Wait for Fall

One of the many delights that I love about Autumn is seeing the chrysanthemums (mums) beginning to bloom in my garden. This is the first year, for me, that they have decided to show up early. Don’t get me wrong; I love to see them blooming. But, they’re ALL blooming! Wait for Fall!

Now, it is a joy and blessing to be able to create a pretty table setting such as this. However, I am concerned that the blooms will not show their brilliance this fall. I’m a gardener in training by learning from my own mistakes and experiences. This is another lesson for me, the novice, and maybe a helpful IMG_0796[1] tidbit of information for my other fellow gardeners out there. I have heard of “pinching back” mums, but I literally thought that meant to just “pinch” the dead flower buds off. Apparently, I was wrong. Big surprise! Haha! I did a little research and found that you can pinch the stem underneath the clusters of flowers or simply, cut the stem which is much easier, in my opinion. (See below)

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You basically cut off the base from which each set of flowers are forming. Cutting off the top of the stem should encourage two stems to grow in its place producing double the amount of buds. Now, a lot of people try to do this around July 4th so there is plenty of warm weather left  for regrowth. In the South, I believe there is. This is sort of an experiment for me because it’s obviously past July 4th, but only by three weeks or so. It’s actually kind of scary because I don’t want to ruin the plants. I guess I have to take the chance and just see what happens.

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Here is what they look like now. (Sniffle, sniffle) I still have more to do, but I felt like I was going to pass out from heat exhaustion as temps. are rising into the 90’s today. Haha! I am looking forward to seeing how they will turn out. Hopefully, I’m not too late. After reading a little more information on caring for mums, I’ve learned that it’s best to start the pinching back process in the spring. I hope to give an update in the fall that will be amazing!  For now, we’ll enjoy the clippings as we sit around the kitchen table. 🙂

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