The bright, nectar-filled spikes of Kniphofia attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies to the garden. Native to Africa, these perennials' red, orange and yellow blossoms resemble hot pokers, giving them the common names red hot poker, poker plant and torch lily.
The brightly colored, tube-like blossoms appear in late spring on tall spikes that emerge from the thick grassy foliage. While many varieties demonstrate short day photoperiodism, meaning that they develop flowers after receiving a specific number of night hours, the Kniphofias presented by Flowers by the Sea are day neutral and bloom throughout the growing season. The flowers last up to 6 weeks on the plant, and blooming may extend up to 6 months, as long as the weather stays warm. Kniphofia love hot weather, making them ideal for that difficult space along the garage or side yard where other plants droop from the summer sun.
These sun-loving herbaceous perennials are drought-resistant, although they prefer regular watering during the dry summer months. Like Salvias, Kniphofias need a well-drained soil to prevent root rot. Planted in a border with other perennials, the foliage and flowers of Kniphofias provide a textural contrast to the softer foliage of Salvias and Agastaches. In addition, all three genera are deer resistant.
Flowers by the Sea presents a selection of dwarf Kniphofia varieties suited to an urban or cottage garden. With flower spikes between 20 and 30 inches tall and compact foliage ranging from 14 to 18 inches tall and 14 to 25 inches wide, the smaller size allows gardeners to squeeze several plants into a border or narrow space.
Flowers by the Sea values the Kniphofias for their hardy, drought-resistant growth habits, hummingbird and bee friendly flowers, and compatibility with Salvias.
(Papaya Popsicle Hot Poker) Terra Nova Nursery's Popsicle Series of dwarf Hot Poker perennials are reminiscent of the kind of frozen treats designed to look like rocket ships and fireworks. The blossoms of Papaya Popsicle are a bright orange-red and gold.
(Poco Orange Dwarf Hot Poker) Flowers by the Sea is the first U.S. nursery to grow Kniphofia 'Poco Orange' -- a dwarf Hot Poker that is several inches shorter than the Kniphofia 'Mango Popsicle' when in bloom.
(Poco Red Dwarf Hot Poker) Flowers by the Sea is the first U.S. nursery to grow Kniphofia 'Poco Red' -- a dwarf Hot Poker that is about two inches shorter than the already petite Kniphofia 'Redhot Popsicle'.
(Poco Yellow Dwarf Hot Poker) Flowers by the Sea is the first U.S. nursery to grow Kniphofia 'Poco Yellow' -- a dwarf Hot Poker that is several inches shorter than the Kniphofia 'Pineapple Popsicle' when in bloom.
(Redhot Popsicle Hot Poker) This genus has become very popular in the last few years - for good reason. They feed hummingbirds and butterflies. And this superior variety from Oregon's TerraNova Nurseries is compact, free blooming and amazingly hardy. And redhot, by the way.