Crocosmia are summer blooming bulbs with brightly-colored flowers on wiry, arching stems. The buds open one-by-one from the bottom up and are magnets for hummingbirds. Crocosmia are related to gladiolas and have similar, sword-like foliage.
Plant crocosmia bulbs in spring for flowers in mid to late summer. In most climates, crocosmia is a perennial and the plant will return to bloom again year after year.
START WITH A BETTER BULB
It’s easy to see the difference in quality when you compare two crocosmia bulbs side by side. After being harvested, the bulbs (corms) are graded by size. Large bulbs (like ours on the left) grow into big plants that will give you a more beautiful display of foliage and flowers than smaller-sized bulbs (on the right).
Here's how to get your crocosmia off to a great start:
SHADE AND SUN: Crocosmia will grow in partial shade, but the plants are stronger and produce more flowers when they are grown full sun.
ZONE: All crocosmias are winter hardy in zones 6-9. Some species, including Lucifer, are hardy in zone 5. If you are concerned about hardiness, treat crocosmia as you would gladiolus. Dig the bulbs up after the first light frost and store them indoors for winter. Reference the USDA hardiness zone map HERE.
WHEN TO PLANT: Crocosmia bulbs should be planted outdoors in spring. They dislike cold soil and may not sprout until the soil is relatively warm.
WHERE TO PLANT CROCOSMIA
FLOWERBEDS AND BORDERS: These brightly-colored flowers add late summer excitement to perennial gardens. Even when the flowers are not in bloom, the plant’s upright foliage adds an attractive vertical element.
CUTTING GARDENS: Crocosmia are excellent cut flowers. Their arching stems and brightly-colored blossoms are popular with floral designers. To ensure you have plenty of stems for cutting, consider planting crocosmia bulbs in a cutting garden or even in a vegetable garden.
LANDSCAPING: Crocosmia look attractive growing in front of a wall or against a fence. They are also good companions for ornamental grasses and flowering shrubs.
PLANTING IS AS EASY AS 1-2-3
1. Loosen the soil 6” deep. Then dig a planting hole 3-4” deep.
2. Set several bulbs into each hole, placing them about 3” apart
3. Cover and water lightly
CARING FOR CROCOSMIA AFTER THEY BLOOM
Once the flower clusters are completely spent, cut the stems back to where they meet the foliage and allow the leaves to continue growing.
Over time, crocosmia often form large clumps and the bulbs may become overcrowded. If this happens, flower production may decrease. To restore vigor, dig and divide the clumps in late summer or early fall.