Alphabetical Plant Listing

Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)

Poker Plant, Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily, Tritoma (Kniphofia)


Kniphofias, commonly known as Torch Lilies or Red Hot Pokers, always make a bold statement in the garden with their brilliant show of bright-colored, dense, erect spikes resembling glowing pokers or torches. Blooming from late spring to early fall, depending on the varieties, their stately flowers are noted for their long-lasting display of reds, oranges, yellows or creams, adding eye-catching splashes of color to any border. 

  • Kniphofias change color as the flower matures, exhibiting the deepest shades in bud and fading as the flower opens, resulting in a bicolor look. Their stout flowering scapes rise proudly above erect, tight, tufted clumps of arching, grassy leaves.
  • Kniphofias have a wide range of flowering times. If you are a fan of Kniphofias, you may want to select different varieties to extend the pleasure of admiring their lovely blooms from May through October!
  • Kniphofias are rhizomatous perennials which perform best in full sun, in a sandy soil that has been enriched with humus. However, any deep, moist but well-drained soil will do. They can tolerate partial shade but flowering will be reduced. Good drainage is essential to prevent crown rot
  • Growing up from 18 in. to 6 ft. high (45-180 cm) on sturdy stalks, they will need some protection from strong winds. Provide adequate spacing to your Kniphofias as they may spread up to 3 feet over time (90 cm).
  • Drought, deer and rabbit tolerant, Kniphofias attract butterflies and are a favorite of hummingbirds.
  • Virtually disease free
  • Kniphofias provide interesting vertical accents in the garden, among other summer-blooming perennials. They look at their best with Achillea (yarrows), Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed), Hemerocallis (daylilies) and Rudbeckia (coneflowers).
  • While primarily used in perennial borders, Torch Lilies are also well suited to naturalistic settings, water edges or exotic style combinations. Plant them in front of an evergreen background, or as a stand alone specimen - and be sure they will draw the attention of all onlookers. Never plant your Torch Lilies with their crown deeper than 3 in. (7 cm).
  • Remove spent flower spikes to encourage more bloom and protect their crowns in winter in hardiness 5 and 6.
  • Their foliage tends to suffer in the winter months. You may want to tie foliage together in the fall to prevent water entering the crown of the plant. Alternatively, you may cut the foliage off at the base in late fall.
  • Should be planted in the spring or in the fall.
  • Can be propagated by division or be grown from seed. Division should be done in the spring or late fall

 

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 4 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Kniphofia - Red Hot Pokers
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 6' (30cm - 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 4 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Kniphofia - Red Hot Pokers
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 6' (30cm - 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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