Red hot poker plants

Red Hot Poker Plant Trimming – Do You Cut Back Red Hot Poker Plants

Red hot poker plants are exotic beauties in the garden, but extremely easy to grow. The bright, wand-like flowers are beloved by hummingbirds and always please gardeners with their low-maintenance ways. When the correct arrives, you’ll want to start cutting back red hot poker plants. Read on for information about exactly when and how to trim a red hot poker plant.

Do You Cut Back Red Hot Poker Plants After Flowering?

Red hot poker plants form clumps of slender, grass-like foliage. The stems rise above the foliage and bear the long, colorful blossoms. Most cultivars start flowering by late June and some re-bloom until frost.

Do you cut back red hot poker plants when the flowers fade? The answer is a decisive no. Pruning a red hot poker plant’s foliage at this time is not a good idea. You’ll want to

leave the foliage in place.

During this time, the leaves will be gathering sunlight to create enough food to provide for the red hot poker plant through winter. Be sure to provide about an inch of irrigation every week during the growing season.

Pruning a Red Hot Poker Plant Flowers

This doesn’t mean that you should never get involved with red hot poker plant trimming. There are some occasions where snipping is appropriate. For example, as the blooms fade, you’ll want to snip them off, since diligent deadheading keeps those flowering coming, but do not trim back the plants themselves.

Here’s how to trim a red hot poker plant when you are deadheading. Simply use garden scissors or pruners and snip off the stem of the plant just below a faded blossom. That’s it.

Cutting Back Red Hot Poker Plants

As fall arrives, you may see your red hot poker plant’s leaves wilting. The plant will go dormant for winter, and much of the foliage yellows at this time. The plant rests for several months to begin growing again in spring.

While it is possible to cut back foliage at this state, you’ll do better to use it to protect the plant in winter. If you tie the foliage over the center of the plant, the crown is protected and insulated.

The time for red hot poker plant trimming in in springtime, once all threat of cold weather has passed. Trim back dead foliage with a pruner and sit back as your plant comes back to life for another round of beautiful blooms.

3092 Kniphofia praecox – seeds

Red Hot Poker is the local nickname for these bold, handsome plants. The thick, almost succulent leaf blades are evergreen, and of interest even when the cylindrical flower spikes are absent. Heat and drought tolerant. Kniphofia grow well in rich soil located in an open sunny position or partial shade. Most species require plenty of water during the growing season if they are to thrive and flower well.
Ordering seeds info
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES:
Seed Germination Mix #3, professional grade
SUNSHINE-S – Seeds and cuttings booster
Myco Mix – pro-mix with Mycorrhiza
Baby-Plant Food – Seedlings and Cuttings Booster

Per pack: 6 seeds
In stock
$5.00

4182 Kniphofia rooperi – seeds

Red Hot Poker is the local nickname for these bold, handsome plants. The thick, almost succulent leaf blades are evergreen, and of interest even when the cylindrical flower spikes are absent. Heat and drought tolerant. Kniphofia grow well in rich soil located in an open sunny position or partial shade. Most species require plenty of water during the growing season if they are to thrive and flower well.
Ordering seeds info
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES:
Seed Germination Mix #3, professional grade
SUNSHINE-S – Seeds and cuttings booster
Myco Mix – pro-mix with Mycorrhiza
Baby-Plant Food – Seedlings and Cuttings Booster

Per pack: 6 seeds
In stock
$5.00

3624 Kniphofia tysonii – seeds

Red Hot Poker is the local nickname for these bold, handsome plants. The thick, almost succulent leaf blades are evergreen, and of interest even when the cylindrical flower spikes are absent. Heat and drought tolerant. Kniphofia grow well in rich soil located in an open sunny position or partial shade. Most species require plenty of water during the growing season if they are to thrive and flower well.
Ordering seeds info
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES:
Seed Germination Mix #3, professional grade
SUNSHINE-S – Seeds and cuttings booster
Myco Mix – pro-mix with Mycorrhiza
Baby-Plant Food – Seedlings and Cuttings Booster

