Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia, pronounced knee-FOE-fee-ah) is one of the showiest flowers that bloom late in the summer. While other flowers may be wilting and dying, Red Hot Poker lights up the garden with their bright and vibrant, spiky flowers in shades of reds, oranges and yellows. The showstopping colours and dramatic form add drama, texture and beauty to the landscape.
These perennials are a must-have for any garden! They look best grown in groups and are ideal for borders, backgrounds and as a specimen plant. Not only are they striking in appearance, these exotic beauties are easy to grow, drought tolerant and heat tolerant. Plus, they will attract hummingbirds and bees.
Here are some tips on growing red hot poker:
- Red hot poker plants are grown from seeds. Sow seeds in the spring. Space them about 3 feet apart.
- These plants do best in garden beds; and aren’t usually recommended for containers, as mature plants tend to form large clumps that measure 2-3 feet across.
- Be sure to plant in well-drained soil, as red hot pokers do not do well in water logged soils. Add peat most, compost or manure to amend soil.
- As the plants are native to tropical areas, they do best in full sun. Plant in a location where they can receive at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
- Red hot pokers are drought tolerant, but they should be watered during hot, dry weather.
- The clumps can be divided in the late fall or spring, but it’s best to wait at least 3 years before moving them.
- Deadhead spent blooms to promote continuous flowering.
- In the fall, the leaves will turn yellow and die. At this point, the leaves can be cut back.
- In colder climates, apply a layer of mulch to protect the plants from freezing.
- Red hot pokers make wonderful cut flowers. Feel free to cut them for floral arrangements, as this will encourage the plant produce more flowers.
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