I have several Mum plants which survived the winter and are now flourishing in my garden. They are now showing very small buds. If I cut them back, can I force them to produce standard sized flowers later this season?
They likely will not produce large blooms this year. The reason is that they used alot of energy to survive the winter. This means that they do not have as much energy to create their flowers, which results in smaller flowers. Because it is not in its ideal environment, it will likely never have flowers as big as it did when you first bought it.
I want to do a mass crop of mums and would like to start them from seed. Can seeds be purchased?
Yes, there are several places online where you can buy seeds. Be aware though that plants grown from seed may take longer to bloom than those grown from cuttings.
On garden mums, what do they mean by 'pinch for full growth'? After a freezing winter, how much of the dead or dormant growth should be cut off? I cut some to the ground and the plant did not grow again.
This article will help you with understanding more about pinching plants: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/pinching-plant.htm
Garden mums are not as hardy as nurseries would like people to believe. They have a hard time surviving the winter and you can expect about a 50/50 chance of them surviving regardless of what you do. You trimmed them correctly. It was the winter cold that killed them.
How do you prune mums?
Usually, these plants are cut back in the fall following a few frosts. Stems of mums are pruned back to 3-4 inches above the ground. New growth appears from this in spring. If you are not able to cut the plant back in fall, you can do so in spring if there is still old, dead growth present. I would not trim off the new green growth.
How can I keep my mums for next year?
If they are in pots, place them in a cool, dark place. Water them about once a month until spring. In early spring, resume normal watering and bring them out when the last frost has past. For those outdoors (in ground), trim to ground and mulch well. This article may also help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/chrysanthemum/wintering-mums.htm
In case you're uncertain about their survival, you can also take cuttings from them. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/chrysanthemum/mum-propagation.htm
I have some excellent potted mums and do not know how to harvest the seeds. What do the seeds look like and where do I find them? The plants are spicy cheryl orange and the flowers are just starting to discolor and wilt.
It may be better to grow additional plants from division or cuttings rather than the seeds. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/chrysanthemum/mum-propagation.htm
May I have a list of plants that can be pinched in the spring? I know about chrysanthemums. What else?
You can pinch back nearly any type of plant such as annual flowers, vegetables, herbs and late-blooming perennials. Here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/pinching-plant.htm