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A Better Bloomer

Plants that are popular today may have been trendy 25 or more years ago. New and updated versions of some old favorites occasionally are introduced, such as ‘Echo Mango’ torch lily, Kniphofia uvaria, shown.

TORCH LILIES’ FLOWERS WERE KNOWN TO FADE FAST.  But Echo Mango, Echo Rojo, and Echo Duo are a new group of reblooming or ever-blooming torch lilies. Flowers emerge in early June and continue to form throughout the summer. Blooms last for some time, but for the most beautiful display, cut and remove spent flowers as soon as possible.

A STRIKINGLY BEAUTIFUL FLOWER RISES above 2-foot-long, bluish-green, sword-like leaves, giving this plant its maximum height of 36 inches. Torch lilies, also called red hot pokers, should be grown in full sun and prefer a site with excellent drainage, especially in winter. They are considered drought-tolerant, but watering during dry spells in the heat of summer will encourage better flowering.

THE PLANTS ARE BOTH RABBIT- AND DEER-RESISTANT, and the flowers attract hummingbirds, as their shape might suggest. Once plants are established, it is best to leave them undisturbed for peak performance every year.

ECHO MANGO’S FLOWERS ARE ORANGE-YELLOW; on Echo Rojo they are orange-red, and Echo Duo’s blooms are two-toned orange. Choose one or all three to make a bold summer statement in your garden and you will be rewarded.

SHELLY NOLD is a horticulturist and owner of The Plant Kingdom, 4101 Westport Road, Louisville, KY 40207.


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