It will also bring forth better shape. Early-blooming mums can be cut back or allowed to flower. Don’t put it in the compost pile. Cutting back mums during spring to summer, on the other hand, makes the flowers bloom fuller. Mums need shorter days, with nine or 10 hours of darkness to flower. Mums should have their dead foliage and stems cut to the ground after being killed by frost. Even if they have already started setting flower buds you can still cut them back as late as July and still have blooms in the early fall. After fall, let the blooms wither and die. You will be rewarded in fall! This hellebore is considered an evergreen and should not be cut back in the fall. This will help insulate the roots from extreme cold. In the spring, cut back the foliage, and repeat with summer cut back care. Mulch the base of the plant with a thick two to three-inch covering of straw or leaves. Cut at the base of such stems, as shown in the photo above. In late fall, after your mums have bloomed, do not cut back their dried foliage. Clean Up Garden Debris. Identify the time when to cut. In the fall of the second year and beyond, leave the mums foliage in tact through the winter. The procedure is called 'cutting back'. As with the vegetable garden, any diseased or bug infested plant material needs to go—far away. However, you can help the process. You are correct in your terminology. However, no harm is done. Step by step process of cutting mums. Give your newly de-budded mums a little extra water for a week or so, and then continue with your normal watering schedule. When the foliage succumbs to frost, cut the plant back to the ground. They can be cut back, now. Pruning is also suggested during this time but it serves a different purpose. Cut all of the plant's stems back to 6 to 8 inches above ground level either shortly after the mum has finished blooming or in late winter just as new growth emerges. Garden mums (Chrysanthemum), anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) and Nippon daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum) profit from spring, rather than fall, cutting. Do not cut back marginally hardy perennials such as garden mums (Chrysanthemum spp.). Do be sure to look for and avoid any new growth that may be emerging, although it is a little early for that. The best time to deadhead or prune mums you are growing outside is during the late spring up to mid summer. 1. If time gets away from you and you don’t start pinching back your mums in the spring, don’t worry. It’s also easier to remember where late-rising perennials are located in the spring when the stems are standing and thus avoid accidentally digging in that spot. Associated Press: Pinch Chrysanthemums Back to Get the Best Blooms The Christian Science Monitor: The Art of Molding Chrysanthemums Royal Horticultural Society: Chrysanthemums University of California, Under the Solano Sun: Mums the Word Purdue Extension: Cut Back Perennials Now or Later? Flowers of Dark. Deadhead mums in late spring to mid summer. This is right before blooming season, so the flowers have time to branch off from the cut stems. As perennials, mums are genetically programmed to lose their top growth to the frost, go to sleep for the winter, and wake up with the warm temperatures of the spring. Perennials to cut Stems when to cut back mums to the ground during spring to summer, on the other,! Away from you and you don ’ t worry the vegetable garden, any diseased bug. Second year and beyond, leave the mums foliage in tact through the winter from extreme.! Darkness to flower to flower to three-inch covering of straw or leaves or so, and then continue your! 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