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Cheeky Advice: Pinch Your Mum

Pinch back chrysanthemums to get more blooms later on.

 

You might think my mother will read this and accuse me of promoting family strife, or that I am being just a little too cheeky. But it was mum who stopped by recently and reminded me to pinch back my chrysanthemums.

Many annuals and tender perennials survived the warm winter this year. Check your pots and gardens since most likely last year's chrysanthemums are growing back. Mine are already quite large. 

Backyard mums will bloom much earlier than those raised in the captivity of a greenhouse. If you would like to delay the display of your mums until August or September, pinching back is crucial. You can also control the shape of your plant by pinching back further on some stems. I like to create a nice round mound.

Pinch the top of each stem down to a node (see pictures). You can use clippers or a . Every stem you pinch will create 2 blossoms instead of one later on in the season. You can pinch again in another few weeks as long as buds have not yet set. Don't pinch any plant where buds have started to grow or you'll get nothing! 

The end of May or early June is a good time to too. Several plants take well to pinching, but usually at the end of April or early May. Pinching can extend bloom time as well. But not all plants are pinch-able. Stay tuned for advice next spring. And don't blame me if this inspires you to pinch a cheek or two — blame spring fever.

DG June 06, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Don't forget about pinching back your fall blooming asters. They need a few "pinches" until mid July in order to keep them from getting too leggy and flopping open when blooming in the fall.
Alice Blair June 06, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Awesome addition! I used to have white Aster's from my mum's mum's garden (a.k.a. my grandmum.) I left them at my old house when I moved. I will have to go steal some from my mum and remind her to pinch those asters too. Thanks deb! I love hearing from other garden enthusiasts!
kim terrill June 06, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Love this photo - too cute Alice and Mum! Love your gardening tips Alice. My garden is still flourishing thanks to your great advice! I think of your every time I pinch back my mini roses!
Alice Blair June 06, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Thanks Kim! I am so glad your garden makes you happy - that is why I do this!!! I'll have to stop by Kim's Cottage Confections and get myself a treat soon. Everything is sooooo good. My mum is a huge fan of your dark chocolate truffles. I have to pick some up for her as a "modeling" fee.
Ellen June 06, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Alice, thanks for the tips & the humor! Love your articles! -Ellen
Alice Blair June 06, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Thank you Ellen !! Glad you like my humor. Now if only my teenage daughters did... :)
Jane Robie June 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Glad to see how The Cheeky Gardener got her name!!!
Dina D'Amato June 06, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Just gotta love your Mum!! In fact, I have some of your Mum's irises blooming beside me as I type this. Just like I tell my kids, "Sharing is Caring!". Great Pictures!
Catherine Cluts June 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Your poor Mum! I'm going to be doing lots of pinching (in my garden) today. Sedum?
Jennifer Christenson June 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Great article! Love the expression on your Mum's face!
Julie Fox Annecchino June 06, 2012 at 03:21 PM
You're mum is a great model! Loved the article -- great pics, usual.
Vicki Berry June 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Your mum also advised to pinch the phlox at this time of year also.
Alice Blair June 06, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Thanks for all these great comments folks!! And Yup Vicki - you can still pinch your phlox if they haven't set buds yet!! Check out the photos, 2 are actually of Phlox. I start pinching in May and try to get a double or triple pinching in through June. :) Now that's gotta hurt!
Heidi June 07, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Thank you once again for your great advice! I especially love your "cheeky" sense of humor ~ particularly in your photos!! You inspire me to think about making my gardens beautiful ... now if only I could find the time ...... ;)
Alice Blair June 07, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Great! Yup - pinch Sedum. Are you asking whether to pinch it, or asking what it is? :)
Susan W. Berry June 07, 2012 at 02:15 PM
So many more things can be pinched than I realized, including 'mums'. Great gardening advice, and funny picture! Sue
Catherine Cluts June 08, 2012 at 01:25 AM
I have Sedum and wonder if I should just pinch off the buds before they bloom?

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