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Plants that fill a similar niche:
Cattleya forbesii Flower
Cattleya trianae Flower
Dendrobium gracilicaule Dendrobium gracilicaule
Kniphofia has some common insect problems:
Thrips Found on Flowers and Foliage
Kniphofia has some common disease problems:
Black Root Rot on Ornamental Plants

Kniphofia

Phonetic Spelling
nih-FOH-fee-ah
Description

Red Hot Poker is is a genus of about 70 species of evergreen or herbaceous, mostly clump-forming, rhizomatous, ornamental perennials. The evergreen species feature linear strap-shaped basal leaves and showy bottlebrush-like flower spikes. The herbaceous species have narrow, grass-like leaves. The genus is native to mountainous areas in southern to tropical Africa. Plant size ranges from dwarf to 1 1/2 feet tall, with some species reaching 6 feet tall. The genus name honors Johann Hieronymus Kniphof (1704-1763), a German physician and botanist.

Red Hot Poker prefers a rich, well-drained, evenly moist soil in full sun. Light shade is helpful if summers are hot and the plant should be sited in a location protected from wind. It will do well in sandy soils, but does not tolerate clay. This plant is slightly salt tolerant. Roots should be covered with mulch in the winter and, to avoid ice forming in the crown, you can tie the leaves together to form a roof over the crown. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this genus.

It is best not to disturb established clumps of plants, but if division is needed, sever offsets from the edge of the plant to avoid disturbing the rhizomes. When transplanting, cover the rhizomes to a depth of 4 inches. To encourage blossoms, remove spent flower spikes. Cut back foliage to 3 inches above the ground in early spring for the new growing season. You can grow species plants from seed, but named cultivars should be propagated by division to maintain a true flower color.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No significant diseases or insect pests. Root rot can be a problem is drainage is poor, especially in the winter. Thrips can be a problem.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
A Sampling of Shade Gardens Retaining Wall Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Backdraft'
  • 'Border Ballet'
    Compact and upright, available in a variety of colors, 70 to 100 flowers on each raceme.
  • 'Bressingham Comet'
    Upright, orange to red flowers, colors are not true from seed.
  • 'Cobra'
    Hybrid, copper-orange flowers fading to yellow and white. Not true from seed.
  • 'Elvira'
    Long bloom period of orange flowers on 40 inch flower scapes.
  • 'High Roller'
    Winter hardy, 2 feet tall, coral to red.
  • 'Joker's Wild'
    Tall plant, bright orange flowers.
  • 'Lemon Popsicle'
    Vigorous dwarf.
  • 'Mango Popsicle'
    Hybrid, 120 flowers per raceme.
  • 'Minister Verschuur'
  • 'Nancy's Red'
    Hybrid, drooping coral red flowers.
  • 'Orange Blaze'
    Robust hybrid, orange flowers.
  • 'Peachy Cheeks'
    Hybrid, cream colored flowers.
  • 'Pineapple Popsicle'
    Hybrid, yellow flowers.
  • 'Primrose Beauty'
    Hybrid, drooping primrose yellow flowers.
  • 'Prince Igor'
  • 'Redhot Popsicle'
    Hybrid, coral red flowers.
  • 'Royal Standard'
    Hybrid, drooping, bi-color flowered spikes.
  • 'Shining Scepter'
    Hybrid, dropping, golden yellow flowers.
'Backdraft', 'Border Ballet', 'Bressingham Comet', 'Cobra', 'Elvira', 'High Roller', 'Joker's Wild', 'Lemon Popsicle', 'Mango Popsicle', 'Minister Verschuur', 'Nancy's Red', 'Orange Blaze', 'Peachy Cheeks', 'Pineapple Popsicle', 'Primrose Beauty', 'Prince Igor', 'Redhot Popsicle', 'Royal Standard', 'Shining Scepter'
Tags:
#salt tolerant#colorful#well-drained soil#rhizomes#herbaceous perennial#summer bulbs#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#perennial#flowering
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Backdraft'
  • 'Border Ballet'
    Compact and upright, available in a variety of colors, 70 to 100 flowers on each raceme.
  • 'Bressingham Comet'
    Upright, orange to red flowers, colors are not true from seed.
  • 'Cobra'
    Hybrid, copper-orange flowers fading to yellow and white. Not true from seed.
  • 'Elvira'
    Long bloom period of orange flowers on 40 inch flower scapes.
  • 'High Roller'
    Winter hardy, 2 feet tall, coral to red.
  • 'Joker's Wild'
    Tall plant, bright orange flowers.
  • 'Lemon Popsicle'
    Vigorous dwarf.
  • 'Mango Popsicle'
    Hybrid, 120 flowers per raceme.
  • 'Minister Verschuur'
  • 'Nancy's Red'
    Hybrid, drooping coral red flowers.
  • 'Orange Blaze'
    Robust hybrid, orange flowers.
  • 'Peachy Cheeks'
    Hybrid, cream colored flowers.
  • 'Pineapple Popsicle'
    Hybrid, yellow flowers.
  • 'Primrose Beauty'
    Hybrid, drooping primrose yellow flowers.
  • 'Prince Igor'
  • 'Redhot Popsicle'
    Hybrid, coral red flowers.
  • 'Royal Standard'
    Hybrid, drooping, bi-color flowered spikes.
  • 'Shining Scepter'
    Hybrid, dropping, golden yellow flowers.
'Backdraft', 'Border Ballet', 'Bressingham Comet', 'Cobra', 'Elvira', 'High Roller', 'Joker's Wild', 'Lemon Popsicle', 'Mango Popsicle', 'Minister Verschuur', 'Nancy's Red', 'Orange Blaze', 'Peachy Cheeks', 'Pineapple Popsicle', 'Primrose Beauty', 'Prince Igor', 'Redhot Popsicle', 'Royal Standard', 'Shining Scepter'
Tags:
#salt tolerant#colorful#well-drained soil#rhizomes#herbaceous perennial#summer bulbs#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#perennial#flowering
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Kniphofia
    Family:
    Asphodelaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Cameroon, Eritrea to South Africa, Madagascar
    Distribution:
    Introduced to Turkey, Spain, Mexico, West Coast of the United States, Germany.
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers produce copious nectar while blooming and are attractive to bees.
    Bulb Storage:
    Store enlarged rhizomes moist at 35 degrees F (2C)
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 6 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Dense
    Mounding
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Description:
    Flower spikes open from the bottom up, are broad at the top, but tapered at the base. Species of this genus come in shades of orange, red, yellow, and apricot. Blooms in early summer to late fall, depending on species.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Flowers rise from the center of a basal tuft (rosette). Herbaceous species have narrow, grass-like leaves up to 3 feet; evergreen species have broad, coarse, strap-shaped, linear leaves to 5 feet long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Salt