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What Keeps Red Hot Poker From Blooming?

Ask the Expert: Red Hot Pokers not blooming
My Red Hot Pokers have always bloomed by the end of June, but this year they don’t seemed to want to bloom. The foliage looks healthy and is growing very nicely. I live in Colorado and we’ve had more rain this year than in the past. Any ideas?
Thanks Cassie

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

A water issue can cause Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia) to under perform. Lack of water when the bloom is forming is usually the culprit. However, it sounds as if you are getting enough water.

Temperature could be another factor. If your area is below normal temps or the temperatures got too high too soon, the blooming schedule would be thrown out of whack.

Lack of light can also cause insufficient or lack of blooms in Red Hot Poker. If your area has become shadier than it has been in the past, you will need to move your plants.

I’m not sure if Red Hot Poker behaves like iris, but it might. When Iris become buried too deep it will produce lovely foliage, but no blooms. So, you might check the kniphofia and see if the much and leaves have gotten to thick on top of the plant. If it has you need to lift the plant. The crown should never be planted deeper than 3 inches.

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  1. Beatriz Kimball says:

    I deadhead my Red Hot Poker, but it doesn’t rebloom. What can I do to encourage it?

  2. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Beatriz,
    There are a could be a few things keeping your Red Hot Poker from blooming. If you area has had a big flux in temperature changes from hot to cold, this can throw the blooming schedule off. If you mulch around your Red Hot Poker, make sure it is not too deep. The crown of the plant should never be too deep. Lack of water can also cause a Red Hot Poker not to bloom. If none of these seem to be the problem, you may try fertilizing your Red Hot Poker to give it a boost.

  3. Each of my five poker plants only had 1 bloom this summer. This is their first year in this location. Shouldn’t they have multiple blooms?

  4. Jamie Woods says:

    If this is the first year for your plants, that is most likely the reason for only one bloom. Sometimes it can be the second year before they really bloom well.

  5. I purchased 2 plants at the beginning of summer. Neither plant has any blooms on it. The plants themselves are doing good just no blooms. Any advise?

  6. Jamie Woods says:

    It depends on what kind of plants they are. There could be many reasons they haven’t bloomed.