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Kniphofias: add a touch of red-hot colour to your garden border this summer

If you’re looking for red-hot colour in your garden border this summer, then no plant fits the bill better than the Kniphofia. Kniphofias, also known as torch lilies or the Red Hot Poker, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asphodelaceae. Kniphofias produce spikes of upright, brightly coloured flowers well above the foliage, in shades of red, orange, yellow and white are sometimes bicoloured. The flowers produce lots of nectar when in bloom, and are therefore very attractive to bees. Here’s a selection of Ladybrook Nursery’s favourite Kniphofias.

Kniphofia ‘Alcazar’

Kniphofia ‘Alcazar’, or the Red Hot Poker, is an evergreen perennial with stout stems, grey-green leaves, and fat spikes of red to pale-yellow flowers in summer and autumn. This RHS AGM award-winning plant will reach a height of 1.2m and a spread of 1m after 2-5 years. Plant in fertile, loamy soil or sandy soil enriched with humus. Dislikes chalky soils. Best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade, although flowering will be reduced.

Type: perennial

Height: 1.2m

Foliage: green

Flower colour: orange/yellow

Flowering: June to September

Aspect: full sun or partial shade

Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’

Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’ is a clump-forming, upright perennial with tall stems, grassy green leaves, and tubular spikes of dusty red-orange flowers in summer. ‘Nancy’s Red’ will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.45m after 2-5 years. Plant in fertile, loamy soil or sandy soil enriched with humus. Dislikes chalky soils. Best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade, although flowering will be reduced.

Type: perennial

Height: 50cm

Foliage: green

Flower colour: Orange/red

Flowering: summer

Aspect: full sun or partial shade

Kniphofia ‘Royal Castle’

Kniphofia ‘Royal Castle’ are vigorous, upright, evergreen or semi-evergreen perennials with strap-shaped, dark green leaves and sturdy, erect, stems bearing spikes of bright orange, red, or yellow flowers from summer into autumn. ‘Royal Castle’ will reach a height of 0.9m and a spread of 0.6m after 2-5 years. Grow in fertile, loam or sandy soil enriched with humus. Dislikes chalk. Best in full sun but tolerates partial shade with flowering reduced. In cold areas, protect crowns of young plants with a dry winter mulch.

Type: perennial

Height: 90cm

Foliage: dark green

Flower colour: orange red or yellow

Flowering: summer to autumn

Aspect: full sun or partial shade

Kniphofia ‘Timothy’

Kniphofia ‘Timothy’ is a clump-forming, deciduous perennial with linear, grass-like leaves and, in late summer to early autumn, upright spikes of red flowers opening from orange-red buds. ‘Timothy’ will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years. Plant in fertile, loamy soil or sandy soil enriched with humus. Dislikes chalky soils. Best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade, although flowering will be reduced.

Type: perennial

Height: 1m

Foliage: green with bronze stems

Flower colour: salmon/orange

Flowering: summer to autumn

Aspect: full sun or partial shade

Kniphofia ‘Vanilla’

Kniphofia ‘Vanilla’ is a clump-forming, deciduous perennial with toothed, grass-like, mid-green leaves and, in late summer to early autumn, upright racemes of white flowers opening from green buds. ‘Vanilla’ will reach a height of 0.85m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years. Plant in fertile, loamy soil or sandy soil enriched with humus. Dislikes chalky soils. Best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade, although flowering will be reduced.

Type: perennial

Height: 85cm

Foliage: green

Flower colour: white

Flowering: summer to autumn

Aspect: full sun or partial shade

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