Hardiness: USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Red Bright Yellow
Bloom Time: Mid Summer
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater This plant is resistant to deer Provides winter interest
Soil pH requirements: 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets) From seed; sow indoors before last frost
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On Apr 7, 2013, gardeningfun from Harpersfield, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
I am in zone 5 and love this plant! I have 3 of them and they have doubled in size in the last 2 years. I do prune them down every spring, (early April), to within 2 or 3 inches from the bottom and pull out and off any dead leaves and stalks. It does really well when pruned in spring. I also deadhead the stalks when the flower is done in the fall.
I have grown these from seed. My experience has been 3 yrs before having a bloom but the 4th year they went bonkers. At least a dozen blooms, not all at once either and very long lasting. I sell flowers & shrubs at a roadside stand and everybody asks if I have any RHP's for sale. Just started some from seed today. I now work in a major greenhouse so have learned to soak the seeds in hot water before planting them in seed starter mix, keeping them bottom warmed till germination. I'm 40 miles SW of Chicago with hot, dry summers and cold winters. They do fine without cutting back the heavy leaves till very early spring when I just burn them clean. Great plant. Saw them in the queens garden on a British plant show in a long hedge.
On Dec 17, 2012, Jungleman1987 from Jonesboro, IL wrote:
I have had this plant in my garden for several years. I planted the original plants from seed I purchased from Burpee. I have it planted in several places, it does well even in dry areas I can not water. It stays evergreen here in my zone 6b garden. It also attracts Hummingbirds. It reseeds it's self mildly but is not invasive. The only complaint I have is that the leaves can get messy, so I cut them back in late winter or early spring before the blooms emerge to give it a more compact and less messy appearance. Looks great with Yuccas and ornamental grasses.
On Sep 10, 2012, skeen from Frederick United States wrote:
Despite my lack of attention this plant is doing great and has almost tripled in size. I am trying to do some clean up for winter and was wondering if it is ok to cut back this plant? Some sites have said it's ok to cut it back other sites say this will kill the plant. I live in zone 7.
I bought this plant from Home Depot a few years ago as I thought its exotic appearance would look great with my other tropicals in my south facing bed along my foundation. Little did I know how big it would get!
Despite my poor planning of placement, I still really enjoy this plant. It stays mostly green all winter and requires no protection. I live in zone 6, but my back yard is a zone 8 (at least) microclimate. The only care I have to perform at all is simply trimming it back here and there and the removal of spent flower stalks. It blooms every May and it's always a favorite among family and friends.
On Aug 7, 2012, massey01 from Orchard Grass Hills, KY wrote:
The Kniphofia or torch lilly sometimes gets mixed reviews. My goal is to plant perennial beds that offer varying interests and attract birds, bees, and butterflies. Being one of the early bloomers, I can count on it to welcome the first arriving hummingbirds as well as intriuge the Orioles. Tough as nails, could grow out of a rock!
On Aug 4, 2012, larry3228 from Columbia, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:
Each year it has more blooms and has a longer blooming time. A bit messy so I keep it towards the back of the beds. I deadhead the flowers to help extend the bloom time. It does take up quite a bit of space so I'll try trimming back the leaves in late spring to see if that helps.
My husband bought this plant on line 3 years ago and we live in zone 5. It has bloomed every year and has tripled in size. The only thing we do is mulch and water when its dry. I let the leaves die back over winter and remove in the spring. They pop back up like daylillies, the only thing that i have to do is stake the pokers when they get too tall! The first year i thought that the bugs were killing the flowers but thats just the way they are. The bottoms dry out or die off first, then the whole flower will go. Such a great feature in my garden I thinks that it's my favorite plant.
On May 31, 2012, PhyllisJ from Johnson City, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:
A friend gave me the Torch Lily plant from her perennial bed last fall. The stalk is about 4' with a 12" bloom. It was such a surprise to see the size and bloom already this season. I live in zone 6 and find this a very easy plant to maintain. I love the interest this plant provides in my flower bed.
On May 26, 2012, VicPinto from Ocean Grove, MA wrote:
This is my 3rd year with these plants from seed. This is the first year that they have flowered and I don't know if this is common or not. I was going to rip them out at the end of the season if they had not flowered.
Still waiting to see hummers feeding on it as this was the original intent of growing these plants.
UPDATE: 8-30-2012. The flowers produce copious amounts of nectar. The hummingbirds love it! I've changed my rating to positive.
