Posted by Newt on May 30, 2003 at 00:34:19:
In Reply to: Re: spring pruning mums & hydrangea posted by Andrew on May 30, 2003 at 00:02:44:
: Please explain "pinching"; fairly new to gardening and wish to prune some mums in our garden in PA.
: Thank you for your help,
It means to use your thumb nail and just pinch off the top stem to the next set of leaves. Pinch above the "node"--that is where the leaves attach to the stem. Look along the main stem and you'll see the leaves attach at several places. Pinch at anyone of those places depending how long it's been since you pinched that last time. Decide how tall you want your mums. Most folks keep them at 12" or so or they get floppy and look unkempt.
Watch the plant and you'll see that the leaves below the pinch are now starting to send out side branches. If you pinch these shoots again in a few weeks, they'll branch more, and on and on to a fine bushy plant. I wouldn't pinch much past July 4th unless you want them to bloom later. I onced pinched mums the last week in August here in a zone 7 Maryland garden and they bloomed the end of September.
Hope that helps. I couldn't find any pictures.