Mums are among the most beautiful fall blooming plants you'll see, and how to prune mums (also called chrysanthemums) is a vital part of its care. They're easy to grow and low maintenance and will provide you with years of enjoyment if you give them simple care. They come in a beautiful variety of colors and add texture to your garden or table setting.
Pruning them will make the plants more compact, shorter and delay blooms until later in the season. If you don't prune, you'll get two blooms, but they; have long, floppy stems and little, unattractive flowers.
Mums are a perennial flower. Be sure to check them as they begin to sprout back to life in the spring. Deadhead them in late winter or early spring before they start to green up. Deadheading encourages plant growth and more beautiful blooms. Trim off any of the lower stems to help keep them disease free. When deadheading or pruning off lower stems, use a clean, sharp pair of pruning shears.
You'll want to monitor them on a daily basis as you see new growth happening, making sure to check underneath the plant too. On smaller species, pinch (or prune) them when the new shoots are about 3-4 inches long. On taller mums, wait until the shoots are about 6-7 inches long.
You'll want to remove 1 to 2 inches from the tops of the new stem growths. To prune them, hold the plants stem between your thumb and forefinger, and just give it a pinch with your thumbnail.
This should be repeated every 4 weeks. Keep pruning throughout the growing season. In cold climates, you can stop pruning in about early July, and through the end of July in warmer climates.