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Tall, dramatic red-hot pokers create architectural impact in sunny gardens. Their bold spikes of brilliantly colored tubular flowers are set among sword-shape leaves. Most varieties are hybrid selections. They need a humus-rich soil that is well-drained and light.
Part Sun, Sun
From 1 to 8 feet
1-2 feet wide
more varieties for Red-hot poker
'Shenandoah' red-hot poker
Knifophia 'Shenandoah' produces thick, leafless stems topped with robust pokers that are yellow below and red on top. These appear in early summer. The deciduous triangular leaves are strap-shape. Zones 6-9
'Shining Scepter' red-hot poker
Knifophia 'Shining Scepter' blooms in midsummer with tangerine yellow pokers on 3- to 4-foot stems. Zones 6-9
plant Red-hot poker with
Long-blooming helenium lights up the late-season garden with showy daisy flowers in brilliant yellows, browns, and mahogany, centered with prominent yellow or brown discs. Many of the best cultivars are hybrids. All are excellent for cutting. Deadhead to extend bloom time, and divide the clumps every couple of years to ensure vigor.
Grow artemisias for the magnificent silver foliage that complements nearly all other perennials and ties together diverse colors within the garden. They're nothing short of stunning next to white or blue flowers.They thrive in hot, dry, sunny conditions such as a south-facing slope. A number spread rapidly to the point of being aggressive, so consider limiting yourself to varieties listed below that are well-behaved.
There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage, but they all tend to share beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless sages (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens, and new selections appear annually. They are valued for their very long season of bloom, right up until frost. Not all not hardy in cold climates, but they are easy to grow as annuals. On square stems, clothed with often-aromatic leaves, sages carry dense or loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. Provide full sun or very light shade, in well-drained average soil.