No More Pinching Mums
The Fourth of July US Independence Day celebration marks another garden milestone: no more pinching chrysanthemums.
Unpinched, chrysanthemums will grow tall and leggy. They will also bloom several months earlier than fall, when most people want the color in their garden.
Pinching, or removing the top 2-3 inch plant growth in spring keeps the chrysanthemum plants shorter and bushy. Once in bloom, the plants will be covered in flowers and sit closer to the ground.
Although some of the chrysanthemums in my garden were regularly pinched this year, others were not so it will be interesting to see how soon they start blooming. I also plan to stake the ones that may fall over from being too leggy.
Chrysanthemums are an excellent cut flower and natural bug repellent so I plant them in front of garden beds for easy access and bug patrol. I did find ladybugs on one earlier today so maybe the beneficial insects were just passing through.
If you want to add chrysanthemums, do it in spring so the plants have most of the growing season to establish themselves. They also work well to naturally repel bugs.