Do Red Hot pokers bloom only once, or do they bloom through the summer after I cut off dead ones?
They will really only bloom once. Unfortunately, they do not respond well to deadheading.
I cannot identify any pests that would be eating the red hot poker. Can you give me a clue? It's not rabbits or deer. It has to be an insect.
Insect pests rarely affect this plant. Could you describe the damage you are seeing, as this will help us to better diganose the problem or pinpoint the cultprit responsible.
Can you please tell me if I should remove last year's growth from red hot pokers? At the moment I have them tied up from ground. House area Dorset.
You can trim back foliage as it begins to decline or any old growth, but don't cut it back entirely. Leaves a few inches of foliage on the plants. Also mulch around them both to conserve moisture in warm temps and protect the plant in cold.
What is the best soil type to grow Red Hot Poker plants named 'Tritoma'? I have tried a number of sites but they tend to give conflicting data. I was impressed and would like to thank Susan Patterson (Master Gardener) for her article on Plant Care: Growing and Caring for Red Hot Torch Lilies (not dated). Thank you.
These plants prefer loose, humus-rich soil that drains well but will actually grow in nearly any soil type. They are quite adaptable. Amazingly, I had one grow in not-so-great red clay that I amended with compost.
How do I remove the spent spike from Red Hot Poker Plant? Do I cut the stalk down to the base? Or just remove the top?
Cut the stalk down to the spot where it emerges from the main stem.
I didn't trim my red hot poker plant in the fall. Will it hurt it if I trim it when warm weather comes? I was told when I bought it if I cut it in the fall water could freeze it out at the roots. Also, can it be separated in the spring?
The advice you received upon the purchase of your plant was correct - it is recommended to keep the crown of the plant (which is very sensitive to cold) protected in winter by at leaving a clump of foliage around it. With the advent of warmer weather, you can prune them down to within 2 or 3 inches from the bottom and remove any dead leaves and stalks. Poker plants can be divided in spring or late fall for new plants.
For more information on the care of red hot pokers, please visit the following link:
I bought it 3 years ago and it made a few flower spikes that year but since then it is not growing. I planted it near where we had removed a cedar tree and it also gets a lot of fir needles from a nearby tree. Is it too acidic? Should I give it some lime? It is in a sunny dry location. I plan to rake away all the tree droppings and replace with Black Gold bagged soil. Should I lift the plant and then replant in the new soil?
Your plant does certainly seem thin and spindly.
I do feel that relocating or amending the soil in this area to replant are both good options for you.
You may want to wait until fall to do this.
Make sure your soil is well draining.
Here is a link with more information.