Hi Sara, only been growing them for a year and I've found that here the flower spikes once up have become bare really quickly. Not seen any birds on them though.
Can't see that it will harm the plant if you cut the spent flower shoots off
some plants have flower stems that stand and look good even when they're over. Pokers are not among them.
all mine are late flowering, still waiting
There's a nice clump by the side of a road near us (dumped by one of the snobbies?), been there for years. look great.
mine never look that great and seem to be getting less not more