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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
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.
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!
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
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.
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 else
Do you cut the steam off once the flower has died?
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.
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.
I have got a few of these for the first time this year so this thread is a realy good read for me.
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?
This is great advice! I have grown some from plug plants earlier and I am trying to work out where to plant them.