Mums are a popular choice for gardeners looking to add some color and vibrancy to their outdoor space. These hardy perennials bloom late in the season, offering a bright and cheery display when most other flowers have faded away. However, as fall approaches, it’s important to know how to prune mums properly so that they can thrive year after year.
When should you prune your mums?
The best time to prune your mums is in early fall, around mid-September. This will allow enough time for new growth to develop before the first frost hits.
Tools you’ll need
To properly prune your mums, you’ll need a few tools including:
– Pruning shears: Use these for cutting back stems and deadheading spent blooms.
– Garden gloves: Protect your hands from any thorns or prickly edges on the plant.
– Fertilizer: Give your plants a boost by adding some fertilizer after pruning.
How to prune
Step 1: Deadhead spent blooms
Begin by removing any dead or wilted flowers from the plant using pruning shears. Cut them off at the base of the stem just above where new buds are forming.
Step 2: Cut back stems
Once all of the old blooms have been removed, it’s time to cut back some of the longer stems on your mum plants. Start by identifying which branches are still green and healthy-looking – those should be left alone.
Next, identify any woody or brownish-colored branches that didn’t produce any flowers this season; these can be pruned down entirely using pruning shears without causing harm or damage because they’re unlikely ever going flower again anyway!
Finally take note if there are long gangly branches growing outwards with no real shape or direction – these need attention too! Simply trim them down roughly five inches below where they branch off from another stem (look for an outward-facing bud).
Step 3: Don’t cut them too short
When pruning mums, it’s important not to cut the stems too short. Leave at least six inches of growth on each stem to ensure that new buds will have enough space to develop.
Step 4: Add fertilizer
After pruning your plants, give them a boost by adding some fertilizer. Choose a slow-release fertilizer and apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 5: Mulch for winter protection
To protect your mums from harsh winter weather, add a layer of mulch around the base of each plant. This will help regulate soil temperature and keep moisture levels consistent throughout the colder months.
Pruning your mums in fall is an essential step in maintaining healthy and vibrant plants year after year. With just a few simple tools and techniques, you can give your garden beds a refreshed look while ensuring that your mums continue to bloom beautifully season after season!