Per pack: 6 seeds
4 Packs in stock
$5.00

2521 Kniphofia uvaria – seeds

Red Hot Poker is the local nickname for these bold, handsome plants. The thick, almost succulent leaf blades are evergreen, and of interest even when the cylindrical flower spikes are absent. Heat and drought tolerant. Kniphofia grow well in rich soil located in an open sunny position or partial shade. Most species require plenty of water during the growing season if they are to thrive and flower well.
Ordering seeds info
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES:
Seed Germination Mix #3, professional grade
SUNSHINE-S – Seeds and cuttings booster
Myco Mix – pro-mix with Mycorrhiza
Baby-Plant Food – Seedlings and Cuttings Booster

Per pack: 6 seeds
8 Packs in stock
$5.00

Red Hot Poker Seed – Kniphofia Uvaria Flower Seeds

Flower Specifications

Season: Perennial

USDA Zones: 5 – 10

Height: 36 – 40 inches

Bloom Season: Summer through fall

Bloom Color: Mix

Environment: Full sun

Soil Type: Moist, well-drained, pH 5.8 – 7.0

Deer Resistant: Yes

Planting Directions

Temperature: 70 – 75F

Average Germ Time: 21 – 28 days

Light Required: Yes

Depth: Cover seed lightly with peat moss

Sowing Rate: 3 – 4 seeds per plant

Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination

Plant Spacing: 18 – 24 inches

Care & Maintenance: Red Hot Poker

Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia Uvaria) – This stately perennial flower is also known as Torch Lily. Kniphofia Torch Lily is native to South Africa, and it provides a dramatic display of multi-colored flower spikes that will reach 36 – 48 inches in height on top of long, dagger like leaves. The Torch Lily flower will start bright red, turn orange and mature to yellow. Hummingbirds love this plant with its tubular florets!

Red Hot Poker flower seeds must be grown in full sun. Adequate spacing is necessary for these plants since they may spread up to three feet over time. Good drainage is essential to prevent crown rot, otherwise these plants are tolerant of most soil types. Although they will survive periods of drought, they will do better if they are given water during hot weather. In the colder zones Red Hot Poker is not very winter tolerant, so the plants will need to be mulched to protect the roots from the cold. Some people also recommend tying the foliage together to help keep the rain from collecting in the crown. Another option is to cut the foliage off in the late fall.

Torch Lily seeds need a cold-treatment before sowing. Dampen a paper towel, wring out excess moisture and carefully place the flower seeds on the damp towel. Roll up the towel, place it in a ziploc bag and place in refrigerator for 4 weeks.

After the cold-treatment, sow the Kniphofia Uvaria seeds indoors 6 – 8 weeks before planting out, using sterile potting mix and peat pots. Barely cover the Red Hot Poker seeds with peat moss and keep flower seed moist. Transplant Red Hot Poker seedlings outdoors when they are about 2 inches tall. In order not to hurt the growing tap root, plant the entire peat pot into the garden. Or, sow Red Hot Poker flower seeds directly outside. If planting outside, add a little bit of compost to ensure good soil drainage. Sow the flower seed in groups of 3 – 4 spaced 18 – 24 inches apart. Thin to the strongest plant. Spent blooms need to be deadheaded to keep the plant blooming all summer long. Very few pest or disease problems to worry about.

7 reasons to plant this hot poker

This multi-purpose plant is beautiful and a true survivor.

Red hot pokers (Kniphofia) are a welcome sight on a dull day in winter, or on any day at any time really. These exotic and striking plants hail from the eastern parts of Africa and Madagascar, transitioning to our temperate shores with ease, and are now one of the trending plants worldwide.

But my memories of them are ones I saw in old gardens up and down the east coast of the North Island that we put to good use in childhood games. They were our flaming torches, our swords and ‘lights’ in our huts.

