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I didn't get around to pinching back my mums and they are now blooming out. They are about a foot tall. Can I cut them back about halfway to make them bushy or is it too late? What do I do now?Thanks for your help.
Mum question. Does it matter if you clip your mums in the spring with a hedge trimmer to do it quickly and to help provide a better shape, or must you really pinch each bud by hand? I have only seen advice that mentions "pinching" but I have so many plants now, I decided to clip them quickly with my hedge trimmer. I did this in early June,and then again in mid-July. But as it is now mid-August, I was surprised to find no buds. Did I goof? or will the buds return this year in time for a nice fall bloom.
To summarize, is clipping OK, or have I committed a mortal error of clipping rather than pinching.
I think your problem is the mid-July trimming time, not necessarily the hedge trimmer (although if you sheared them back a bit too far, that could contribute as well). You're only about a month past your last trimming so that's probably not enough time for them to make buds yet (as long as you didn't trim them back too far I think you could still get blooms this year, just a little later than you'd hoped) Next year if you want them blooming sooner, I'd stop trimming/shearing/pinching after the 4th of July and see if that helps.
Yup July 4th is the normal last trim/pinch for me too. I usually start pinching as soon as the growth is 4" or so, every week til July 4 (or the week of). I wish I had pix of one plant I had several year ago, it was 4ftx4ft and no green could be seen as the blooms were SOOOO prolihic.