Kniphofia Fire Dance
Kniphofia 'Fire Dance' photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Torch Lily, Red Hot Poker

'Fire Dance' is the perfect Red Hot Poker for smaller spaces. It is just 50 centimetres tall and wide. Coral red and yellow flower spikes are produced from early through late summer atop a low-growing, thick clump of narrow, arching, blue-green foliage. The tough leaves are ignored by deer and rabbits, but the brightly colored, tubular flowers are adored by hummingbirds and butterflies. Kniphofias are on the edge of hardiness in our area, but Fire dance is the hardiest of any of the varieties we have tried in our garden.

  • Height: 45-51 cm (18-20 in)
  • Spread: 45-51 cm (18-20 in)
  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 4-9
  • Sun or Shade: minimum 6 hours of direct sun
  • Bloom Time: early to late summer
  • Leaf Colour: green
  • Bloom Colour: red and yellow
  • Critter Resistance: deer and rabbits
  • Nature Attraction: butterflies, bees and hummingbirds

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Kniphofia is a sun lover that likes it hot and dry, though a good supply of water is appreciated when blooming. It can be grown in any well-drained soil. Kniphofia is evergreen in mild regions and herbaceous in cooler zones. In both areas, it will benefit by having its leaf tips trimmed in the spring to stimulate healthy, new growth. In zones 4-6, the foliage can be tied up over the crown of the plant in the fall to exclude water from settling there and freezing, which would be deadly. It also does better, in our experience, situated on a slope to ensure that it does not get waterlogged in the winter.