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How to Harvest Torch Lily Seeds

By Meg Butler

If you have a particularly beautiful variety of torch lily (Kniphofia)—also known as red hot poker—growing in your yard and you want to multiply your bounty, you may be tempted to harvest and plant the seed. Be aware, however, that torch lilies rarely grow true to type. This means that any seed you plant may share very few characteristics with its parents. Many gardeners nevertheless choose to plant seeds gathered from their torch lilies. Although you cannot predict the outcome, your new torch lily may have some pleasant and beautiful surprises in store for you.

Prune the entire seed head off of the torch lily at its base when all of the seed pods are ready for harvest. The pods should be dry, grayish brown, brittle and partially or fully opened.

Lay the seed pod out on a paper plate to dry for 24 hours. Partially opened seed pods may open further during this time.

Pull a single seed pod from the seed head with your fingers.

Break open the seed pod with your fingers.

Shake out the small, dark brown seeds.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Paper plate


  • Torch lily seeds germinate most readily when they're fresh. For the best results, plant the seeds immediately after you harvest them.

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.