Kniphofia

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Umbrian

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Kniphofia
« on: March 15, 2012, 07:20:27 AM »
Funny how tastes change, at one time I did not like Kniphofia at all but now I am quite keen on them and they do well for me. My question is - how best to deal with the old foliage that remains battered down and messy after the winter. When the plants were smaller I carefully pulled out each old leaf to reveal the new young ones but now that the clumps are much bigger this seems like a backbreaking and boring job. Would it be OK to cut off the old leaves as low as possible to tidy up the plants or would this put the new growth in danger?  :-\
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

pamela

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Re: Kniphofia
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 08:15:08 AM »
Carol, I have several large clumps of Kniphofia rooperi ‘Villa Noailles’ on the top of a hot dry stone wall. I cut them down to about one third on the top and shorter on the sides when the leaves start to flop. Usually in early spring.( I should really be splitting them now as they have been in for 5 years).  Mine flowered in Nov- Jan.  Always cut the dead flower stems off and you do need to pull out dead leaves while you are doing the cutting.   I think they are fabulous.  Very majestic, all those colourful stems of pokers in the winter.  However, I don't think all Kniphofia are winter flowering so you would need to check that.
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

ezeiza

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Re: Kniphofia
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 09:45:31 PM »
Like with grasses, with a plastic leaf rake gently "comb" the tufts upwards. This will drag dead foliage but leave green new foliage intact.