Spikes! A very upright and pokey Agave with steel blue/gray foliage that forms large rosettes. To 3′ across eventually this cold hardy Agave demands excellent drainage but is worth the effort. VERY well drained soil- amend with liberal amounts of pumice and gravel. Excellent on a slope. Plant with the rosette tilted to shed winter water. Makes new pups happily and they will often come up quite a distance from the parent plant. To 3′ tall when up and established. Great in containers that you protect from winter wet. Move to a covered place in fall- a south facing eave is sufficient. Cold hardy below 0ºF- when established. Best to plant in March or April so that it has the longest possible season to develop a root system going into its first winter. Light summer water to none. High deer resistance.
You don’t see this perennial from the middle east very often in our gardens. Its a great, low water long lived plant with dramatic, showy flowers. Spikes to 4′ tall are clouds of large starry yellow fragrant flowers. Blooms appear in May and June and are showy for weeks. Grassy blue green leaves form a clump at the base. Rich, well drained soil with little to no summer water once established. Mass for a very showy effect. Remove spent flowers and you are left with relatively good looking low arching blue green leaves. Must have full sun and a bit of patience to bloom. We try to sell them in bloom to avoid the wait. Moderate deer resistance. Winter deciduous. Long lived.
Kniphofia ‘Lightning Bug’
We selected this Kniphofia years ago for its nearly white flowers and habit of reblooming throughout summer. Flowers begin in late spring and rise to 30″ tall and continue to be produced periodically until fall rains arrive. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water to re-bloom reliably. Apply an annual application of compost or all organic fertilizer to increase vigor, performance. Combines well with Agapanthus, Tulbaghia, Middle of the border. A nice contrasting bloom spike intermixed with subdued ornamental grasses. Remove spent flowers to encourage more. Slowly increases its clump size. Semi-evergreen. Good cut flower.
Xera Plants Introduction
Superior re-blooming cultivar with glowing pale coral and cream flowers. Forms expanding clumps of grassy foliage and begins sending up 28″ spikes of flowers in early June. Quick repeat of flowering occurs for two more months in rich, moisture retentive soil with good drainage. Add an annual application of compost to increase vigor spur rapid re-bloom. Wonderful, ethereal flower color that is at home with pink/orange Agastache and the pale lilac flowers of Tulbaghia violacea ‘Big Violet’. Winter deciduous. Full sun to very light shade.
Kniphofia ‘Shining Scepter’
Even though this poker blooms but once the color is so intense and the amount of flower spikes on one clump of plants so impressive that we have to include it. 3′ tall flower spikes support HOT orange solid colored flowers from June to July. The clump expands annually in rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Full sun to very light shade. Winter deciduous. Very easy to grow hummingbird food.
For pale coral/pink flowers ‘Timothy’ is tops. From a clump of relatively few leaves multiple spikes of 3′ tall richly selfed flowers rise up. A beacon to hummingbirds and a great harmonious color in the garden. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water to spur re-bloom which will continue through the very hottest weather. An annual application of compost and all purpose organic fertilizer will result in more vigor, flowers, and re-bloom. Full sun to very light shade. Long lived elegant perennial. Nothing like the brash bicolor flowers of the old fashioned K. uvaria- the standard old poker. Excellent and dramatic cut flower. Removing spent flowers encourages more. Give the clumps room to expand with little competition from other plants. Moderate deer resistance.
Kniphofia ‘Toffee Nosed’
Stunning poker with unusually colored flowers that are a kaliedescope of colors all within one spike. Opening tinted russet brown the expanding tubular flowers senesce to pale cream. To 4′ tall in bloom and forming prodigious clumps in rich, well drained soil. Regular summer irrigation spurs rapid re-bloom which can extend well into autumn. A clump with multiple flower spikes is spell binding. Hummingbird food. A fantastic and dramatic large cut flower. Foliage is semi-deciduous. Apply an annual layer of compost and a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring to increase vigor, blooming spikes. Fantastic with the ornamental grass Pennesetum spatheolatum. And any ornamental grass for that matter. Full sun to partial shade. To retain vigor and heavy blooming add a layer of compost or a handful of all organic fertilizer in spring. Light consistent summer water.
Little known but spectacular poker that we love for its HUGE late summer flowers of shocking acid green. Each flower spike includes up to 1′ long spike of tubular flowers. Forms a large tropical looking grassy evergreen clump. Full sun and rich well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Apply an annual application of compost to increase vigor. To 4′ tall in bloom the clump of grassy foliage expands to 3′ wide. Give it the room that it needs. Depending on the weather flower spikes can occur any time from June on but mostly cluster in Aug-Oct. Semi-evergreen. Moderate deer resistance. Cold hardy.
Kniphofia thompsonii var. snowdenii
Cool, interesting and actually spectacular Kniphofia that has flowers more reminiscent of an Aloe. The 4′ spikes of blooms have tubular downward facing flowers that are not clustered together but rather separate. They range in electric hues from near red/orange to yellow. Forms a grassy clump of deciduous foliage that rises to just one foot high. Spreads by runners- NOT A CLUMPER- give it room to spread, a single plant will roam several feet in every direction. Full sun to very light shade and RICH, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Excellent cut flower and dearly loved by hummers. Emerges late in spring.