Kniphofia- How we keep our Red Hot Pokers looking neat November 22, 2018 – Posted in: Articles
Everyone loves those gorgeous spikes of colour in the garden but when they are finished flowering they do begin to look a little scraggly. We have a LOT of them and we are often asked how we maintain them. This is not the only method but it is the one we have found works best for us. We don’t have time to mess around and be overly fussy with them. In a nutshell, you’re looking for a way to remove most of the foliage to promote fresh, new green growth and highlight the flowers. Removing the foliage allows you to see where new growth is coming from and allows airflow and therefore less disease build up particularly when coming into winter.
You want to remove as much of the foliage as possible. With smaller, thin leaved types, you can cut back quite hard, up to 70 or 80 percent of the foliage. With the larger leaved types, be a little more cautious and remove only 40-50 percent of the foliage. We cut most of ours back in late Autumn as this is a time when most are not flowering for us. Keep in mind that Red Hot Pokers can be Summer, Winter or Spring flowerers and when they flower for you may be slightly different to us.
Make sure your implements are very sharp otherwise it will tear the leaves and look unsightly. We find using hand-held shears or secateurs gives the best result. Once you have removed most of the foliage hand pull out all of the dead growth remaining in the clump, particularly the old flower stems. This will allow good airflow during damp weather. Now is a good time to fertilise and mulch around your plants.