This guide will teach you how to deadhead red hot poker plants to help the plant focus on new flowers rather than on seed production. You should wait for the perfect season, cut back the flower spikes but keep the leaves so new food can be produced.How to Deadhead Red Hot Poker Plants

Finally, you can allow the plant to bloom again. For more details you should keep reading!

How to Deadhead Red Hot Pokers Using Simple Steps?

To deadhead red hot pokers using simple steps, waiting for the best time to cut back the flower spikes is best. Do not trim any leaves; instead, allow them to provide energy to your plant so it blooms again. Wait for the next bloom without disturbing the plant.

1. Wait for the Perfect Season

Red hot poker blooms in the summer, brightening your garden with small trumpet-like flowers that are yellow to orange. When the flowers lose their color and dry up, it’s time to deadhead.Perfect Season to Plant Red Hot Poker

You may notice an early bloom in some areas starting in late spring. Be on the lookout to deadhead the plant once the flowers begin to fade, even in early summer, to keep them going.

Then you will get a long bloom season that you will thoroughly enjoy. If you get late with the deadheading, your next flowering season will be late and might be affected by the fall season, ending it abruptly before you enjoy it long enough.

2. Cut Back the Flower Spikes

When you notice the hot poker flower drying up, cut it using a clean and sterilized pair of scissors or pruners. Remove only the flower spikes, and don’t touch the leaves to keep the plant vigorous. Do not cut too much of the flower spike, as it will delay the next flowering season as the plant tries to heal from these wounds.

Instead of allowing the dead flower to move on to growing seeds, this will encourage the plant to grow new flowers within the season. Deadheading extends the blooming season into late summer or even early fall before it retires for the season.

3. Keep the Leaves

The leaves of the red hot pokers should not be touched or trimmed during deadheading as you will be interfering with the plant’s growth. Allow the leaves to continue growing to support another blooming season for your plants.

The leaves directly feed the plant, so disturbing them in this season will cause your plant to stagnate. If you notice that some of the lower leaves are yellow or dying, leave them alone to avoid disturbing the plant. After the blooming season, you will have a chance to prune your plant.

4. Allow the Plant to Bloom Again

Finally, after deadheading, allow the plant time to bloom again. Removing the dead flowers jolts the plant back to the active stage of producing more flowers. Do not disturb the plant further by removing any leaves or adding any fertilizers at this point, just wait for the bloom.  Provide adequate watering during this time following a regular schedule.Red Hot Poker Plants Blooms

Enjoy these new blooms from summer to early fall before the frost begins. An individual red hot flower will last up to 18 days long meaning you can have them longer than most flowers. If your area is not too cold, these flowers can last almost to mid-fall.

How to Prune the Red Hot Poker Plant After the Bloom Season Is Over?

To prune the red hot poker after the bloom season is over, leave the old growth throughout winter to protect the plant and only prune at the beginning of spring. You should cut back all the old leaves and flower spikes before fertilizing and watering for a new growth cycle.

1. Keep the Old Growth Throughout Winter

After the blooming stops in early fall, allow the plant to rest before tying its leaves in bundles on top of the crown in late fall. Tie the old leaves when they lose their green color and turn brown. This is to protect the plant all through winter.

These old leaves, once tied, will also offer a home to beneficial insects during this season. By leaving these leaves throughout the cold season, the plant can store energy in readiness for the new spring growth. They also keep the plant from holding water in the middle of the crown during winter, which can make it rot and die.

2. Wait Until the Beginning of the Growing Season to Prune

As the threat of frost passes in early spring, prepare to prune your plants in readiness for a new season. During the cold winter, it’s best to leave this plant with all its leaves for survival.Pruning Red Hot Poker Plants

If you prune in the cold winters, the plant will likely die due to the harsh weather. Check the last frost date in your area and prune after the danger of frost has passed.

This perennial will die back to the ground in cold climates, leaving some dry leaves and spent blooms. Cleaning your garden from this mess during its inactive stage is very tempting. However, avoid doing this to red hot pokers, as you will destroy them. Wait until early spring after the deep freeze has passed, and new growth is starting to emerge to prune.

3. Cut Back All the Old Leaves and Flower Spikes

New growth is emerging, so it’s time to clean the plant. Remove all the old leaves and spent blooms using a pair of scissors or pruners. Cut them at the base without injuring the new growth.

Grasp the old leaves in clumps and cut them three inches above the crown if no new growth occurs. However, if new growth emerges from the crown, cut the old leaves in clumps above four to five inches or individually to avoid injuring the new growth.

Pruning helps the new growth get adequate food and thrive faster compared to plants left to grow on the old dead leaves. The old leaves can be cut up to compost or mulch these new plants as manure.

4. Add Some Fertilizer

With your new growth free to thrive, you can add some fertilizer depending on your soil’s fertility. Dig around the plant and a few handfuls of compost manure, then cover it with soil to allow slow absorption.Fertilizeing Torch Lily Plants

Compost manure and organic or commercial fertilizers can improve the soil, thus, the plant’s growth. Be careful not to over-fertilize – it will lead to more foliage than flowers.

5. Start Watering

Once you fertilize, begin your watering schedule to keep your plants growing. Water them at least once every week with adequate water.  You get to start a whole new season for your flowers to grow and bloom again within the year. Enjoy the journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

– How Much Do You Remove When Deadheading Spent Red Hot Poker Flowers?

You should remove at least 1.5 inches of the flower stalk when deadheading your spent red hot poker flowers. This will encourage new blooms and growth to happen quickly so you enjoy new flowers within the same blooming season.

– How Many Times Can You Deadhead Your Hot Poker Plant in One Season?

You can deadhead your plant only once in its growing season. However, you get to enjoy a long season of flowering for the whole summer. Aim to deadhead right after the first bloom is spent to avoid delaying the next flowering season.

– How Long Is the Flowering Time for Red Hot Poker?

The red hot poker has a long flowering time with individual flowers lasting up to 18 days.  Deadheading it will allow you double or more of that time. That makes it one of the longest-blooming flowers. Remember to prune in time to optimize your yield.


Learning how to deadhead red hot poker plants is a piece of cake as seen in the above guide. To ensure your plant produces many lasting blooms, it’s essential to cut off the old blooms immediately after they start fading to make room for new growth. Here are a few points to remember:

  • Deadheading refreshes your plant’s appearance redirecting the energy towards blooming instead of making seeds.
  • Pruning red hot pokers is best done in early spring to give it a good start in the new growing season.
  • Remove the dead foliage early in the spring after the last frost date to avoid disturbing the plant after the new growth is established.
  • To prevent water from gathering on the crown during winter, it’s best to tie the foliage on the top of the plant to protect it from rotting.

If you love a long bloom season on your flowers, deadheading is your best friend when you do it right; get started!

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