How to Grow and Care for Crocosmia

Crocosmia

Quick Overview

Plant Type: Perennial bulb
Family: Iris
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Watering: Moderate
Colors:
Size: 2-4 feet
Hardiness Zones: 5 or 6 to 9
Soil Type: sandy loam
Soil pH: Neutral; 6.5-7.5
Propagation: Offsets
Toxicity: Undetermined

If you are a fan of bright and exotic-looking flowers, the Crocosmia is for you. These plants grow tall flowers that resemble swords. They may look difficult to maintain, but these flowers are easy to care for. Crocosmias are a bright and fun way to add color to your crop of yearly blooms.

Whether experienced or starting your first garden, these flowers are great for you. Growing Crocosmia is rather simple. These colorful blooms are easy to maintain and will add dimension to your garden.

Continue reading to learn more about these fun flowers!

Crocosmia

About the Crocosmia

The Crocosmia originated in South Africa and can grow tall. These flowers can be up to four feet tall. They spread roughly 12 to 18 inches. Their peak blooming happens in May and June. Yet, these flowers will continue to produce well into the summer. They need a large space as they grow large quickly. Some gardeners have found them to be invasive because of the rate they grow at.

How To Grow Your Crocosmia

As mentioned above, Crocosmia is a surprisingly easy flower to grow. They grow from corms and do best when planted in groups of 12 or more. Corms are like bulbs and do not need any special treatment.  The key to growing these flowers is planting them at the right time. After winter has passed, plant your corm in three inches of soil. Since they are summer blooms, planting them in the springtime is ideal. Be sure to avoid planting your corms if there is frost on the ground. When placing your corms in the ground, make sure the pointy side is facing up and cover it well with soil. Press on the roots and water well once they are in the soil.

Crocosmia

Should you plant your corms directly in the ground or in a container? The choice is up to you. You can use these bright flowers in pots to spice up outdoor areas in your home. When using more compact soil, planting in a container is recommended. You can also pack in your corms when planting in containers. When placing your corms directly in the dirt, you need to space them out well. These flowers should be about five feet apart when planted in the ground as opposed to a container.

Your Crocosmia will be happiest if you live in an area with a mild climate. The Crocosmia is native to South Africa, so the cooler the summer and the milder the winter the better. Making sure your corm is deep enough in the soil will help protect them in a harsher climate. Adding some mulch can also benefit your Crocosmia if you experience colder winters.

Crocosmia

Crocosmia Varieties

The most popular variation of Crocosmia is the Lucifer bloom. This flower is blood-red in color. The Lucifer variation was developed in 1966 and is the most recognizable of the variations. Other variations include the ‘Limpopo’, a pink-colored flower, and the ‘Columbus”, which is a yellow bloom.

Propagating the Crocosmia

Like planting your Crocosmia, propagating it is a simple task. Simply remove the offsets that form on the flower’s bulbs. Doing this benefits the plants. It allows more flowers to grow and keeps the plant happy. Be mindful that these plants grow very quick. If this becomes an issue, you can also dig up the corms in the spring to separate them by hand if they become overcrowded.

Red flower

Caring for the Crocosmia

Watering Your Crocosmia

Overwatering is a mistake made often by gardeners. The Crocosmia needs to be watered often but can become overwatered if you are not careful. During the bloom season, watering once a week is a good idea. You will want to add water to your Crocosmia when the top of its soil feels dry.

Pruning Your Crocosmia

Good news gardeners! This low-maintenance plant needs no pruning! Simply leave the foliage where it is after it has flowered to provide support for the next year’s growing season. Adding the Crocosmia to your garden will add color you can enjoy with little work involved. Take in the color while tending to your more high-maintenance blooms!

These flowers are self-cleaning. They will fall off when that time comes so you don’t have to prune them yourself. Once they fall, they release seed pods that will stick around until fall.

Red flower

Soil and Fertilizer

No need to bother with fancy soils for this plant. If you provide the Crocosmia with good drainage, the type of soil doesn’t matter much. It likes lean or rocky soil best for drainage reasons. If your soil is clay-based, planting the Crocosmia in a raised bed is recommended.

When you thought caring for this flower couldn’t get easier, it can! This bloom does not need to be fertilized. If it has too many nutrients, it can over bloom. This isn’t good for your Crocosmia, so avoid using any supplemental fertilizers.

Light and Climate

Crocosmia enjoys bright light. Planting in an area that sees direct sunlight is ideal. Avoid shady areas as the plant will flop in poor light. If you live in a hot climate, an area with afternoon shade will not cause straining. Finding an area with the perfect amount of direct sunlight is important when planting your Crocosmia.

If you live in a colder climate, planting your crocosmia in a sheltered area that gets enough sun is ideal. The extra shelter will help protect it from the elements. As long as your Crocosmia still gets enough sunlight from the shaded area.

Crocosmia thrives in dry climates. The milder the better. This plant can withstand heat and humidity but does not prefer it. With proper care, you can grow this flower in most conditions. Being mindful of sunlight and watering can bring success in various climates. However, if your Crocosmia gets too comfortable, it can overrun your garden. Those in the Pacific Northwest are most at risk of having Crocosmia take over as the climate is perfect for these flowers.

If you experience more harsh winters, you can dig up your corms to plant in spring. Make sure you dig them up before frost conditions arise. The crocosmia store well, so you can tuck them away until warmer weather occurs.

Crocosmia

Preventing Overcrowding

It’s important to divide your Crocosmia every two to three years. Since it grows so quickly, this is the best way to keep it happy. This plant can become overcrowded if not divided often. While these plants are easy to maintain, their biggest downfall is overcrowding. As long as you keep an eye on it, caring for your Crocosmias should be a breeze.

Disease and Infestation

The good news is these plants rarely experience disease or infestation. The biggest risk posed to your Crocosmia is spider mites. An infestation doesn’t occur often, but when it does, treatment is simple. You can prevent an infestation by regularly spraying your plant down with a hose or spray bottle. Caring for your Crocosmia is a simple task.

Though not considered pests, wildlife can cause headaches for gardeners. These flowers are deer and rabbit resistant, which can be appealing for those who live in an environment with these animals.

Crocosmia

Fun Facts About the Crocosmia

If you enjoy looking out into your yard and seeing pollinators buzzing about, these are the flowers for you. The Crocosmia attracts everything from hummingbirds to bees. Since these plants rarely see pest problems, you can enjoy watching the pollinators. Your mind will be at ease that the only bugs enjoying your plant are also pollinating it!

Crocosmias are members of the Iris family. Like their cousins, they have a tall green stem with bright flowers attached. They also have a light scent to them. Not only will they add a pop of color to your garden, but they will also lend a soft scent.

Do you enjoy bringing your outdoor blossoms indoors? These flowers are also great for cutting! A favorite for arrangements, snip your blooms for a fantastic addition to a vase. You will enjoy brightening up your indoor environment with the Crocosmias!

While you may be anxious, awaiting your blooms, it’s important to note that it can take about a year to see real growth. These colorful flowers are well worth the wait!

Takeaways

The Crocosmia is the perfect plant for inexperienced gardeners. If you are looking to spice up your garden without much work involved, these are the perfect plant for you. The Crocosmia looks and smells great without the demanding work some flowers need. If you are mindful of sunlight and watering, they won’t give you much trouble. They grow fast and tall, which can become invasive if they are in their favorite climate. Yet, they need no fertilization or pruning. Whether you’d like to grow them in a pot for your patio or directly into the ground, these flowers are perfect. They make a terrific addition to anyone’s garden!

If you found this information helpful, make sure to share it on social media! Send this link to your friend who needs a Crocosmia in their garden.