Red Hot Poker, also known scientifically as Kniphofia (knee-FOE-fee-ah), is a genus of about 70 exotic plants native to South Africa that produces brightly-coloured spiky flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow or a combination of these colours. These dramatic, eye-catching plants can grow to be 2 to 5 feet high.
Kniphofias are popular cultivated plants, as they are easy to grow and hardy! They produce the most striking flowers from spring right through to fall. Not to be out shined by the flowers, the ornamental grass-like foliage is also attractive. Red hot pokers will definitely add height, colour, and texture to any garden! They would look great planted as borders or backgrounds.
While other plants may wilt or die in the scorching summer heat, red hot pokers are drought and heat tolerant. In fact, red hot pokers perform best in full sun. And they can tolerate just about any type of soil, as long as it is well-draining. They also need adequate room to grow; give each plant about 2 feet of space. Deadheading (removing wilted blooms) will encourage the plant to produce more flowers.
Red hot pokers make great cut flowers.
Climate zones: 5-10
Fun Flower Facts about Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia):
- The scientific name is named after Johann H. Kniphof, an 18th century German physician and botanist.
- Other common names: Torch lily, Poker plant
- The plant is closely related to the aloe; some varieties will have thick, succulent leaves.
- The flowers produce an abundance of nectar.
- Red Hot Poker will attract bees and hummingbirds.