Crocosmia, finding its way back into gardens

Crocosmia flower opening up

Crocosmia is a bulb flower that is making a true comeback in our gardens.

Core crocosmia facts

Name – Crocosmia
Family Iridaceae
Type bulbous flower or perennial

Height 24 to 48 inches (60 to 120 cm)
Exposure full sun, part sun
Soil ordinary but well drained

Flowering June to September

As easy to grow as it is beautiful, it has a touch of gladiolus-look-alike that is very interesting.

Planting crocosmia

The best case is for crocosmia to be planted in fall or in spring for it to bloom in the following summer.

  • Plant the crocosmia bulbs 4 inches (10 cm) deep in the sun in a spot where it gets hot in summer.
  • Crocosmia likes well drained soil and shouldn’t be buried too deep.
  • Keep sufficient spacing of about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) between neighboring plants.
  • Let the rhizomes stick out here and there for the sun to shine on them directly.
  • It is nicer to plant crocosmia in groups of several specimens.

Every 3 years, divide the bunches and separate the bulbs for the base to regenerate.

  • It is best to divide them in summer.
  • Pull the entire crown out of the ground with a spade.
  • Cleanly slice the bunch in two with a very sharp knife.
  • Replant the new crocosmia bunch in an appropriate location.
  • Water abundantly.

Sowing crocosmia

If sowing, best to sow in pots in September-October.

  • You can leave them outdoors, under some type of shelter, all winter long.
  • Blooming will only occur 2 to 3 years after the sowing.
  • You’ll proceed to transplant them directly in the ground as soon as the first leaves have sprouted.

Pruning and caring for crocosmia

Crocosmia is a very easy perennial to care for and generally doesn’t require any care when it is properly settled in.

  • Weed often around it so as to keep weeds from lording it over the rhizomes.
  • Remove wilted flowers as they die off, but keep the leaves until the very end of their yellowing, usually until September.
    Crocosmia leaves must be kept connected to the roots for the plant to build up its stocks for the following blooming.
  • Remove weeds that grow amidst the plant leaves to free the rhizomes.
  • No need to water because the plant doesn’t need it.

Crocosmia in winter

Both in pots or in the ground, crocosmia holds to freezing on the condition that the freezing be neither too cold, nor too long.

In case of long, harsh winters, you must absolutely protect your crocosmia bulbs.

  • A good layer of mulch is enough if temperatures never drop below 23°F (-5°C).
  • If it gets any colder, though, you’ll have to pull them out and bring them in for cover.

Learn more about crocosmia

Native to South Africa, crocosmia displays beautiful colored bunches that tend to grow thicker and thicker as seasons repeat.

Particularly easy to care for, it even resists mild winter frosts, as long as they aren’t too cold, 23°F (-5°C), nor don’t last too long.
Certain varieties are even hardy down to 5°F (-15°C) if the soil isn’t waterlogged in winter.

Leaves are a beautiful luscious green while its flowers grant us with warm, shimmering colors ranging from yellow to red and orange. It used to be called Montbretia.

Smart tip about crocosmia

The lifespan of a crocosmia can reach anywhere from 5 to 20 years.

To ensure it lasts a generation, offer it bulb-plant organic fertilizer every year after the blooming.