Spring and Summer Care of Chrysanthemums

While chrysanthemums are easy to-grow perennials, pinching, watering, and fertilizing are necessary to insure a good flower display in the fall.

Pinch newly planted and established mums from late spring to midsummer. Remove the stem tips when the shoots are approximately 6 inches tall. New lateral branches will develop along the stems. Pinch again when these new shoots reach a length of 6 to 8 inches. Pinching can be done with your fingers or a pair of clippers. Continue pinching until late June or early July. Pinching results in bushy, compact plants with additional flowers.

Water mums thoroughly during hot, dry weather. Water deeply once a week. Avoid wetting the foliage when watering to discourage possible disease development. To conserve soil moisture, mulch chrysanthemums with 2 to 4 inches of grass clippings, wood chips, or other materials. The mulch also helps control weeds.

Encourage plant growth with a monthly application of fertilizer. Use a water soluble fertilizer according to label directions or dissolve 1 tablespoon of a complete garden fertilizer, such as 5-10-5, in one gallon of water.

This article originally appeared in the May 17, 1996 issue, p. 78.


Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on May 17, 1996. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.