Ideas & Inspiration
How and When to Pinch Mums and Poinsettias
Mums and poinsettias add color and signify the holidays are near. To encourage plants to branch and produce more flowers, you’ll need to pinch and remove the growing tip of every stem.
Pinching back mums and poinsettias makes the plants compact and strong, and keeps them from becoming leggy. This is especially important for chrysanthemum stems, which are brittle and can snap if they get too long.
1. Wear gloves when cutting poinsettias. The stems ooze a milky sap, which irritates the skin of susceptible people. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous if ingested.
2. Cut the stems back so each stem has four leaves. What look like flowers on a poinsettia are actually bracts, which are modified leaves. The real flowers are tiny yellow clusters in the center of the bract.
3. Pinch monthly until mid-September to give the plant time to form flowers and bloom at the right time.