My chrysanthemums grow nicely and bloom beautifully, and then promptly collapse! Am I supposed to pinch them back as they're growing so they're shorter on the outside of the plant and more supportive?
Polly from Cedar Springs, MI
I pinch mine back every summer when they get to be about a foot tall, to about 4 inches. It's pretty extreme, but they recover nicely and don't tend to flop. If you wait to pinch them after that, you'll lose your flowers. (I've heard that you never should pinch them back after the summer solstice for that reason, but I just go by height) Same for a lot of other flowers like asters and bee balms. If they still get too leggy (mine did this year because we had SO much rain!) I'd stake them with bamboo and string. Sometimes if I want the stakes to be really subtle, I'll reuse bamboo skewers (like you'd make kebabs with) or wooden chopsticks. These can be hidden by the stems and leaves. Hope that helps! Happy gardening.
Keep cutting them back with the hedge clippers so that they never grow taller than 6 " until about July 4th. Then let them go. They should grow alot bushier & stronger. You could always gather them together with a piece of string too.
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