October 11, 2016
To clarify, the red hot poker flowers themselves can be removed after they fade (deadheading), but the leaves should not be cut back at that time.
The leaves should also not be cut back in fall. The best method is to wait until the leaves die and turn brown, then tie them together over the base of the plant. This will help protect the plant from cold. Red hot poker is winter-hardy in NC, so it won't need any other winter protection.
In the springtime, cut back the dead foliage from the year before and allow the new foliage to emerge.
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