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red hot poker plant

The Red hot poker plant (Kniphofia) is one of the unique herbaceous perennials that you can grow in your gardens. These plants feature tall flower spikes that come in bright orange, red, or yellow shades hence they are also commonly known as torch lilies. However, these plants are not a part of the Liliaceae family, although they share similar characteristics.

Red hot poker plants are pollinator-friendly and attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. These plants can be fast growers when provided with favorable conditions. So let’s look at some care tips that can help you grow and maintain the red hot poker plant.

See also: Dragonfly Attracting Plants.

Botanical NameKniphofia
Common NameRed Hot Poker, African Flame Flower, Torch Lily
Flower ColorYellow, Red, Orange
Flowering SeasonSpring and Summer
Full Size4 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide
NativeSouth Africa
Plant CareEasy to Moderate
Plant FamilyAsphodelaceae
Plant TypePerennial
Soil TypeWell-drained, Neutral

Red Hot Poker Plant Care

Red hot poker plant care is easy as they are hardy and mostly drought-tolerant, however, many factors should be kept in mind during plant care. These include:


This plant is native to South Africa and therefore, thrives when grown in full sun. They can tolerate afternoon shade in hot climates. So plant them in a place where they receive enough sunlight to produce beautiful blooms.


Red hot poker plant care involves regular watering until these plants are established. After that, these plants can survive in some periods of drought. Nonetheless, water the plant regularly once established and let the soil dry out in between watering. Reduce the frequency of watering in the dormant season.


Use a well-draining soil mix for these plants. This is important as damp soil can harm these plants and affect their growth. Opt for a soil mix that has neutral to slightly acidic pH.


This plant typically does not need any feeding but if the soil is less nutritious then you can use a slow-release fertilizer. The plant can also benefit from organic mulching and compost.


Prune wilted flowers when they fade away. This will encourage the plant to produce beautiful spikes of flowers in late spring or early summer and will continue to bloom throughout the growing season.

Common Pest And Disease Problems

The Red Hot Poker plant care does not involve treating many plant diseases. These plants are only vulnerable to root rot that is caused by over-watering. Other than this red hot poker plant can be susceptible to some common pests such as aphids and mealybugs. So you need to check for any signs of pest infestation on your plants regularly to prevent damage.

See also: Common Plant Diseases.

Types Of Red Hot Poker Plants

Some famous varieties of these plants are:

The ‘Red Hot Popsicle’

These plants feature beautiful red-orange flowers. Red hot popsicle is a dwarf variety and can be a great addition to small gardens or containers.

‘Ice Queen’

This variety of red hot poker plant grows 4 feet tall and produces light yellow flowers that often look like white.

‘Green Jade’

This variety is very different from others as it has green-colored blooms and therefore creates a unique display in gardens.

‘Mango Popsicle’

As the name suggests this variety features mango-colored blooms. Other than that this variety is the same as the rest.

How To Grow Red Hot Poker Plants?

The flowers of a red hot poker plant are filled with seeds which you can use to grow more plants. Wait for the flowers to fade and cut them then. Let the flowers dry and remove the seeds. Grow the seeds indoors for about 6 to 8 weeks before planting them in the ground. Choose containers that are a few inches deep. Use a well-draining and nutritious soil mix and your plant will germinate within 28 days.

If you live in a warmer area you can directly sow the seeds in the ground. Space the seeds at least 18 to 34 inches apart to provide air circulation and prevent overcrowding.

Also read: Indoor Gardening Tips.


Can I Grow Red Hot Poker Plants Indoor?

You can grow the dwarf varieties of red hot poker plants indoors as long as you provide the necessary conditions for the plant. You may not get as many blooms as you get outdoors.

How Do I Get My Red Hot Poker Plants To Bloom?

If your plant isn’t blooming, check if you are providing the necessary conditions for its growth. The blooms of the plant can be affected due to insufficient sunlight, watering, or nutrients in the soil.

What Is The Best Fertilizer For Red Hot Poker Plants?

Use a slow-release and balanced fertilizer of perennials with an NPK ratio of 4:8:4.

How Long Can A Red Hot Poker Plants Take To Bloom?

Many varieties of these plants start to bloom early to midsummer through fall.


The Red Hot Poker Plant is certainly one of the most unique and gorgeous flowering plants that you can easily grow. Red hot poker plant care is very easy and can also be performed by beginners. So, make sure to add these plants to your list and create a beautiful display in your garden by growing them.

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