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Care of kniphofia plant

Updated February 21, 2017

The kniphofia plant is also called the red-hot poker due to its tall spikes of scarlet or bright red flowers. The plant blooms in late spring and early summer with red flowers at the top of the stem and yellow or green blooms lower down. The flowers start to turn yellow as they age. The kniphofia plant can be grown in bright sun or light shade. The soil used for planting should be rich in iron and fast draining.

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Growing instructions

The kniphofia plant is a native of South Africa and grows best in the UK in direct sunlight though it tolerates light shade as well. The plant is a fast grower and needs about 80 square cm of growing space per plant. It requires ample moisture in its active growing period. Water quantity needs to be reduced after the flowers bloom and during winter. It is very important to keep the soil dry, especially during winter as the plants are susceptible to root rot. Fungicides are often used to save plants from root rot. Dry air is most suitable for the plant and it is best grown in garden soil which is very well-drained. The soil quality can range from neutral to alkaline, but the plant also tolerates acidity pretty well.

Winter care

The plants need to be heavily mulched in areas during the winter. If weather is particularly harsh, remove the rope-like plant roots during autumn and store in a cool, dry place for the winter because the kniphofia plant is very tender. During spring, the plant can be replanted by dividing the thick root stalk. The plants grow equally well from seeds, which are likely to produce flowers in mixed colours.

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About the Author

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.

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