Red Hot Poker, Torch lily, Poker Plant
Scientific Name: Kniphofia uvaria (L.) Hooker
Synonym: Tritoma uvaria
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Kniphofia 'Alcazar' in the New York Botanical Garden
Recommended Temperature Zone:|
sunset: 3-12, 14-24, 28-34
Heat Tolerance: Unreliable in the hot deserts summer heat
Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Origin: South Africa
Growth Habits: Clump forming perennial, 2 to 6 feet tall (60 to 180 cm), 2 feet in spread (60 cm), depending on variety
Watering Needs: Regular water to ample water, excellent drainage
Propagation: Remove young plants from clump edge in spring, seeds in spring
The Kniphofia needs a soil rich in organic matter, along with excellent drainage. In the colder areas of its range, mulch the roots in winter. It needs abundant moisture during its growing period.
The Red Hot Poker blooms in mid summer, its flower spikes are very attractive to hummingbirds. The individual flowers are small, tubular and oriented downward. The Kniphofia blooms in late summer and fall. The blooming period lasts a long time, and is lengthened by removing spent spikes.