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Cutting back Knifophia (Red Hot Poker)



 
 
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  #1  
Old 03-06-2005, 05:31 PM
huerochingon
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Default Cutting back Knifophia (Red Hot Poker)

Also known as Torch Lily. I would like to cut back the flower stems on
the ones that are spent or out of bloom. Is it better to cut all the
way back down at the base of the stem or do I cut at the top of the
stem where the spent flower begins? Thanks so much.

A rookie installing a new dry garden, going eco-friendly, natural and
eclectic in LA County.

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  #2  
Old 04-06-2005, 12:05 AM
Sterling
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I cut the old flower stalks back all the way to the base of the stem. I
have also tried cutting the whole plant back after the first frost and
also cutting it back in early spring. It seems to make no difference.

The flower stalk will wither and fall over, so cutting it back all the
way just seems right.

huerochingon wrote:
Also known as Torch Lily. I would like to cut back the flower stems on
the ones that are spent or out of bloom. Is it better to cut all the
way back down at the base of the stem or do I cut at the top of the
stem where the spent flower begins? Thanks so much.

A rookie installing a new dry garden, going eco-friendly, natural and
eclectic in LA County.

  #3  
Old 06-06-2005, 11:20 PM
huerochingon
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Thanks! I've also heard these plants are pretty drought tolerant. Does
that mean that I can let the soil get real dry in the summer and
they'll still bloom and thrive or do I still need to water it a couple
times a week?

  #4  
Old 07-06-2005, 01:08 AM
Sterling
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The only time I saw them really need water was during a terrific drought
we had 3 or 4 years ago. They seem to 'shrink' when they are really too
dry. But pop right back with a bit of water. Most of mine are in beds
that do get watered when it is very dry, so they do get water maybe once
a week in the summer.

I experimented with mine this year - I have several big clumps by the
mailbox and I cut them (the whole plant) back to about 4-5" in the fall,
then in the early spring they looked a bit tatty so I cut them back
again. The flowers were not the huge 4' tall ones that I had last year.
A respectable 2-3' but not so huge.

The others - in a similar garden bed were not cut back except to remove
the papery brown under leaves. They DID get really big.

So this next time - spring of '06 - I will only cut back in the early
spring.

They need dividing about every 2-3 years.

Sterling

huerochingon wrote:
Thanks! I've also heard these plants are pretty drought tolerant. Does
that mean that I can let the soil get real dry in the summer and
they'll still bloom and thrive or do I still need to water it a couple
times a week?

  #5  
Old 07-06-2005, 10:52 PM
huerochingon
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Thanks for the help Sterling! Sounds like great advice.

  #6  
Old 08-06-2005, 03:35 AM
Darren Garrison
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On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 19:05:52 -0400, Sterling wrote:

I cut the old flower stalks back all the way to the base of the stem. I
have also tried cutting the whole plant back after the first frost and
also cutting it back in early spring. It seems to make no difference.


I've been wondering something about RHP myself-- I planted a few last year, and the have bloomed for
the first time this year. Will there be only the one stem per plant per year or can there be more
than one stem?

  #7  
Old 08-06-2005, 04:10 PM
huerochingon
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The way I understand it, cutting them back encourages new flower growth
sometimes several times a year if the plant gets enough water. I am
hoping to water a bit less and still get a steady production of flowers
throughout the year by removing spent flower stalks promplty and
frequently. But Im no expert.

 




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