What we love about growing crocosmia
- Summer blooming bulbs with exotic, brightly colored flowers!
- Hummingbird attractor
- Tall, easy growing perennial
- Thrives in full sun or partially shaded areas
Your guide to growing the best crocosmia
Native to the grasslands of southern and eastern Africa, crocosmia is a magnificent plant to add to your yard for a vibrant burst of color. Also known as montbretia, the genus name is derived from the Greek words krokos, meaning saffron, and osme, meaning odor. This is due to the fact that the dried leaves of crocosmia have a smell that resembles saffron, especially when immersed in hot water. There are several varieties of crocosmia, however, Lucifer continues to be the most popular. This variety has blood-red flowers that hummingbirds find simply irresistible to pass by.
Crocosmia blooms are produced on long, slender stems that reach two feet or more in length. Typically, the flowers first appear in May or June, but the plant will continue to produce blooms throughout the summer. For a dramatic effect, plant crocosmia in mass, or use as a focal point in garden beds and borders. Regardless of the design you decide on, these magical plants are sure to add interest and provide a great addition to a pollinator garden. The long stems are also perfect for cutting and using in flower arrangements.
Caring for crocosmia plants
When preparing to plant crocosmia, you'll want to look for a location with well-draining soil and full sun (six hours a day). Crocosmia will not survive in standing water, so it is crucial to choose your planting location carefully. If needed, amend the soil with organic matter, such as peat moss, compost, or composted manure. Consider raising the level two to three inches to improve drainage. Plant the corms three inches deep and six to eight inches apart, with the pointy ends facing up. Crocosmia plants require regular watering, but be careful not to overwater them. Instead, water when the top of the soil feels dry. Propagation is possible by removing small offsets that form on the bulbs. Once planted, little care is needed. Crocosmia can stay in the ground year-round in all but the harshest of climates, cheerfully reblooming for many years to come.
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for crocosmia, see the Crocosmia Bulbs Planting Guide.