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I have recently bought 3 small Carex Frosted Curls from an Open Garden plant stall.  They look as if they could do with a haircut as there are lots of straggly brown stems amongst the green ones.  Even some of the green ones have an inch or so of brown at the ends.  I don't want to lose all the curls!  Do I cut off the totally brown stems at the base of the plant?  Do I trim the brown ended ones back to the green?  What shape should I finish up with? 

Jess is in the Garden

Many grasses still have the odd brown winter leaf here and there - if you leave them alone, they usually go brown all the way to the bottom and then you can easily detach without using any cutters at all.

You can cut off the bad bits now if you want, but when the rest of the leaf grows it may look a bit odd! Maybe just restrict the cutting to the brown bit only and wait for more nice, green curls to come out!

Patience in gardening is a virtue (which I don't always have...)


Normally carex don't get trimmed but you can comb them either with your hands - wearing gloves - or using a rake head.  This will pull out all the old stems leaving pride of place to the fresh new stems.    Any brown bits at the end of new stems are due to frost or cold winds after growth started and are no surprise given the weather we've had.   You can give it a gentle all over trim at the ends but not too far or you'll end up with funny looking blunt ends.  It should end up looking like a tatty beatnik mop head crossed with Doogle from the Magic Roundabout.


What a lovely descrition of the carex -  indeedit looks very odd, odder than it shoud, if you trim the ends.  comb it out as Jess says, it will be fine. 

Agree with obelixx.  No harm will come anyway by cutting.

Now I know why I've got Doogle in my garden............

However, I pot on to grow bigger before planting out if only for appearance sake....3 small plug grasses, etc.  look woeful and tiny in the garden scene. Grow on for another 3 weeks and then plant out for an impact planting that looks good.  Your carex will have made quite a lot of growth by then


I love your Beatnik/Doogle description Obelixx!  The plants are quite small.  I've tried combing them with my gloves on but the brown stems are refusing to be pulled out.  I don'want to pull out the plant, roots and all!


Be patient. Let the plants mature and the old leaves die a bit more and they'll be easier to comb.

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