planting, pruning, cultivation and maintenance

Flamboyant, spectacular, exotic… the kniphofia is not short of qualifiers! Often referred to as Satan’s ember, this perennial plant with bright orange, red or yellow flowers knows how to get noticed. It also makes it possible to create beautiful colored beds and has a good bouquet. Find out how to plant, grow and care for this exotic-looking plant!

Plantation du kniphofia

The kniphofia, ember of satan, tritome or false aloe, is a lively with rhizome native to South Africa from the family of Liliaceae. It takes its name from the surname of a German botanist from the beginning of the 18e century, JH Kniphof. Its evergreen foliage is reminiscent of lily or daylily. Her very original flowering with its exotic appearance makes it an ideal flower for the creation of bouquets and colored beds. Satan’s Ember blooms from June to October, even later in the milder regions. Easy to grow, the kniphofia has a rapid growth and its size varies from 50 cm to 1.50 m high depending on the variety.

The kniphofia appreciates:

  • A sunny position to promote flowering
  • Calcareous and well-drained soil
  • A soil/soil mix
  • Be sheltered from the wind

Plant the kniphofia in spring in respect :

  • A depth of 10 to 15 cm
  • And 40cm spacing between each plant


If the kniphofia does not flower, it is probably because it lack of sun. It is then possible to move it in the spring before flowering. By the way, in the period of spring recovery, the tritoma can be divided.

As the kniphofia has a long flowering (3 weeks to 1 month and a half), there is enough to enjoy it for a long time in the massifs. Small particularity: the flowers of the kniphofia change color depending on the stage of maturity, thus changing from bright red to lemon yellow. As the flower buds open from the bottom upwards, the flowers located on the bottom of the stem fade more quickly.

Kniphofia uvaria
Credits: Veliavik/iStock

Size and Care

Cut back the foliage by half the length in early spring to promote regrowth. Also think about sremove faded flowers gradually to stimulate new flowering. When fall arrives, mulch the foot of the false aloe to protect it from the cold, especially if you live in an area with freezing temperatures. In the mildest regions, you may be lucky enough to see it bloom until December.

The kniphofia forms a compact and elegant clump. In composition in the garden, the ember of satan associates with agave or grasses. Combined with agapanthus (also from the family of Liliaceae), it forms a sumptuous colored massif. This melliferous plant also has the advantage of providing cover for bees and pollinating insects.

Credits: iStock/