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Sara 4

The Blue Tits and the Bees have had an absolute field day on the red hot pokers, which has been a great show.  Now that many of the stalks are totally denuded, should I cut them back?  Obviously I'd leave any that are still of passing interest to the wildlife, but I don't know what's best for the plant.  I wasn't keen on red hot pokers initially, but the wild bird interest has been so great that I don't mind how far they spread.

hollie hock

Hi Sara, only been growing them for a year and I've found that here the flower spikes once up have become bare really quickly. Not seen any birds on them though.

Can't see that it will harm the plant if you cut the spent flower shoots off

Sara 4

I bet the birds have been at them - it seems to be particularly blue tits, and we certainly don't have that many in the garden normally - they were hanging on to the tops and pulling all the seeds/petals out from the bottom one by one.

The completely empty ones do look pretty horrible!


some plants have flower stems that stand and look good even when they're over. Pokers are not among them. 

all mine are late flowering, still waiting

Sara 4

I only recently found out there was more than one type of red hot poker, these are the archetypal  1950s garden ones, that lots of people got snobby about.  They came out really quickly - one minute nothing but foliage and the next a huge display, only just after the early spring bulbs.



There's a nice clump by the side of a road near us (dumped by one of the snobbies?), been there for years. look great.

mine never look that great and seem to be getting less not more

Sara 4

 According to the camera, this was taken in early May - you can see where some are still coming out and some where the birds have already started feasting themselves.

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