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Kniphofia/Red Hot Poker: Anyone grow it in zone 4?

PostPosted: Jan 04, 2011 7:42 pm
by ThisIsMelissa
Several years back, I remember walking up to a Minnesota area Perkins (at 494 and France) and seeing a huge swath of Kniphofia and really loving it. But then it occurred to me that I'd read that it was only hardy to zone 5 or 6. So I wondered if they were planted as annuals.

Well, in browsing, I came across a variety that's supposedly hardy to zone 4.

Can anyone comment on their success/lack of success with these in a zone 4 garden?

Re: Kniphofia/Red Hot Poker: Anyone grow it in zone 4?

PostPosted: Jan 04, 2011 10:49 pm
by party_music50
I'm listed as z5 and have grown it from seed: I lost one clump a long time ago... I thought I lost the other clump two years ago, but enough of the root system survived and it re-established itself last year. To survive a cold winter here (extended periods of -20F to -30F) it must be planted in sandy/good-draining soil and it needs good snow-cover to protect it during the times when it gets really cold.

Re: Kniphofia/Red Hot Poker: Anyone grow it in zone 4?

PostPosted: Feb 09, 2011 2:24 am
by Chris_W
Hi Melissa,

I agree, the key in the colder zones is perfect drainage in the spring as the snow melts. If the soil stays frozen and soggy just about all the red hot pokers rot away.

Unfortunately many of today's hybrids are also not cold hardy enough to survive in zone 4, and most not even in zone 5. I have a big giant clump of Kniphofia 'Early Hybrids' that grows but rarely flowers. Likely my soil is too rich or too wet or both. At the old place the same plant grew well and naturalized from tons of self sown seedings in poor, sandy/gravel soil with all day sun and a southern exposure.

But we don't sell Kniphofia because most of the times they just die on people. If you have a really sunny, really well drained spot maybe try one of the old fashioned ones, but don't sink money into any of the new hybrids in your zone.

Sure wish I was in a warmer climate myself, cause I'd love to grow these too :D

Re: Kniphofia/Red Hot Poker: Anyone grow it in zone 4?

PostPosted: Feb 13, 2011 11:15 pm
by thy
Sandy soil is a keyword even here in zone 7-8 other wise we loose it after some years :wink:

Re: Kniphofia/Red Hot Poker: Anyone grow it in zone 4?

PostPosted: Mar 22, 2011 12:44 pm
by gamekeeper
I put them in here in N.H. zone 5 and didn't have any luck?

Re: Kniphofia/Red Hot Poker: Anyone grow it in zone 4?

PostPosted: Mar 22, 2011 12:47 pm
by gamekeeper
Had no luck with them here in N.H. zone 5?

Re: Kniphofia/Red Hot Poker: Anyone grow it in zone 4?

PostPosted: Mar 22, 2011 1:20 pm
by ThisIsMelissa
Well, I think I'm going to pass on it.
My soil is, at best, loam... but probably a clay loam, in most spots.
I just don't think I have a suitable spot for it, being that it's a desert plant that probably prefers soil a bit sandier and less rich.

Thanks everyone.

Re: Kniphofia/Red Hot Poker: Anyone grow it in zone 4?

PostPosted: Apr 06, 2011 9:41 pm
by ThisIsMelissa
I needed some "green therapy" tonight and when to a nursery that's about 1 1/2 mile away. By no means would I consider them a specialty nursery.

But lo and behold... they had it!

Since I wouldn't have to pay shipping, I might give it a try. I dunno. We'll see!