I planted this last spring. It grew but no flower. Came back this year and is really doing well however still no flower. Wondering if tag in it is correct. Bought at Zehrs garden Centre – “Royal Castle Hybrids’ Red hot poker. It gets a lot of sun. Any idea what it is, and help to produce some blooms. Thank you!
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.
Without seeing the plant flowering, it is difficult to ascertain if the variety of your Red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria) is in fact “Royal Castle Hybrids” or not. That said, it does appear that you do have a Red hot poker and the fact that it hasn’t flowered this year is not necessarily a sign that it will not in years to come.
Common reasons that Red hot pokers do not bloom are a lack of full sun. Since you mention that your plant gets plenty of sun, we’ll rule this out. Other reasons may include that it was planted too deeply (anything deeper than three inches is too deep) or was not watered enough. Lack of water during the phase when the plant is forming its bloom is a common cause of the plant not flowering. That said, Kniphofias do require sufficient drainage and do not like to sit in water logged soil.
It could also be that your plant is adjusting to its new home and setting down its roots, so to speak. Some perennials require up to three years to get adjusted and begin performing at an expected level. Therefore, please do not give up on this beautiful plant as it may very well produce abundant blooms next year.
And a tip for when it does flower: promptly remove spent flower spikes after they do finish blooming and cut foliage off at the base of the plant in late fall to encourage more blooms.
All the best!