These clump-forming rhizomatous perennial are tough South African plants, which like to grow in full sun. In their native habitats, many Kniphofia colonise moist places but in a garden setting they will grow in very ordinary conditions and even tolerate drought. They don't mind some occasional moisture and mulch, however. They can be divided in spring to produce more plants, and the foliage can be cut back after flowering to keep the clump tidy. Many cultivars have been developed over the years and there is quite an array of different coloured ones, including pink, lime green, yellow and orange. Some of the cultivars flower in spring and summer, but others choose the cooler months to appear. They provide a striking vertical statement in the garden (or a vase!) and mix well with other warm-climate plants.
In May and June yellow and orange Kniphofia 'Zululandii' (syn. 'Winter Cheer',ht 1.5m) is in full bloom, its thick brushes providing a bold, heart-warming sight on cold days and associating well with other hot-coloured flowers of early winter, such as Tagetes lemmonii, Salvia gesneriiflora 'Tequila' and poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). The thick leaves of this Kniphofia can be cut down to 15 cm after flowering to neaten. If you have a friend who is into weaving with natural materials, these leaves can be made into wonderful baskets and sculptures!