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Hi All, I have several lovely specimens of toffee nosed kniphofia (red hot poker only cream coloured). Some of the foliage is brown and manky looking others while the rest is quite green and healthy looking. Does anyone know - do I cut all foliage back and how far or just painstakingly cut out the dead foliage only? I've found one piece of advice on another forum saying to cut it all back to 3 inches but am worried in case that's the wrong thing to do and I end up ruining my plants! Thanks, GreenDahlia
Gardening Grandma

I chop mine back ruthlessly, which freshens it up and also limits its spread somewhat. Mine, however, is the common or garden red/orange variety. 


I'd chop it all back now, before it begins to grow again.  

If you garden in a sheltered spot and it's already thrusting out new spring leaves then just take out the dead stuff.  

You won't kill it either way. 

Thanks, yes, reasonably sheltered and some new growth coming through. Now the green bin is empty again I'll tackle them this weekend!
hollie hock

I would cut off the brown dead/dying leaves.


Hi I have taken out the dead dry leaves, but mine still look very straggly and some leaves are mottled.  can I cut it right back now? or is it too late?


If the leaves are brown and a bit on the crispy side you can usually just pull them and they come away easily in your hand.  It's okay to cut back the rest, it's a tough old plant!  Having said that, mine are just the common red and yellow ones....I don't know if your variety might be a bit more 'particular'....?

Leave the fresh green leaves and remove the rest Green Dahlia.  

I've had the common ones in the past and they've always responded well to a good cutting back. Helps get fresh air in and you can pull out any damp old debris that has gathered in amongst the foliage.

And snails - I always found a bucketful of snails in there. Seems like a favourite spot for them.

thanks to all advice, I've cut it back, cleared out lots of debris and yes lots of snails too.

You dont really want to cut off the new green leaves now...they are energising your plant 

Mine have always grew back fairly rapidly and then spent the entire summer energising the plant as well as sending up plenty of flowering spikes at a rate of knots. 

Why would anyone cut off fresh green foliage?  Knips are vigorous plants but if this was done on many others vigour would be affected.  Since we give advice here we should remember that new leaves, in principle at least, should never be removed. 

Regular removal of new leaves will, eventually take its toll  

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