge
When the new growth is 6-8" tall, pinch off the end of each stem to the next two leaves. Pinch them again when they have grown another 6", or about every 3 weeks. Unless it is a low-growing variety, three, or sometimes four pinchings are needed to maintain a compact plant. If you have a northern garden, do not prune past July 15th, or July 1st in extremely cold areas. Southerners can safely pinch mums until mid-August. The plants need to grow for several additional weeks to initiate flower buds.
Click picture to enlarge
Give your Chrysanthemums at least two applications of a well-balanced fertilizer. Feed them in the early spring and once again in summer, as the flower buds are forming. Your plants will reward your efforts with a wonderful display of colorful flowers on compact, sturdy stems.