What to do with red hot poker

Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 319
Hello
I asked this as part of a question in the garden design forum but it was probably the wrong place. A couple of years ago I rescued two red hot pokers and then promptly neglected them again, so they've been in a veg growing bag ever since

I'm thinking of putting them in a border I've cleared.  When I dug them out from under a treehouse they were not growing upright but had very bent stems. I put them in the growing bag at the same depth, with the stems lying partly across the compost with just the green bit standing upright. They now have what look like roots coming out of the side of the stems. Also one of them has sprouted a new shoot so I'm not sure if that's how it's meant to be or whether I can somehow remove the shoot to make another plant. I always thought they were single stem plants.

Here are some pics, initially taken a couple of weeks ago, but now including one taken yesterday showing a flower spike. Does the presence of the flower impact on when/whether to plant them out at last, and should I plant them so most of the bent stem is buried and only the upright top of the stem is above ground?
Thanks




Posts

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,412
    Sorry, Stephanie, I know knif all about Kniphofia, but when I read your headline, a few politicians came to mind .....
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 319
    josusa47 said:
    Sorry, Stephanie, I know knif all about Kniphofia, but when I read your headline, a few politicians came to mind .....
    Well that brightened up the day even if it didn't answer the question, so that's fine by me! :smile:

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,633
    That would split into two fairly easily. Just use a sharp knife or breadsaw and separate the smaller shoot with a lump of root attached.  Plant them in holes and backfill with some soil mixed with compost and a handful of blood, fish and bonemeal.  I would get them in the soil as soon as possible. Don't forget to water regularly the first summer.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 319
    @fidgetbones when you say separate the smaller shoot with a lump of root, do you mean cut vertically down the stem of the plant until I get to what look like roots? Or just cut it off with a reasonable amount of 'stem' as it appears to me, leaving a dent in the 'stem'which then becomes the root as I need to bury all the brown part of the stem when I plant it?
    Sorry to be dim but I'm not sure how I could get root along with the new shoot.
    In the pic second from the top you can see another smaller shoot on the underside of the stem. I accidentally knocked that off and I just pushed it into the soil in the bag for now to see if it might grow.  It has unsurprisingly gone brown but not fallen over yet! 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,633
    I think the brown bit that you think is stem is actually a tuber, a modified root.  If you think that is stem, just bury it so that both the green bits are above ground.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Stephanie newish gardenerStephanie newish gardener Aberdeenshire/Moray coastPosts: 319
    Ah, I can see now, that what I thought was all stem might well be root/tuber that has gradually either become exposed in its old site or was never really buried very well in the first place.  I thought it was stem because I thought it was where old leaves had died back and fallen off, a bit like a yucca or drachena.  

    I think it happens to be flowering now because we brought it out of the shade and into the sun a few weeks ago - amazing what happens when you put a plant where it actually prefers to be! 
Sign In or Register to comment.