Kniphofia – The Torch in my garden

Kniphofia – The Torch in my garden

Common name: Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily, African Flame flower, Devil’s poker

Kniphofia is herbaceous perennials that are freely grown in gardens, and the beautiful, showstopping flowers picked are excellent for putting in a vase. They are easy to grow plants and prefer full sun for the best blooms. Being virtually disease-free and drought tolerant, Kniphofia’s provide attractive vertical accents in any garden. In addition, they have a wide range of flowering times as there are winter flowering (Kniphofia praecox) and summer flowering (Kniphofia uvaria) species, adding eye-catching colour to any garden throughout the year. 

Kniphofia – A sugarbird lover!

Kniphofias prefer well-draining soil enriched with compost. They are generally tough perennials, but poor drainage is one of the few things that will kill them. Water well after planting but once established, Kniphofia have modest water needs. Once a year, after flowering mulch with compost to promote blooms for the next flowering season.

Kniphofias are primarily used in mixed borders, water edges, mass planting or indigenous gardens. Their drought tolerance makes them suitable for use in rock gardens. They also tolerate wind well. They attract butterflies and bees and are a favourite of sunbirds and sugarbirds. Snails love to make a nest in the bases of the leaves, especially in wintertime.

Not a fan of the extreme cold!

The arching, tapering leaves are long and narrow. Rootstock is fibrous and forms a dense mat below the ground. Kniphofia plants should not be divided or transplanted more often than necessary because they take up to one year to settle down after being separated. Also, Kniphofias will not tolerate extreme cold.


The most beautiful flower for the garden

Kniphofias have tubular flowers arranged in a tapering spike near the top of a firm, erect stalk. The flowers commence opening at the spike base while the buds are still closed at the top. Remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms. Kniphofia praecox, which starts flowering in May into June and July, flower buds are scarlet, opening into yellow flowers. The leaves are yellowish-green and with smooth edges. Kniphofia uvaria flowers buds are orange and open into vivid yellow flowers on longer flower stalks than Kniphofia praecox. The dark green foliage has sharply serrated edges.

If you are looking for a stunning evergreen plant to add an accent to your sunny garden, you must definitely consider the indigenous Kniphofia.

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