On Sep 17, 2011, hidi from Algonquin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
3 rd year from seedling starts- never flowers. Many new starts from the original plants- but never a flower. Grows at the foundation on the southside, so pleanty of sunshine and good drainage. Wish I knew why it does not flower. hidi from IL
On May 22, 2011, themadchemist from Johnston City, IL wrote:
Great Plant! I started with 2 planted from the local farmers market 5 years ago and now have 16 (zone 6 - So IL). It's very prolific but not invasive. One comment I saw several user mention, its unkempt appearance. I typically rip out all the dead leaves in mid-spring and chop the leaves to about 9 inches with scissors, before the buds appear. This makes the plant MUCH cleaner and as it blooms I dead-head the spent blooms and keep the plant trimmed back. The more you trim the faster it grows and blooms. then leave it to grow over for winter. The dieing greenery will help mulch and help winter the the plant. then next spring repeat. Don't be afraid to chop that green growth, it will actually make it healthier, or at least it does mine. Also don't forget to use them in cut flower arrangements, They really make an arrangement POP!
On Jul 6, 2010, LightningShaman from Cartersville, VA wrote:
I LOVE kniphofia! I remember the first time I laid eyes on one in full bloom...at my next door neighbor's. She has been creating gardens for 30 years and her firepokers are a gorgeous, however bizzare looking, attention getter. She saw me crooning over it so offered me some. My experience is that it grows strong, indifferent to climate, and can be counted on to multiply, but not invasively so. I would encourage anyone to plant these "asiatic looking" plants. I have them in my Asian garden and they add much beauty, despite the scraggly leaves left behind. Good outweighs the bad. Enjoy!
On Jun 27, 2010, brwhiz from Kearns, UT (Zone 6a) wrote:
This plant definitely survives on its own in the Salt Lake Valley. I moved into a rental home late last fall, just before the first snow. The garden was totally neglected; overgrown with some kind of invasive vine and the planter beds had been overrun with grass with a strong network of roots over 6 inches thick. Imagine my surprise when up popped some tall stalks with bright yellow/coral flowers. I am currently trying to put the garden in shape and plan on dividing the plants and distributing them throughout the garden come the fall.
On Apr 30, 2010, ralar from Kansas City, MO wrote:
Hi, I have always thought this was a beautiful flowering stalk, so I bought four plants, I did not really do my research. I had never seen this plant in person only, in pictures. From reading your comments I am now concerned about planting this plant. A couple of you remarked about the rhizome and how it reminds you of Yucca plant or Bamboo, I do not want a plant that is going to get out of hand. So now I am wondering if I should forget the whole idea or just plant one in a pot or plant it in a pot in the ground so that it is contained. Would you consider this plant invasive? So do any of you have any thoughts on the matter? Thank you for your time and thoughts.
On Apr 22, 2010, MiniMoo from Romeo, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:
I purchased and planted this plant in the fall (when it was delivered), however, I do not see it in my garden now. When should I see the foliage? Everything else in the garden seems to be growing just fine, but these and some Lupine that I purchased from an on-line store, can't see them anywhere.
On Mar 25, 2010, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
I started these from seed indoors last spring, and set out a bumper crop of them when they were still barely there. Mere sprigs of grass! As a perennial they didn't exactly explode out of the ground, now I know why some have "nursery beds". Grouped together as they were, the foliage was sort of nice, sort of a mess. Can't claim they provide the best winter interest either, because again they were mostly just a mess of gangly foliage. Still, I look forward to their tropical elegance, and went to move a "couple" this late winter. Holy moly, what a root (rhizome) system they got! I've seen a rhizome or two (running bamboo, St. Johns Wort) but I have a whole new respect for these suckers. And the "couple" gangly messes I went to move ended up as 5 huge buckets of plant. Kudos to it. *To clarify* just because it has a rhizome root system doesn't mean it is invasive. I read it is from S. Africa, where it lives in flood/drought conditions, so the thick roots help it survive. Just a tough plant.
On Dec 1, 2009, martymco from Albuquerque, NM wrote:
I dug up 1 big plant from my Dads garden, in Prescott,AZ 15 years ago, and brought them to Albuquerque,NM. These are truly amazing,over the years,I have divided them several times,and planted in several different locations.
If planted in full sun and given a lot of water they will take over, we had stalks 4' high, but if deprived of water they will stay small, but still send up stalks and bloom.
This is a beautiful plant. I put it in the ground about four years ago and it just keeps multiplying and blooming more and more. A neighbor asked about it and had his daughter get plants for him. She claimed they wouldn't grow here in Bethlehem, PA but he told her about mine and got them. I also have seen them in other yards in the Lehigh Valley and they seem to do very well.
On Jul 26, 2009, silnik from Manchester, NH wrote:
I bought this plant about three years ago. It grew well but did not bloom. I decided to move it to to a sunnier spot and in the process I divided it. Got three plants out of it. These three grew beautifully in one year and I got three beautiful blooms.
