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How to Grow Crocosmia

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How to Grow Crocosmia

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Crocosmia flowers bloom in July and August. image by Rallycarter: Flickr.com

Overview

Crocosmia is a genus of flowering perennials native to southern Africa. They can be either evergreen or deciduous, depending on the variety and the climate. Crocosmia plants produce numerous ornamental flowers each year that are red, yellow or orange in color. They grow up to 2 feet in height and bloom during the months of July and August. Crocosmia requires low maintenance and can thrive in most temperate climates.

Step 1

Plant crocosmia corms during the spring in a location that receives full sun in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon. Spread 2 inches of organic compost over the planting site, and use a garden tiller to mix it into the soil to increase both drainage and fertility.

Step 2

Dig a hole about 3 inches deep, and place the corm directly into the hole with the pointed side facing up. Cover with soil and water thoroughly to compact the moist soil around the corm. Allow about 5 inches between other crocosmia corms.

Step 3

Water crocosmia once a week for the first six weeks of growth but only on weeks that don't receive more than 3 inches of rainfall. Reduce watering after the first six weeks to anytime the soil is dry and crumbly, about once every 10 to 14 days. Do not water during winter when the plant goes dormant.

Step 4

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding the crocosmia after it emerges from the ground. Leave approximately 3 inches between the stem of the plant and the beginning of the mulch layer to prevent stem rot and promote air circulation.

Step 5

Feed crocosmia using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK slow-release fertilizer, which will slowly release its nutrients over a long period of time. Fertilize once per year in early spring, just before the growing season starts.

Step 6

Cut back crocosmia to 3 or 4 inches above the crown in late fall, just before winter. This will help the plant prepare for winter, and it will re-emerge with fresh, new foliage the following spring. Cover crocosmia with evergreen boughs after pruning to protect it from the harsh weather. Remove the boughs in early spring to allow new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Garden tiller
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Evergreen boughs

References

  • Tesselaar Plant Care and Growing Guides: Crocosmia
  • Mid-Atlantic Gardener's Guide; André Viette, Mark Viette, Jacqueline Hériteau; 2003
  • Summer-Blooming Bulbs; Beth Hanson; 2001
Keywords: crocosmia, cocosmia plants, crocosmia corms

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.

Photo by: Rallycarter: Flickr.com