Red Hot Poker dying?

JBtheExplorer

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I bought a Red Hot Poker plant last fall and have been patiently waiting for it to bloom since.
I finally noticed last week it was producing a flower.
DSCN5648.png


However, today I noticed a bunch of brown leaves. I grabbed one to look at, and it pulled right out, like it died right at the base. The other brown ones were the same.
DSCN5649.png

DSCN5650.png


I was wondering what could be the cause and if anyone knows a solution. I'd hate to think I waited this long to see it bloom and now it dies just as it produces one.
 
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Its my understanding that the lower leaves will die off first in the fall but we aren't there yet. too much fertilizer would be a cause of it. Right now the main focus of the plant's energy is in the flower blossom so if its just a few leaves then it shouldn't be an issue. Make sure that you trim those dead leaves off.
 
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I'm guessing that top photo is fairly recent, is it just the leaves around the outer edge that have been affected? They are quite heat and drought tolerant, does it have good drainage?
 
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I bought a Red Hot Poker plant last fall and have been patiently waiting for it to bloom since.
I finally noticed last week it was producing a flower.

However, today I noticed a bunch of brown leaves. I grabbed one to look at, and it pulled right out, like it died right at the base. The other brown ones were the same.

I was wondering what could be the cause and if anyone knows a solution. I'd hate to think I waited this long to see it bloom and now it dies just as it produces one.



As Kniphofia or Red Hot Poker plants are both extremely hardy and prone to very little in the way of pests and diseases - if its only a few of the outer leaves that have turned brown - as they are probably only older leaves that dying off - I too would suggest doing the same as firelily has already mentioned and remove all the outer brown leaves.

However as Kniphofia are extremely drought tolerant plants that require excellent drainage and very little additional watering other than natural rainfall - they can - when planted in a situation where drainage is not adequate or when given too much additional water - suffer from what is called crown rot - which unfortunately begins to show itself in the way that you have described - brown leaves that have rotted at the base and are easily pulled out - which if this is the case - can sometimes - depending on how advanced the rot is - be rectified by reducing the amount of additional water and providing more adequate drainage
 

JBtheExplorer

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They are quite heat and drought tolerant, does it have good drainage?

However as Kniphofia are extremely drought tolerant plants that require excellent drainage and very little additional watering other than natural rainfall - they can - when planted in a situation where drainage is not adequate or when given too much additional water - suffer from what is called crown rot - which unfortunately begins to show itself in the way that you have described -


That's seems like it is likely the problem. I wouldn't say drainage is neither excellent nor bad, but we had heavy rain recently and without thinking I also watered that night. I'll keep that in mind and avoid watering it. I also have wood chips around it which hold in moisture, so I pulled them away from it so the soil can dry out faster.
 
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That's seems like it is likely the problem. I wouldn't say drainage is neither excellent nor bad, but we had heavy rain recently and without thinking I also watered that night. I'll keep that in mind and avoid watering it. I also have wood chips around it which hold in moisture, so I pulled them away from it so the soil can dry out faster.

Unfortunately from what you describe it does sound very much like your Kniphofia is starting to suffer from crown rot - which as this can actually kill your plant - its is very important at this stage to try and let it dry out entirely by not giving it any additional water at all - especially as Kniphofia are so drought tolerant that they rarely need any additional watering at all and generally survive with nothing more than the amount they get from occasional rainfall.

Its good that you moved the wood chips too - as having them around the base of the plant would have contributed to the problem.
 

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