Learn When to Cut Back Mums (+Astonishing Tips How to Do It!)

Flowers are very pleasing to the eyes. However, only those who are really passionate about them can appreciate everything – including the grooming part like knowing when to cut back mums, scarifying, deadheading or disbudding. The tasks themselves seem so tedious and that’s why we say cultivating plants is not for everyone. I know this for a fact because I have so many friends wondering why I love plants even when it takes a lot of my time and energy.


Learn When to Cut Back MumsWhat are mums? Is it hard to maintain?Tips for growing mumsImportance of cutting back mumsHow to choose tools to use?When to cut back mumsStep by step process of cutting mumsPro tipsConclusion

Yes, maintenance is the most tricky portion of caring for plants but it does not have to be so difficult! I’m here to make it easy, you could successfully make a tower garden of mums!

Have you been confused as to the time when you should cut back mums? Well, this article is perfect for you. We will be discussing the following pointers:

  • What are mums? Is it hard to maintain?​
  • Tips for growing mums
  • Importance of cutting back mums
  • Choosing the best tools for cutting
  • When to cut back mums
  • Step by step process of cutting mums
  • Pro tips


What are mums? Is it hard to maintain?

Via www.thehumblenest.com

Bright and colorful flowers are the first things that would come into my mind when I hear chrysanthemums. There are white, yellow, red and purple mums. And although these blossoms are well known around the world, not all localities have these colors.

Basically, mums are long lasting. A flower head is made up of numerous little blossoms, not only petals! Aside from their decorative purposes, some chrysanths are edible, and others are used for medicinal benefits (treating headaches, syphilis, and gonorrhea). Did you know that a certain type of mums, the Pyrethum Daisy, is actually being used as a pesticide against bookworms?

If it is your first time to grow flowers mums would be perfect for you! They can be grown any season, in any kind of soil. Waiting for the flowers to show will not be very long as it will only take three months after seeds are sowed.

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Tips for growing mums

The mum months are fast approaching! May, that is. The climate and timing are very important, especially because we are after the growth of their roots. To sustain their life, roots must be established well and this is actually tricky during August or when winter is fast approaching. Although mums are everlasting, they cannot survive single-digit cold temperatures if their bases are not fully developed.

​In line with this, certain species of mums are not suitable for winter (large chrysanthemums, spoons and even spiders for example). It is also not appropriate to use these decorative flowers for your landscapes. These breeds are not that tough compared to others.

To make your mums bushy, pinch the seedlings of your mums after several weeks. Use fertilizers when the chrysanth flowers are ready to blossom and not when buds are already present.

If you would like to prolong its flowering time, regularly remove mum buds that have faded. Protect your plants from bugs, aphids, nematodes and leafspot for these pests are well attracted to chrysanthemums.​

Importance of cutting back mums

  • Being a perennial plant, mums need correct cutting back so that they can bloom for a longer span of time.
  • Cutting the mums in the correct time and technique can create its stem to divide in two, producing more buds. A definite yes for flower lovers!

How to choose tools to use?

Choose an instrument that is:

  • Safe to use. Many people enjoy this activity as it serves as their therapy for relaxation; however, getting hurt will oppose this and will definitely make you more stressed.
  • Serves multitude of purposes for practicality reasons. Who wouldn’t love an all-in-one tool that can deadhead, disbud, shape, snip and trim? Get a device that will give the best value for your money.
  • Lightweight. Grooming your plants can take time; a cutter that is not heavy will not make your hands tired or strained fast. This should be given special consideration of you have arthritis or other joint or muscular issues in the hands. You might also want to choose a trimmer that has padded handles to avoid calluses.

Handheld pruners are the best option when cutting back mums. Check out Fiskars Softouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snip. Alternatively, you can use any scissors at home.

When to cut back mums

The target of cutting back chrysanthemums during spring is to make it reproduce. The perfect time for this would be in the month of June. By this time, chrysanths that survived winter will be prepared to produce more flower by fall. The positive effects of trimming by this time will be augmented by the perfect temperature for cultivation. On the other hand, cutting at this time can also make your mums stronger for winter.

Cutting back mums during spring to summer, on the other hand, makes the flowers bloom fuller. It will also bring forth better shape.

After fall, let the blooms wither and die. Pruning is also suggested during this time but it serves a different purpose.

Step by step process of cutting mums

  • 1. Identify the time when to cut.
  • 2. Prepare your tools. Please see abovementioned materials.
  • 3. Orient yourself with the anatomy of your plant. Make sure you understand where the buds are. When cutting, you have to check and target the stem where two or more flowers are emerging.
  • 4. Cut the stem forming an acute angle (45°). This will prevent your tips from being flat thereby preventing water to stay on it.
  • 5. Dead foliage should be cut back 3-4 inches above ground. For hotter weather, and if they are tall enough (6-8 inches), you may cut back as much as 3 inches.
  • 6. Repeat the process.

Pro tips

  • Plant mums in spring.
  • Not all mums are suitable for landscaping projects.
  • Plant fertilizers should be used with caution.
  • Cutters with spring can make your task stress-free
  • Cut your chrysanths when they grow 8 inches and beyond.
  • When cutting, avoid making tops flat as water can accumulate here.


Knowing when to cut back mums will help you make the most out of your colorful chrysanthemum flowers. Understanding which characteristics should you look for when buying the tools to use will make the process more enjoyable.

Do you have other tricks on cutting mums? We’d love to hear them. Hit us up in the comment box below.

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