- Season: Perennial
- USDA Zones: 5 - 10
- Height: 36 - 40 inches
- Bloom Season: Summer through fall
- Bloom Color: Mix
- Environment: Full sun
- Soil Type: Moist, well-drained, pH 5.8 - 7.0
- Deer Resistant: Yes
- Temperature: 70 - 75F
- Average Germ Time: 21 - 28 days
- Light Required: Yes
- Depth: Cover seed lightly with peat moss
- Sowing Rate: 3 - 4 seeds per plant
- Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination
- Plant Spacing: 18 - 24 inches
- Care & Maintenance: See: Red Hot Poker
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia Uvaria) - This stately perennial flower is also known as Torch Lily. Kniphofia Torch Lily is native to South Africa, and it provides a dramatic display of multi-colored flower spikes that will reach 36 - 48 inches in height on top of long, dagger like leaves. The Torch Lily flower will start bright red, turn orange and mature to yellow. Hummingbirds love this plant with its tubular florets!
Red Hot Poker flower seeds must be grown in full sun. Adequate spacing is necessary for these plants since they may spread up to three feet over time. Good drainage is essential to prevent crown rot, otherwise these plants are tolerant of most soil types. Although they will survive periods of drought, they will do better if they are given water during hot weather. In the colder zones Red Hot Poker is not very winter tolerant, so the plants will need to be mulched to protect the roots from the cold. Some people also recommend tying the foliage together to help keep the rain from collecting in the crown. Another option is to cut the foliage off in the late fall.
Torch Lily seeds need a cold-treatment before sowing. Dampen a paper towel, wring out excess moisture and carefully place the flower seeds on the damp towel. Roll up the towel, place it in a ziploc bag and place in refrigerator for 4 weeks.
After the cold-treatment, sow the Kniphofia Uvaria seeds indoors 6 - 8 weeks before planting out, using sterile potting mix and peat pots. Barely cover the Red Hot Poker seeds with peat moss and keep flower seed moist. Transplant Red Hot Poker seedlings outdoors when they are about 2 inches tall. In order not to hurt the growing tap root, plant the entire peat pot into the garden. Or, sow Red Hot Poker flower seeds directly outside. If planting outside, add a little bit of compost to ensure good soil drainage. Sow the flower seed in groups of 3 - 4 spaced 18 - 24 inches apart. Thin to the strongest plant. Spent blooms need to be deadheaded to keep the plant blooming all summer long. Very few pest or disease problems to worry about.