Knifofia: planting and care in the open field, photos, types and varieties

Knifofia: planting and care in the open field, photos, types and varieties

Garden plants

Knifofia (lat.Kniphofia), or kniphofia - a genus of herbaceous perennials of the subfamily Asphodelian family of the Xantorrhea family, whose representatives grow in South and East Africa, rising to an altitude of 4000 m above sea level. Previously, this genus was attributed to the Liliaceae family. Some of the 75 species of the genus, as well as their hybrids, are cultivated as flowering plants.
The name of the genus was given in honor of the German botanist Johann Jerome Kniphof.

Planting and caring for knifofia

  • Bloom: 1.5-2 months from July to September.
  • Landing: sowing seeds for seedlings - in late March or early April, planting seedlings in the ground - in early July.
  • Lighting: bright sunlight.
  • The soil: moisture-absorbing, breathable, fertilized sandy soils.
  • Watering: as the top layer of the soil dries up.
  • Top dressing: three times per season: in early spring and during the period of bud formation - with nitrogen fertilizer, after the end of flowering - with potassium-phosphorus fertilizer.
  • Reproduction: seeds.
  • Pests: leaf-eating insects.
  • Diseases: root rot.

Read more about the cultivation of knifofia below.

Botanical description

The knifofia flower is an exotic perennial plant, sometimes evergreen. In height, the knifophia can reach from 60 to 150 cm, and the type of Thomson's knifophia can even be three meters in height. The plant's rhizome is short and thick. Leathery xiphoid leaves, like most asphodelics, form a basal rosette, from the center of which leafless peduncles rise, bearing apical spike-shaped or sultan-shaped inflorescences of drooping small flowers of yellow, red or coral color. A characteristic feature of bniphophy is that the color of the flowers (usually yellow) differs from the color of the buds (usually red). Flowering begins in the middle of summer, however, even after its completion, the cniphophia retains its decorative effect until late autumn. The fruit of the plant is a capsule.

Planting knifofia in the open field

When to plant

Seeds of knifofia are grown through seedlings. Plant seeds are sown in late March or early April in boxes with a sterile flower substrate. Crops are covered with foil and kept until germination in room conditions or in a greenhouse, from time to time ventilating and moistening the soil. Seeds begin to germinate in 2-3 weeks. After the first shoots appear, the crops are taught to be kept in a room, gradually removing the cover from them, and at the stage of development of the first two leaves, the seedlings dive into separate cups. Since the African woman knifofia does not tolerate either cool damp weather or a sharp cold snap, it is transplanted into open ground in July, when warm weather sets in and return frosts have passed.

In the photo: Blooming beautiful knifofia in the garden

How to plant

The cniphophia plant is photophilous and grows poorly in shade. The best place for her is the elevation on the south side of the garden. The soil should be breathable and moisture-absorbing, but excess moisture in the roots harms the plant. The compositionally optimal soil for knifofia is sandy, pre-fertilized and loosened. Plants are planted in wells prepared in advance and spilled with water, located at a distance of 30-40 cm from each other. The size of the holes should be such that the seedlings will fit in them together with the earthen clod. After filling the holes, the surface of the site is compacted and watered.

Caring for knifophy in the garden

Growing conditions

Planting and caring for a knifofia is easy. In the first year after planting in the garden, the plant will need regular watering, loosening the soil and weeding. Knifofia will bloom only next year, when its root system becomes stronger, and for this it is very important to ensure moderate soil moisture, cleanliness of the site and aeration of the roots.

Watering and feeding

Water the plant when the topsoil is dry. In prolonged heat, you will have to moisten the site more often, and in order to facilitate your work and reduce employment, mulch the soil around the plants with organic material - peat or sawdust, for example.

Photo: Garden-grown yellow knifophia

Knifofia is fed in early spring, before the appearance of green shoots or during the formation of buds with organic or nitrogen fertilizers, and after the end of flowering, potassium mineral fertilizer is applied to the soil.

