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Nerine bowdenii - cut back or wait?

borgadrborgadr KentPosts: 540
edited December 2022 in Plants
The heavy frosts put an end to my nerines flowering, so I've brought them into the greenhouse for the winter to let the soil dry out a bit. Should I cut the leaves back now or wait for them to die back?


  • Loraine3Loraine3 Posts: 552
    Nerines don't normally have leaves like that at this time of year. Leaves grow in the spring/summer and die off before the flowers come. Perhaps it's not Nerine. I would leave to die back anyway.
  • borgadrborgadr KentPosts: 540
    Definitely nerine!  Here's what they looked like a month ago

    Same pot today, below. I don't know why they're still in leaf. The bulbs were only planted this spring, and half of the plants didn't flower, which apparently is normal the first year they are planted or moved. The other half flowered very late, starting end Oct until this weekend. 

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,478
    Mine are like that as well. I'd leave the leaves on until they go really brown/yellow and are completely dead as I understand the leaves feed the bulbs.
  • borgadrborgadr KentPosts: 540
    Thanks @Lizzie27 and @Loraine3.  I thought that may be the case (I was tempted to cut back to allow the soil to dry a bit quicker, but I won't)
  • My  nerines, and my daughter's, are all looking like yours. Let the leaves die back naturally, they will give the bulbs some protection and they do feed the bulbs. It is a good time to give the bulbs a little bit of food, potash, Growmore, or similar. Not to bring them back into growth but to help the formation of next year's flowers, and give the non-flowering ones some food as well.
    I would disagree that nerine leaves only grow in the summer and die back just before flowering.
    It could possibly be location but my nerines have always developed leaves during the flowering period. A few leaves appear in late Sept./ Oct., then the flower buds, the stems elongate before the buds open, then the leaves develop fully and remain until Spring when they begin to die back. I leave them in a quiet corner to enjoy a long hot summer bake, hopefully. Nerines like to be crowded, the bulbs piling up on top of each other so only separate every few years. The pink ones are the hardiest but do not like prolonged spells of frost etc., I would describe them as semi tender.

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