I was claiming victory until I noticed some litlle bugs that also loved the flowers.( I can not identify them . They are wasp-like , very small.) Well, they had destroyed the bottom half of the flowers and I decided that if I was not going to enjoy them they would not either, so I cut them off !
I can only hope that nex year they will bloom again .
On Feb 15, 2009, JordaneLand from Grants Pass, OR wrote:
One of the first plants I tried when I just started gardening. Put 3 starts in with 3 dwarf Papyrus starts and a mMsa in the middle. Sure, it looked good for summer, but suffice to say the Musa and the Papyrus didn't stand a chance in our winter. But the Kniphofia stayed mostly green, and I left the three clumps where they lie in hopes of filling the space between with some annuals next year.
Well I didn't get around to really taking care of that until summer, but by then they had already grown to almost double there size! I figured to just leave them be, and that summer they gave me lots of blooms (which the hummingbirds loved, and would actually perch horizontally on the stem while drinking). Even in that large ceramic pot they hardly needed water this summer compared to so many other things in the garden. And I see these all over the area alongside ditches and other completely ignored areas, and they grow and flower fine. Same as yucca, but doesn't seem to be as 'invasive' (but I use the term lightly). The planter should be completely full of Kniphofia this summer, I will make sure to have pictures, and hopefully in fall I'll even be able to do some dividing!
On May 31, 2008, flimsyparsley from Nampa, ID wrote:
This plant is amazing! I'm growing some that were divided from a clump from my aunt's garden. She got her clump when my grandmother divided her garden about 15 years ago. My grandmother originally put red hot pokers into her garden when her family divided my great-grandmother's garden. My dad said he would go to that garden as a toddler and play near the red hot pokers but was afraid to touch them -- because he thought they truly were red hot! That makes my species over 50 years and 4 generations old and they still thrive. I divide clumps among my friends every few years and they are beautiful.
On Sep 1, 2006, sandas from West Richland, WA (Zone 6b) wrote:
i have grown mine from seed in a pot and this is the 3rd year and it has multiplied so greatley it needs to be split up. this year i had many blooms on it and it has tolerated tremends abount of abuse (i had surgery so was laid up for a while and depended on others to water) during the winter what i have done was make sure the pot is close to the apt.(near the door to get any escaping heat) and wraped the pot in bubble wrap and it has manged to make it till the spring. please forgive my spelling. thank you .
On Mar 2, 2006, catcollins from West Friendship, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:
These are super tough hummingbird magnets! The second Fall after I bought this house, I moved one out from deep under a large forsythia and planted it next to our driveway. It was in such bad shape, I thought it was a daylily. The very next summer, it surprised me with no less than eight blooms.
By chance, that same spring I had also started some kniphofia from seed and had five more. These I planted in one large cluster in the backyard. Last summer we had dozens of hummingbirds visit our yard. One pair in particular never strayed far from this cluster of kniphofia. The only plant more popular was the red canna. This was the first time I'd ever been able to sit on my deck and watch hummingbirds at virtually any time of day. Amazing! I'm planting more of these this Spring.
On Jul 18, 2005, keyi from Yukon, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:
I started this one from seed in zone 7b in 2003. 1st blooms were late spring 2005 and they were awesome! There were about 15 on just 1 plant and the vibrant colors could be seen from quite a distance. It rebloomed with fewer and more muted colored spikes in July. One of my favorite plants in my garden.
On Jul 9, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:
These plants' flowers are truly magnificent!!! Their flowers stand erect on thick stems. As flowers age the bottom flowers age to a yellow and then fall off from the base of the stem to the top. They produce very bright colours. In Australia, these plants are extremely popular for our dry, extreme landscape. They are relatively cheap here, too-- around $20-$25 for a large pots with some plants in a clump (usually around 8-12). Great plant!!! Make sure it always, always has well-drained soil!!!. Plants perform better if they are deadheaded; and if old, dead leaves are removed from the base. Everyone in any area where they grow should try growing this plant. Very good for beginners. pokerboy.
I bought my first bulbs in March and one has bloomed and is starting a second bloom. The other two plants have not done as well but we have had alot of rain. I am glad to find this site to hear about gathering of seeds and to hear that they have done well in Athens, Tx. since we only live a few miles from there. The color is marvelous, very bright. We look forward to happy gardening!
On Sep 18, 2003, Muzikatz02 from Johannesburg South Africa wrote:
I live in South Africa where the "red hot poker" grows wild.The firey colour attracts birds and bees and when they are in full flower. It just oozes nectar and this draws the birds. Also the birds notice the flower from afar, due to some special, unusual pigment factor - it's the ideal flower if you like wild birds.
