Extremely showy and exotic-looking, Crocosmia produce decorative clumps of erect sword-shaped leaves and brilliant wands of fiery scarlet, red, orange, and yellow tubular flowers which bloom for 5-8 weeks from mid summer through mid fall. Easy to grow, they stand proud and bold provided some basic rules are respected.
1. Select The Right Site
- Best flowering occurs in full sun or partial shade. Crocosmia will survive in part shade but best flower production is obtained in full sun - except in hot summer climates where part shade will enable the flowers to last longer.
- Plant in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Crocosmia do not enjoy hot, dry sites.
- Choose a spot sheltered from cold drying winds.
2. Planting Your Crocosmia
- Crocosmia corms should be planted in spring after all danger of frost is gone.
- If conditions are cool or soil temperature is cold, delay the planting until the soil has warmed up.
- Plant your Crocosmia corms 2-3 in. deep (5-8 cm) and space them 6-8 in. apart (15-20 cm) when planted in groups - 18-24 in. away (45-60 cm) from the other plants.
- Set the Crocosmia corms with the pointy end facing up. Cover it and press the soil down around the roots and water the planting area thoroughly.
- Add a thick, dry, organic mulch to keep the soil moist and protect our crocosmias in winter.
- Water your crocosmias once weekly during the growing season, so the soil remains evenly moist.
- Remove spent blooms to encourage new blooms. Cut the stems back to where they meet the leaves.
- After blooming is over, keep the leaves so that the plant can put its energy back into its bulb for next summer’s blooming. The leaves give an energy charge to the bulb through photosynthesis and for this they need to keep their leaves!.
- Cut back the foliage almost to ground level when the leaves wither and die back.
- Propagate by division in spring just before growth starts.
- Crocosmia should only be divided every 3-4 years (in late summer or early fall), to restore vigor and increase flower production.
- Most Crocosmias are winter hardy in zones 6-9, so in these climate zones the corms can be left right in the ground. Some species, including Lucifer, are hardy in zone 5.
- If you live in a colder area and you want to save your corms for next spring, you may dig them up before the first frost and store them over winter before replanting them next spring. Not sure about your growing zone? Check here.
- Remove surplus soil, dry and then store in trays in a cool place - between 35°F and 45°F (2°C and 7°C).