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How to Grow Red Hot Poker Flowers


Perennial, Tritoma

When other plants have wilted under mid summers heat and drought, Red Hot Poker plants shine. This plant is great for arid, and semi-arid areas. They are native to South Africa.

Red Hot Poker grows two to five feet high, depending upon variety. The leaves are long, thin and dagger-like. They produce flowered spikes from spring through fall You should deadhead the spent flower spikes, to encourage the plant to continue to produce new blooms.

The most popular flower color is red. Other colors include orange, coral, cream and yellow. Hummingbirds like the tubular florets.

For a good show, grow Red Hot Poker plants in clumps. The height of the variety you purchase, will determine where to place them in your flower garden. Place them in easy view, so you can watch the Hummingbirds when they visit.

Tip: Red is best color for attracting Hummingbirds.

Other Names :  Torch Lily, Poker Plant.

Plant Propagation:

Red Hot Poker plants are grown from seeds. They can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. Sow Red Hot Poker seeds early in the season, and cover lightly with 1/4" of fine garden or potting soil.

Ideal plant spacing is 18" -24".  Thin or transplant seedlings, if needed, when they reach 2". They will tolerate a little crowding.

Established plants can also be propagated by plant division. Separate in spring or late fall.  Replant in desired location, with the crowns at or just below the soil level.

How to Grow Red Hot Poker Plants:

Red Hot Poker plants are very easy to grow. The plants like full sun. They prefer loose, rich soil that drains well.  It is important to avoid wet soils, as the crowns can rot. Mix in compost when planting, if your soil is not rich.

Mix in a general purpose fertilizer when planting, then once a month after that.

Once your Red Hot Poker plants are established, they should grow well with few problems.  They will grow on their own with little care or attention. Just make sure to view them often, to enjoy their brilliant blooms. And, if you're growing red Hot Pokers, you will likely find Hummingbirds. They are attracted to the tubular flowers.

Flower spikes will begin to bloom in the spring. Deadhead the spent spikes, to promote continuous blooms all the way to fall.  Remove the entire spike.

Red Hot Poker plants are heat and drought tolerant. We do recommend watering them during the driest periods of summer. They will do well in mid-summer's heat.

In cold weather areas, add 2-3 inches of mulch before winter to protect the crowns.

Insect and Disease:

Insect and disease problems are uncommon.

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More Information:

More on growing Red Hot Poker Plants

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