As an adult, they make long-lasting cut flowers for the house and brighten up a dark corner.

Traditionally the red hot pokers of my youth flowered in mid-to-late winter, but these versatile plants which have been well-hybridised, now bloom through summer and range in colour from red to yellow, orange and cream.

The plant is tolerant of drought conditions, likes a well-drained soil and will tolerate more than a light frost. I think of them as hardy plants which will survive just about anywhere, except in deep snow.

One of their important roles is providing nectar for tui, korimako (bellbird) and waxeyes. The birds swing from the stems as they sip the nectar, flying from flower to flower in pursuit of nourishment.

Usefully, stock don’t touch them. This means the tall-growing, traditional red hot poker over time will size up to an appreciable clump in paddocks and along fencelines, providing low shelter for stock in stormy weather.

These are members of the lily family, so they are easily divided in late spring with a sharp spade. Chop off any late flower heads and give the foliage a haircut at planting time and clumps will rapidly establish themselves.

When the leaves become a bit tired-looking, a quick trim will soon encourage fresh new growth to appear. The clumps are true perennials, lasting many years with minimal or no care.

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This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine. Discuss This Article

How to grow red hot pokers

Kniphofia are better known as red hot pokers.

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They’re easily recognised from their distinctive vertical spikes topped with bottlebrush-like flowers in a range of fiery colours. From red and orange through to yellow and lime green, kniphofia flowers emerge from a clump of long, narrow foliage that’s attractive in its own right. They have a long flowering season and look great planted en masse in hot-coloured borders growing alongside plants that enjoy the same sunny growing conditions.

They’re a popular choice for dry borders and coastal gardens. Combine them with other hot-coloured flowers such as rudbeckias and heleniums or shrubby Euphorbia mellifera.

Get the know-how you need to grow red hot pokers, below.

Where to grow kniphofias

Red-hot poker growing with achillea ‘Walther Funcke’, phlox and verbena ‘Bampton’

Grow kniphofia in moist but well-drained soil in full sun.

Planting kniphofias

Toby Buckland planting red-hot poker ‘Nancy’

Dig a generous hole, adding a handful of grit for added drainage.

Video: Monty Don plants kniphofias

Propagating kniphofias

Dividing a clump of red-hot pokers (Kniphofia) in spring)

There are many different kniphofia cultivars, but these won’t come true from seed saved from the flowers and some are sterile. Division in spring is the best means of propagation.

Kniphofias: problem solving

Kniphofias are generally quite trouble-free. However slugs and snails might overwinter among the leaves and feast on new spring shoots, so check plants or put protection in place. If conditions are damp, plants can be affected by root rot and should be dug up and discarded.

Caring for kniphofias

Faded red-hot poker (Kniphofia) flowering stems

Kniphofias don’t like winter wet, so plants may need some protection over winter for the first year or two established. In autumn remove the faded flower spikes and apply a deep, dry mulch around the crown or leave the foliage until spring to provide additional winter protection. Divide and replant congested clumps in spring.

Red hot pokers to grow

Kniphofia ‘Sunningdale Yellow’ Advertisement

  • ‘Percy’s Pride’ – with greenish yellow flower spikes, this looks good planted with Euphorbia mellifera that enjoys similar growing conditions
  • ‘Nancy’s Red’ – produces bright red flower spikes between June and October. Team with other hot-coloured flowers, such as heleniums, rudbeckias and perennial grasses
  • ‘Ice Queen’ – this is one of the palest red hot pokers available. It bears tall, green-tipped, white flower spikes between June and October
  • ‘Sunningdale Yellow’ – an early-flowering red hot poker, bearing slender flowers in warm yellow, from June to October
  • ‘Limelight’ – a compact red hot poker, producing short spikes of acid lime-green flowers. Its slightly curled leaves add an extra touch of drama

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