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Montbretia Crocosmia

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
kroh-KOZ-mee-ah
Description

Derived from the Greek words for 'saffron' and 'smell', crocosmia blooms emit a subtle scent that will increase when the dried stems are soaked in hot water.  

Crocosmia is a perennial bulb that performs best when planted in full sun.  In hotter climates, some afternoon shade will allow the blooms to last longer.  Locate in an area that is also protected from hot, dry wind.  Water to maintain even moisture in your soil, once per week in the growing season should be sufficient.  

The flowers begin to open at the bottom of the spray, and continue to open in succession from the bottom upwards.  When planting in a container, crocosmia fills the 'thriller' portion of a 'spiller', 'thriller', and 'filler' arrangement.  Ensure that proper drainage is provided when choosing a container.  

After blooming, cut the stems back to where they meet the leaves.  This will help promote new blooms.  Allow the leaves to remain, as they will provide energy into the underground bulb to ensure blooms in the next year.  Once the leaves wither and die, cut to ground level.  

Propagation is done through division, and should be performed in the early spring every 3 to 4 years to prevent overcrowding and aid in flower production.  Over time, they may become invasive, however, there are varieties that are considered less invasive.  When grown in the optimum hardiness zones, the bulbs can remain in the ground for the following year.  In cooler zones, the bulbs can be dug up, cleaned, then stored in a cool dry location to be planted the next spring after the chance of frost has passed.  Allowing the soil and outside temperatures to warm up before planting will make the bulbs sprout quicker.  Plant to a depth of 5 in. (12.5 cm).  Semi-hardy, injured below 28 degrees F (-2 degrees C).  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Spider mites can be an issue, however, hosing the foliage down with a strong spray from your hose will help to dislodge the mites and make the environment unattractive.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Culzean Pink'
    Pink flowers
  • 'Emberglow'
    Red flowers
  • 'Jenny Bloom'
    Yellow flowers
  • 'Lucifer'
    Most hardy cultivar, Red flowers
  • 'Meteor'
    Golden-orange flowers
  • 'Paul's Best Yellow'
    Yellow flowers
  • 'Red King'
    Orange-red flowers with a hint of yellow
  • 'Scorchio'
    Orange flowers
'Culzean Pink', 'Emberglow', 'Jenny Bloom', 'Lucifer', 'Meteor', 'Paul's Best Yellow', 'Red King', 'Scorchio'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#bulb#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#corms#showy leaves#rabbit resistant#well-drained soil#summer bulbs#cutting garden#arrangements#butterfly friendly#dry soils intolerant#heat intolerant#clay soils intolerant#thriller#container plant#wet soils intolerant#butterflies#bees#container#butterfly#corm
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Culzean Pink'
    Pink flowers
  • 'Emberglow'
    Red flowers
  • 'Jenny Bloom'
    Yellow flowers
  • 'Lucifer'
    Most hardy cultivar, Red flowers
  • 'Meteor'
    Golden-orange flowers
  • 'Paul's Best Yellow'
    Yellow flowers
  • 'Red King'
    Orange-red flowers with a hint of yellow
  • 'Scorchio'
    Orange flowers
'Culzean Pink', 'Emberglow', 'Jenny Bloom', 'Lucifer', 'Meteor', 'Paul's Best Yellow', 'Red King', 'Scorchio'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#bulb#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#corms#showy leaves#rabbit resistant#well-drained soil#summer bulbs#cutting garden#arrangements#butterfly friendly#dry soils intolerant#heat intolerant#clay soils intolerant#thriller#container plant#wet soils intolerant#butterflies#bees#container#butterfly#corm
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Crocosmia
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Landscape
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Sudan to S. Africa and Madagascar
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. The seedpods provide food for birds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Bulb Storage:
    Store corms in peat or vermiculite at 35-41 degrees F(2-5 degrees C)
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Description:
    The seedpods that form after flowering are enjoyed by birds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Beautifully colored spikes of trumpet or tubular shaped flowers will provide a steady presence in your garden from mid-summer into the fall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The sword-shaped leaves are attractive in the garden. They can be pleated or have a ribbed or rippled effect.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits