I recently hosted a potluck for Master Gardeners at my home (talk about peer pressure!) and the most asked about flowers in the garden were the crocosmia. The variety I grow is ‘Lucifer’ which is bright red, blooms in July and reaches a height of about 4′. They are especially striking planted toward the rear of the flower bed with yellow or white flowers in the foreground. They make great cut flowers adding a lovely arching form to bouquets. But the best thing of all is that they are silly easy to grow and multiply!
Crocosmia Growing Tips:
Plant: These South African native bulbs (corms, actually) like well-drained soil. In spring (also fall in warm winter areas) set corms 2″ deep, 3″ apart in full sun to part sun. They are hardy to zone 5 and will reappear each spring. They are also good in pots.
Propagate: When foliage dies back, dig up corms, divide and replant. ‘Lucifer’ also self sows seed if the spent blooms are left on the plant to ripen.
Care: Do not over water as corms can rot in soggy ground. They seem to bloom well whether or not I fertilize and are virtually pest free. Once bloom is finished, leave foliage until it browns and withers as it is producing food for the corms for next year’s bloom.