|After my flowers are done blooming, and the spikes are absent of color, should I cut them back to encourage the new growth? Also, at the base of each plant,are brown leaves-should I remove them?|
|Deadheading or cutting off the faded flowers is a good way to tidy up the plants and help them conserve energy. Trim off the flower stems, cutting just barely above the foliage.
It is usually a good idea to remove any browned or discolored foliage as soon as you notice it, this can help limit the problem if it is something transmissible such as a fungal infection. Also avoid watering from overhead if you suspect it is an infection, apply water at the roots instead. Adding a little bit of clean mulch over top of the old can also help limit problems splashing back up onto the plant.
Overwatering, keeping the soil saturated, can also cause browning foliage at the base. These plants do not need excessively wet soil, so make sure you actually need to water by digging down and checking the soil with your finger.