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I started 4 clumps of C. comans 'Bronze' from seed last year. Three were planted in the ground, and one was over-wintered in a 1-gallon nursery pot, buried in the top of the compost bin.
You can just see in the photo, the line of demarcation between the reddish-bronze color of the blades on the lower 2/3's, compared to the dry looking tan of the ends.
Darke speaks only to Carex in general. He says evergreen or semi-evergreen species are "best cut back on occasional years, to remove old or winter-dessicated foliage."
Greenlee says, of C. comans specifically; "When cutting back, leave 3-4" above the crown, as plants dislike a close shearing."
Leaving 3-4" above the crown will eliminate the tan dry-looking ends of the foliage, but my question is whether or not those trimmed blades will continue to grow, with their squared-off ends, or will they be overtaken by new foliage?
I'm starting several more plants this year, so I can afford to experiment. I'm thinking about cutting back the one potted plant, and leaving the 3 in-ground plants alone this year.
Any experience trimming Carex comans, in any color?
I also have several carex that I planted last summer. I was hoping that someone would have an answer for you. The tricky thing is the color. It is harder to see the new growth. I was at the nursery yesterday, and I could feel the difference. The newer growth is flexible, compared with last year's harder growth. When I came home, I took a closer look at mine, and realized that I could actually see some green at the bottom. Most of the growth is still the stiff grass from last year.
I am hoping to post of picture of this later today. I will be cutting back all of last years growth to the area that is green. Crossing my fingers.
When trimming Carex varieties, you should trim right at the very first sign of Spring. Most Carex varieties that we have are cool season grasses which mean the bulk of their growth will happen during the early spring and late fall, or whenever the coolest parts of your growing season take place. Carex comans Bronze is definitely a cool season variety. I always suggest just running your fingers through the carex to clear out all the dead foliage. If you cut them back now, don't expect too much growth until Fall.