red hot pokers

bossdaddybossdaddy Posts: 5

hi all, any body know the best thing to do with red hot pokers over the winter. they look so untidy right now and i would dearly love to cut them off around ground level and give them a good mulch to protect them. any ideas? many thanks



  • Hello Bossdaddy,

    You don't say where you are gardening. If you live in a warm, sheltered place, without too much winter rainfall, cutting off everything should be fine. Although red hot pokers like a lot of summer watering, they prefer to be kept dry during winter. The leaves can protect them from getting water in their crowns and from the cold. Mulching serves a similar purpose but try not to fill the crowns with mulch, as if they get wet, they are liable to rot. Generally red hot pokers are an easy plant to care for and will thrive without too much attention, so I hope you'll be able to enjoy plenty of blooms from yours next summer.

    Emma. team.

  • Emma,

    Many thanks for that reply.   My red hot poker flowered (2 spikes) for the first time this year, after planting it last year.   Like bossdaddy I think it looks rather untidy, but I have left it rather than cutting it back.    Your reply has reassured me!

  • Emma,

    many thanks for the reply, i live on the south coast of england near bexhill andi will be taking the chance and cutting them back at the first oppertunity i get and hoping for the best.stormy weather permitting of course!!!

  • Hi, I live on the Isle of Skye and planted a red hot poker over 2 years ago towards the end of summer. The ground is well drained but not sheltered, but nothing happened, although it didn't die. The leaves grew slightly over 2 seasons, but thats all. I'll mulch round them this winter, and also note the advice not to cover the crown. About 4 weeks ago my wife came home with 2 more plants in small pots, with leaves about 9inches high. I had decide to keep them in the pollytunnel over winter, water occasionally, and plant them out in spring. Is this the correct procedure.  Thanks,  Steve

  • Hello SkyeSteve,

    I presume the plants your wife brought home were also red hot pokers? Keeping them in the polytunnel until spring, with occasional watering is a very good idea. They might get quite a shock if they go straight outside now. When spring comes you could harden them off, by putting them outside in a sheltered position before you plant them in their final position. Hopefully after that, with the long hours of summer daylight, they will flourish. Flowering can be a bit erratic with red hot pokers so don't give up if you don't get flowers straight away.

    Emma. team

  • siannsiann Posts: 3

    I read somewhere you should tie them in a bunch which helps to protect the crown through winter which is what I have done with mine if that helps. It does look nice and tidy if nothing elseimage

  • Do you cut the steam off once the flower has died?


  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,295

    I don't know much about this plant. I bought one earlier this year, split it into 3 seperate plants, 1 had a go at flowering earlier this Summer, I just let it die down naturally and now all 3 of them have very green, large foilage. What I know about them, I would say they are pretty sturdy plants that come back year after year.

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,295

    All my 3 are looking good and seem to be surviving the prolongued cold temps. Leaves are green and healthy, think all 3 are going to flower this year

  • I chop them back quite hard to limit their size, because they are not that beautiful and get pretty big and untidy. I do leave the centre alone over winter, to protect the crowns and just give them a drastichaircut around the edges. They seem to tolerate wet OK - no choice in this area.

  • discodavediscodave Posts: 510

    I have got a few of these for the first time this year so this thread is a realy good read for me.

  • LorrieLorrie Posts: 1

    I have tried to plant these flowers over the last couple of years, with very little sucess, just the leaves have grown. Hopefully this year the flower heads will appear. Any  advice?


  • Pamela14Pamela14 Posts: 47

    This is great advice! I have grown some from plug plants earlier and I am trying to work out where to plant them. image

  • I have red hot poker plants they do great in the south. on one of my tublers is a sprout about 4 in, long how do i go about planting the new sprout. i"ve never seen this before my plants are about 12 yrs. old and still beautiful. thanks

  • ginagibbsginagibbs Posts: 756

    Hi, great to see this thread, as I was going to ask anyway. I was given an red hot poker and its done so well on my south facing "hot bed," as I call it, I've divided it into about 7 plants now and counting! I read somewhere that they should keep flowering till the autumn if you dead head them. Is that true? mine only seem to flower the once and them theve gone over.. Also at what stage should you dead head, as I notice that the flower heads that do have a bit of colour left on still attract the bees, so I dont want to cut these down yet? Any advise?

    To gardening mom, I break off a new sprout making sure its got a piece of root, dig a small hole where I want it to grow and just press it into the soil .never failed yet!

  • Hi, planted my 2 plants 6 years ago, north facing! They've grown into 2 big mamas with lots of babies around which I haven't got round to lifting.They produce about 8 stems with flowers each summer. They look beautiful when in flower, but the flowers only last about a week in perfection (mine flower in June which seems earlier than other people's?) I so wish I could make them flower again, hence looking at this thread, wondering if I dead head some more flowers will grow that summer?

  • All 3 of mine flowered, they grew one flowerspike each plant, can't say that I was that impressed with the flowers, didn't seem to last very long but I do love the leaves. I left mine to die back so didn't deadhead them. Think they flowered around the same time as yours

  • If they are in the ground leave until November and then the flower spike will be easy to pull out. The greenery, just grab a handful and pull. Do this all around the plant and you will be left with a tidier plant. I've been doing this for 10 years and none of the platns have died.

  • I live in the north and planted a red hot poker last year and had about 12 flowers on it cutting the dead ones off for more to grow and noticed when i've giving it a good watering it seems to help more flowers come as I read somewhere that they need plenty of water. For some reason it flowered in red and yellow first then green and yellow, is this normal or have I two plants in one?

  • I live in the cold North of England.  I've had a red hot poker plant in my garden for absolutely years and it did nothing.  We cleared everything to put up a new fence and got rid of a lot of overgown shrubs.  It's more open now and what with the lovely summer we've had guess what, the red hot poker was amazing this year.  Loads of flower heads, 'tho like others, not for long.  Now I'm left with long, hanging, untidy leaves.  I'll tie them up as suggested to protect the plant over the winter and then I might try cutting right back in the Spring to make it tidier. I've seen nicer plants than mine but I don't want to loose it. Fingers crossed.

    Lazy Gardener

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