Plant of the Month – December


Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily,

‘Christmas Cheer’ Poker Plant

Kniphofia rooperi hybrid
      ‘Christmas Cheer’

‘Christmas Cheer’ Poker Plant blooms in the fall, winter and spring, making it a rather unique poker, and delighting hummingbirds with its nectar during winter in mild climates.

  • Plant Form: Evergreen perennial
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 3 – 4 feet tall x  3 – 5 feet wide (flower spikes to 3 – 5 feet tall)
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Fall – Spring (Oct – Feb)
  • Native to: S. Africa
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15 °F

Red Hot Poker is known for brilliant hot scarlet “torches” of flower spikes with yellow bases. The variety ‘Christmas Cheer’ is named for its ability to bloom through cooler weather, blooming in fall, winter and spring, making this a unique ‘red hot poker’ (most others bloom during the summer). While the clumping plant is cold-hardy, the flowers succumb to freezing, so consider planting in containers to move under cover in freezing weather to maintain winter blooms. Summer-blooming varieties are available with no risk of winter bloom damage. Cut spent flower spikes out at their base to make plants more attractive and to promote longer flowering. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and other nectar sippers like orioles are attracted to the tubular flowers. Considered to be one of the best winter hummingbird nectar plants for mild climates. Plant in full sun with good drainage. Eye-catching in borders, rock gardens, containers, wildlife gardens, and fire-wise gardens.

Check out our  “Garden Tasks” for December