Kniphofia, also known as Red Hot Poker, is a valuable perennial for late summer. It bears hot-coloured flowers on tall stems above long, narrow, grassy foliage. Kniphofias flower from July to late September. So they have a long flowering season.
Native to South Africa, Kniphofia uvaria produces dramatic tall spires, topped with tubular red flowers, maturing to orange and then fade to yellow. With a height of 1,2m, this variety will add vertical height to a sunny border.
Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’
And then there is ‘Nancy’s Red’. It has striking, upright red flower spikes, emerging from a rosette of long, thin, green sword-shaped leaves. Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’ will approximately reach a height of 60-70 cm and a spread of 45-60cm.
This dwarf red hot poker is highly valued for its upright spikes of lemon-yellow flowers and long flowering season. A height of 35-50cm and a spread of 35cm make ‘Lemon Popsicle’ suitable for small gardens.
How to grow
Kniphofias perform best when grown in full sun and sharply drained soil. They don’t like wet soil during the winter.
When and how to prune Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker). Cut back the flower spikes after flowering to the base of the plant.
Leave the foliage intact over the winter. It will protect the crown of the plant.
Cut back all of the old and damaged foliage to the ground in spring just before new growth appears.
What to do with kniphofia (red hot poker) in the winter. Most kniphofias are hardy. In cold areas they need protection. If severe frost is forecast, tie up the leaves and apply a thick, dry mulch around the base of the plant.