Kniphofia Uvaria, also known as Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily, is a striking perennial flowering plant which will add a jolt of hot colour to your garden in late summer. This exotic flower can make a big statement in a small space! Native to South Africa, Kniphofia Uvaria has been grown by UK gardeners for more than a century. The evergreen sword-shaped green leaves, as much as 90 cm long, provide interest with their foliage through to the late summer, when the flower spikes emerge, rising well above the clump of leaves. The red buds open and become bright orange, drooping tubular flowers which fade to yellow, creating a two-toned flower head and giving it the name Torch Lily. The flowering period continues through August and September, attracting butterflies and bees to your garden.
Hardy through most of the UK, Kniphofia Uvaria will grow to a mature height of 1-1.5 metres and spread of 1 metre in 2 to 5 years. Cut out spent flower stems, and in spring cut back the foliage to the ground for fresh, attractive leaves. Space Red Hot Poker plants 45-60 cm apart. Divide established clumps in early spring every 5 years.
Plant your Torch Lily plants in full sun with an east or south facing aspect in a sheltered or exposed position, in moist, well-drained sand or loam soil with an acid or neutral ph. It will benefit from winter mulch in colder locations. Generally pest and disease free, Kniphofia Uvaria is also resistant to deer and rabbits, as well as drought, pollution, and salt tolerant, making it a good choice for UK gardens in a variety of locations.
Because Kniphofia Uvaria makes a big statement with its dramatic leaves and vibrantly coloured flower spikes, just one plant strategically placed can have considerable impact. It’s good as a container plant on a rooftop terrace or in a courtyard, where the late summer explosion of colour will especially stand out. A clump in a mixed border, or backed by ornamental grasses will also make a big splash. Planted in a rock garden or against a stone wall, the bright spikes of colour of the Red Hot Poker will be spectacular!
Kniphofia Uvaria’s bright blooms will bring a big burst of colour to your late summer garden! It’s well worth finding a spot where this exotic beauty can shine!
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