Knifofia in winter

Knifofia does not live long in our climate, but for several seasons it may well decorate your garden. After flowering, the arrows are removed, but there is no need to cut off the leaves of the cnifophya: they are carefully tied for the winter, the whole plant is covered with peat chips and covered with spruce branches, on top of which a roofing material, film or other material that does not allow moisture to pass through is placed. In the spring, the shelter from the plant is removed, and the yellowed or frozen leaves of the cniphophia are carefully cut off.


The wintering of knifofia at home can extend the life of a plant. It is dug up, transplanted into a large pot and brought into a cool room for the winter. During the winter, from time to time, the soil in the pot is moistened, not allowing the roots of the knifophya to dry out. The plant is returned to open ground in late spring or early summer.

Pests and diseases

Under the right conditions of detention and timely care, the cniphophia rarely gets sick. Sometimes it is affected by leaf-gnawing pests, which at the first signs of appearance need to be destroyed with an insecticide solution. Over-watering the plant can develop root rot, but if you find symptoms of the disease at the very beginning of its development, two or three treatments of the plants and the soil around them with a fungicide solution will help you get rid of the infection. It is better to destroy specimens strongly affected by rot so that they do not infect neighboring plants.

Types and varieties

There are not many types of bniphophy cultivated in European culture.

Kniphofia tuckii

It is a species native to the southern African continent and is named after the scientist who discovered this species in 1892. In height, the cniphophia Taka reaches 80 cm. It has light green xiphoid leaves up to 40 cm long and inflorescences up to 15 cm long, consisting of light red flowers in buds, which turn yellow-red when opened. Knifofia Taka is one of the hardiest species of the genus, very popular in the middle lane, since with good shelter the plant can winter in the soil.

In the photo: Berry Knifofia (Kniphofia uvaria)

Berry knifofia (Kniphofia uvaria)

Grows wild in the Cape. This is a tall species up to 2 m tall with xiphoid grayish-green leaves up to half a meter long and a large inflorescence up to 25 cm long, in which the upper flowers have a coral-red hue, and the lower ones are greenish-yellow. Blossoming of berry knifophya lasts up to two months. This plant has been cultivated since 1707. The species is represented by the following forms and varieties:

  • large-flowered form up to 130 cm high with fiery red flowers, collected in an inflorescence up to 30 cm long;
  • Dr. Kerr - a variety with peduncles up to 100 cm high and an inflorescence 20 cm long, consisting of lemon-yellow flowers;
  • Orange Beauty - a plant with peduncles up to 1 m long and inflorescences of orange flowers;
  • Fire Flame - a plant with scarlet-red flowers;
  • berry knifofia Eskimo - a variety up to 1 m high with yellow lower flowers, and the upper flowers are painted in tones from orange to coral red.

In the photo: Berry Knifofia (Kniphofia uvaria)

Hybrid Knifofia (Kniphofia x hybrida)

Under this name, hybrid forms and varieties bred with the participation of berry knifofia are combined. Most often in the gardens you can find:

  • Abenzonne - a variety with peduncles up to 120 cm high with red upper flowers and yellow lower flowers;
  • Cardinal - the height of this plant is also 120 cm, the flowers are fiery red;
  • Burnox Triumph - a low variety with peduncles up to 60 cm and dense orange flowers;
  • Golden Skeeper - peduncles up to 120 cm tall with large inflorescences of bright yellow flowers;
  • Indiana - variety up to 1 m high with orange-red flowers;
  • Royal Standard - one of the oldest, but still popular varieties up to 1 m high, the inflorescences of which consist of yellow lower and scarlet-red upper flowers;
  • Prince maurito - variety up to 120 cm high with large brown-red inflorescences;
  • Theo - in height, this plant, abundantly blooming with orange-red inflorescences, reaches 1 m;
  • Rocket - peduncles up to 130 cm with large cinnabar-red inflorescences;
  • Knifofia hybrid Fleming Torch - a plant blooming with red-yellow inflorescences, reaching a height of only 60 cm.


  1. Read the topic on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the family Asphodelica
  3. List of all species on The Plant List
  4. More information on World Flora Online
  5. Information about Garden Plants
  6. Information on Perennial Plants
  7. Information about Herbaceous plants

Sections: Garden plants Perennials Herbaceous Flowering Asphodelic Plants on K


Most often found in gardens and parks berry knifofia (Kniphofia uvaria) and its varieties. Under natural conditions, this species grows in the Cape Province of South Africa. It has been known in culture since the beginning of the 18th century; this is the first species of the genus brought to Europe.

