Kniphofias or red hot pokers will bring drama to the middle or back of the border with their elegant flowers that look like rockets shooting to the sky. Popular in the cottage garden and perfect for the herbaceous border, these striking hardy perennials loved by pollinating insects and hummingbirds will mix especially well with tall and short grasses, crocosmias, echinops or agapanthuses.
Plant in deep, fertile, humus-rich soil that is moist and well-drained, in full sun or partial shade — kniphofias will also like sandy soils. Water in dry weather and remove the flower spikes in autumn. Provide mulch in winter.
Kniphofias are supplied in 9 cm pots. Always unpack on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant.
`Potential problems, pests and diseases:
- Aphids: these sap-eating insects can weaken plants and spread viruses. Whenever possible, pick off by hand using gloves.
- Thrips: these sap-eating insects like to feed on leaf and flower tissues. Leaves and petals become mottled with white/discoloured spots and heavy attacks may cause buds to fail to open. Thrips thrive in dry, hot weather and can spread viruses! Keep plants regularly watered and dispose of any deceased plant material and debris ahead of the growing season to prevent any risks of infestation.