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Red Hot Poker plants - Kniphofia

I have more than one of these in my front garden but only two have really "grown" to the point where the main stem of the tallest is about 6 foot high. My problem is that all, or virtually all, of the flowers have disappeared. My gardener says this is probably down to birds. My research says they are very popular with hummingbirds. I wasn't aware that we had any hummingbirds in Britain. Then I saw a picture somewhere else where the main stem (flowerless) looked much the same as mine. But that person seemed to suggest that the flowers just dropped off after a very short space of time. I have rigged up a sort of bird-scarer, but it's a bit of a waste of time unless I've got a bird that can hover.

Has anybody got any thoughts?



Can I ask whether you got any flowers at all this year, or whether the stem came up 'blind'?

25 Jun, 2012


There are still flowers on one of the stems so my answer would have to be "Yes", but how many is another question.

For various reasons, I don't necessarily go out at the front of the house every day. But I can't recall having seen a whole "head" of flowers. On the main stem there are shrivelled whiteish "leaves" extending down the top approx. 2 foot of the stem.

25 Jun, 2012


I noticed that the Kniphofia we have here did something similar - it flowered, but the flower didn't last very long. The leaves, though, seem fine. These plants are prone to thrips infestation, but it seems unlikely its that because that's usually when the weather's hot and dry, which clearly, it hasn't been. In which case, I'd put it down to the weather this year - flowering on some plants is either late, aborted, or poor. Not all, but some, and Kniphofia likes full sun and light soil - perhaps the cold temperatures, dark days and rain have taken their toll this year.

25 Jun, 2012


I bought a lemon coloured version last year and I can confirm that birds LOVED the flowers. No idea what is in them but it's obviously very tasty. We have some regular red hot pokers and they haven't been touched (fantastic show this year!). But I'll be keeping an eye on the lemon one when it flowers later this year as it was whittled down in a day and the birds literally fought over it!

25 Jun, 2012


The snails in my garden love them too (the small lemon version I have anyway.)

25 Jun, 2012


If only the birds would just eat the snails our lemon Kniphofias would be safe :-)

25 Jun, 2012


birds like the blue tits etc, love the nectar in the base of the flower.
but I agree why cant they go for the greenfly etc?

26 Jun, 2012


Slugs and snails ate any yellow ones I've planted. If you are growing red/orange ones....split them every 3 years or so. Mine are best of all this year, but flowers not long lasting.

26 Jun, 2012


No hummingbirds east of the Atlantic or west of the Pacific, but--just for the record--they don't remove flowers, just sip from them! : )

27 Jun, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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