In countries with suitable climatic conditions, berry knifofia escapes from orchards and is successfully naturalized.

Currently, it can be found in natural plant communities in Spain, Turkey, USA (states of North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, California), Mexico. In Australia, it is considered a malicious weed.

It is a large plant, reaching a height of 1.5 m. A number of varieties can be even higher, 1.8-2 m. Narrow grayish-green leaves reach 50 cm in height. Dense cylindrical inflorescences up to 25 cm long. The buds are painted in coral red tones, the opened flowers are yellow or pale lemon yellow. Flowering begins in July and lasts about 2 months.

One of the best varieties of berry knifofia - “Nobilis". It is a powerful plant up to 2 m tall. The narrow, arcuate leaves resemble those of cereals. The inflorescences are lush, elliptical, red-orange. Only the lowest flowers turn orange-yellow.

1. Berry knifofia "Prince Igor"
2. Stem knifofia
3. Berry knifofia "Dingoon"

Plant care

Cultivation of knifophy does not require any special hassle. The difficulty lies only in preparing the plant for winter. Basic care includes weeding, mulching and timely watering, fertilizing twice a season.

Every 5 years, the plant requires division and reproduction of the bush with rosettes. At the end of flowering, the peduncles are cut off, and the leaves are tied in a bunch for the winter and covered with sawdust or leaf litter, coniferous spruce branches. Cover from above with any waterproof material.

But if there is little snow in winter or a wet winter, then the knifofia can die from freezing or from damping out. It is better to play it safe and transplant the plant into a container for the winter. Tie the leaves and place the container in a dry room with a constant temperature of 1-8 degrees. It will periodically need to moisten the soil. The plant is planted in open ground at the end of May. If there are sheltered plants in your garden, then you should gradually open them so that they get used to the sunlight. After the appearance of the first leaves, fertilizing is performed.

Reproduction of culture

The flower can be propagated both vegetatively and with the help of seeds. In the middle lane, the seeds do not ripen, so the culture is most often propagated vegetatively. Usually, the division of the bush is used, for which in late April - early May the bushes are dug up and carefully separate the daughter rosettes, which are formed in the axils of the lower leaves. Delenki are placed in pre-prepared planting pits filled with nutritious soil, watered well, shaded for the first time. When planting cniphophia, an interval of 30-40 cm is observed. The seedlings bloom in a year.

When growing knifofia from seeds, use commercially available planting material. Seeds are sown in March-April, for better germination they are covered with foil. After 20 days, seedlings appear, after which the film is removed, gradually accustoming the seedlings to room conditions. They dive in the presence of three true leaves; they are planted in a permanent place in July. Young plants bloom in 2-3 years.

Knifophies in garden design

Sometimes it is difficult to determine where and with whom they reveal themselves more fully, showing themselves from a more advantageous side. At the same time, the knifophies are so versatile that every summer resident can easily find a suitable place for them on the site.

Knifophies in garden design

They look equally harmonious by the pond and in the rocky garden. Placing these wonderful plants in rockeries has an additional plus (during the day the stones heat up, and at night they give off heat, reducing the temperature drop).

In mixborders, they often solo, overshadowing neighboring plants with spectacular abundant flowering.

Knifofia in the mixborder

Their partners can be both luxurious roses and more modest garden flowers. Both contrasting and nuanced combinations are great. For orange, yellow-red cniphophies, plants with blue and purple flowers, inflorescences - sage, catnip, and veronica will be ideal partners.

Knifofia with blue veronica

Knifophies are good at cutting, great in bouquets and floral arrangements.

As you can see, it is not difficult to grow bnifophytes, the main thing is to preserve them in the winter without losses. If you want to clarify something - ask in the comments. And do not be afraid to settle this charming beauty in your country house: with proper care, she will delight you with exotic flowering for many years.

Watch the video: Gardening. Planting DANGEROUS Flowers