How to Grow Red-Hot Poker (Kniphofia Uvaria)

Views: 28587 | Last Update: 2009-05-02
Red-hot poker flowers can grow in cold weather climates and only require only some root or stem to start a new plant. Enjoy the beauty of red-hot poker flowers with tips from a gardening specialist in this free video on plant and flower care. View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen from and next we're going to talk all about red hot pokers,kniphofia uvaria, however you want to pronounce it but either way, they're a really pretty plant. Now, red hot pokers are originally from South Africa so they can handle quite a bit of cold temperature, people tell me that they can grow them in Minnesota, even, and all they do is mulch them a little bit, so they can handle a lot of cold whether. A story I like to remember is, they were found in South Africa in the sixteen hundreds, fifteen hundreds even, they brought them to England and they only grew them in the greenhouses because they assumed everything had to grow in greenhouses, that was from South Africa, and then, until the seventeen hundreds, a farmer accidentally left some outside and they survived the Winter so they realized then, that a lot of South African plants can grow in England and colder climates. So, it took them two hundred years to figure it out so I'm always amazed that they're such a tough plant. Now, red hot pokers get these big candy corn type of flowers on them, they're red and yellow and hummingbirds love them, they're probably my number one hummingbird plant, next to crocosmia. They're just a root so when I'm growing them, you don't have to do a whole lot, you don't need to transplant them very often, they love to be crowded. And, as I said, they're just a root stock so you can even separate them out very easily. They'll multiply quickly so over the years, you can separate them out and in five, ten years from now, you'll get lots and lots of starts. So, as long as you've got some root and some stem, you can start a new plant. In saying that, I've even found little pieces of root and planted them and they've made it. So, just make sure that the roots are covered up but the green's exposed. They're pretty tough, these we just transplanted not too long ago so I think it might take them a couple of years to really look good and get growing. I just love them and they're easy to divide. I used to think that they were just a grandmas flower because I saw them in a lot of older ladies yards but now I realized that the hummingbirds love them and I love them and that they're one of the joys of my garden.