They are hardy plants, but want to be left alone/ undisturbed for a good few years after planting until they grow so many offspring that they must be divided. Once planted leave it in-situ for some years until the plants crowd each other out. That way you will get bigger and taller flowers.
On Aug 8, 2003, starshine from Bend, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:
I am not sure if I like this plant or not. It started out fairly small and has grown tremendously over the past few years. The candles are bright and enjoyable, but don't seem to last for very long. The base itself is full. As a matter of fact, this particular plant now takes up about 7 feet in diameter.
On Aug 9, 2001, eyesoftexas from Toadsuck, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:
These hardy herbaceous perennials produce poker-like heads from midsummer to autumn. The flowering spike is often described as two-tone because flowers on the bottom open first showing a different color than the upper buds. It has thick sword shaped leaves. There are many hybrids, as well as true species; in color they range from yellow and orange to red.
Kniphofias like well-drained, fertile soil in full sun. It is essential that the soil does not remain wet in the winter. Give plants a mulch of well-rotted manure or compost in spring. To propagate, lift and divide clumps in late spring.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (2 reports) Clayhatchee, Alabama Gaylesville, Alabama Kinsey, Alabama Salem, Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama Phoenix, Arizona Scottsdale, Arizona Carlotta, California Clayton, California Fairfield, California Huntington Beach, California Menlo Park, California North Fork, California Ridgecrest, California Sacramento, California San Diego, California San Francisco, California San Jose, California Tiburon, California Walnut Creek, California Denver, Colorado Wilmington Manor, Delaware Madison, Florida Ocala, Florida Palm Coast, Florida Carlton, Georgia Fayetteville, Georgia Hartwell, Georgia Marietta, Georgia Statesboro, Georgia Kamuela, Hawaii Boise, Idaho Nampa, Idaho Algonquin, Illinois Jonesboro, Illinois Plainfield, Illinois Solsberry, Indiana Eastborough, Kansas Barbourville, Kentucky Benton, Kentucky Lancaster, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Orchard Grass Hills, Kentucky Taylorsville, Kentucky Bastrop, Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana Auburn, Maine Clinton, Maryland Ferndale, Maryland Frederick, Maryland Pikesville, Maryland Takoma Park, Maryland West Friendship, Maryland Dracut, Massachusetts Ocean Grove, Massachusetts Reading, Massachusetts Sterling, Massachusetts Ludington, Michigan Mason, Michigan Mattawan, Michigan Niles, Michigan Okemos, Michigan Florence, Mississippi Madison, Mississippi Marietta, Mississippi Goodman, Missouri Kirksville, Missouri University City, Missouri Lincoln, Nebraska Norfolk, Nebraska Manchester, New Hampshire Albuquerque, New Mexico Clovis, New Mexico Rio Rancho, New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico Ruidoso, New Mexico Alden, New York Buffalo, New York Carle Place, New York Hannibal, New York Hilton, New York Hopewell Junction, New York Bayboro, North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Oxford, North Carolina Cleveland, Ohio Geneva, Ohio Glouster, Ohio New Miami, Ohio North Ridgeville, Ohio Brush Creek, Oklahoma Tulsa, Oklahoma Yukon, Oklahoma Harbeck-fruitdale, Oregon Klamath Falls, Oregon Portland, Oregon Rockcreek, Oregon Ashley, Pennsylvania Berlin, Pennsylvania Denver, Pennsylvania Lawnton, Pennsylvania Lewisburg, Pennsylvania Millersburg, Pennsylvania Darlington, South Carolina East Sumter, South Carolina India Hook, South Carolina Laurens, South Carolina North Augusta, South Carolina Patrick, South Carolina Burns, Tennessee Columbia, Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Middle Valley, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee Newport, Tennessee Spurgeon, Tennessee Sweetwater, Tennessee Athens, Texas Austin, Texas Dallas, Texas Eagle Mountain, Texas Fate, Texas Fort Worth, Texas Iredell, Texas Jacksonville, Texas Lake Brownwood, Texas Lubbock, Texas Round Rock, Texas San Antonio, Texas (2 reports) Sherman, Texas Alexandria, Virginia Broadway, Virginia Buchanan, Virginia Cartersville, Virginia Fairfax, Virginia Franklin, Virginia Jonesville, Virginia Camas, Washington Kalama, Washington North Bend, Washington Poulsbo, Washington Shelton, Washington Vancouver, Washington West Richland, Washington Elkins, West Virginia Falling Waters, West Virginia Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin