Best Crocosmia Varieties to Grow and How to Care 2023

Best Crocosmia Varieties to Grow and How to Care 2023

Please get to know the crocosmia, a beautiful plant, which, despite its strange name, has beautiful flowers of striking colors, which you will want to have at home when you meet it. This crocosmia plant is a member of the iris family and native to South Africa; its name comes from the Greek words “saffron, and smell.” It is a beautiful plant that decorates landscapes where it is planted with brightly colored sword-shaped flowers. 

If you want to have a spectacular garden, worthy of the envy of neighbors and passers-by, you need to plant the crocosmia plant in it so that the colors of dawn always accompany you; red, orange, and yellow are the flowers that will not only decorate your garden but will also offer you a subtle aroma, which becomes more intense as they dry.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Characteristic of crocosmia
  • 2 Classes of crocosmias exist
  • 2.1 Crocosmia lucifer
  • 2.2 Crocosmia severe sunrise
  • 2.3 Brilliant carmine crocosmia
  • 2.4 Crocosmia Emily Mckenzie
  • 2.5 Eastern star crocosmia
  • 2.6 Crocosmia coleton fishacre or Gerbe d’Or
  • 2.7 Crocosmia zealtan
  • 2.8 Crocosmia honey angels
  • 3 How to plant crocosmias at home
  • 3.1 Choosing between bulbs or seeds
  • 3.2 When to plant crocosmias
  • 4 Crocosmia Plant Care
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Characteristics of crocosmia

Crocosmias, also called montbretia in the UK, and copperheads in the US, are perennials that provide extensive branches of brilliant flowers that are shaped like a sword; that offer a colorful structure in the summer months to those who are fortunate enough to have them planted in their patios and gardens.

crocosmia sunbeam

This plant has a wide variety of species that can vary in size, color, and flowering times. However, they are all bred from South African species, making them exceptionally hardy plants you can have in your yard or garden with great confidence.

The varieties of crocosmia areas, which have darker leaves, tend to be less hardy than the others.

Crocosmia lucifer

Crocosmia is a small genus of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae. As we mentioned, it is native to the grasslands of southern and eastern Africa, extending from South Africa to Sudan; and completing with an endemic species in Madagascar.

These can be evergreen or deciduous perennials that grow as underground basal horns. It has alternate cauline and ensiform leaves in the shape of a sword, and the blades have a parallel grain.

Its margin is entire, with unusual horns forming vertical chains with the youngest specimens at the top; the oldest ones are buried more profoundly in the ground.

Montbretia

Crocosmia roots are contractile and creep deep where soil conditions allow. These chains are fragile and widely separated, which has allowed some crocosmia species to become invasive and difficult to control in the patio or garden of many houses and shopping centers.

Best Crocosmia Varieties to Grow and How to Care 2023

They have colorful inflorescences ranging from four to twenty vivid red and orange flowers superimposed on an erect, horizontally branching stem. The terminal inflorescence can have a single or a raceme, which blooms from early summer until fall. 

The flowers are sessile, like the calendula, in a flexuous arched tip, with fertile and hermaphroditic flowers; its stamens are all the same length, and the style branches are apically forked. Insects pollinate these plants, and birds like hummingbirds since their dehiscent capsules are much shorter than wide.

crocosmia and hummingbird

Crocosmia blooms on slender stems two feet long, and its flowers can appear between May and June, but the plant will continue to produce flowers throughout the summer. It is one of the best properties of this plant because many cut these flowers to use them in the design of interior arrangements. 

crocosmia leaves

These plants are resistant and require a lot of space for their growth, which is why they sometimes turn out invasive. About four hundred varieties of this plant have a slower spread rate; the green leaves can be wavy or pleated, making them a beautiful sight in the garden, even long before the plant flowers.

Kinds of crocosmias that exist

These South African plants do need full sun and good soil to do well; however, a good summer rain does them very well, and they often flower more prolifically in the following months; like the lattice index, both tend to get summer rains in their native habitat, followed by cold winters.

Most crocosmias thrive once planted in a sunny position, forming a tight clump and producing many flowers. But its habit varies greatly depending on the cultivar and its location. Crocosmias tend to grow wild in warmer areas, but if space is limited, this plant will be smaller.

In any case, this will depend on the species of crocosmia you have, among which are the following.

Crocosmia lucifer

Crocosmia lucifer

Alan Bloom, in the sixties, created the first true red crocosmia. This flowers in early July and is excellent with. The bright green pleated foliage is fantastic.

Las abundantes flores tubulares, vistosas y brillantes, aparecen en pleno verano sobre los tallos negros, ligeramente arqueados y escasamente ramificados de noventa centímetros de altura. Las hojas medio verdes de Crocosmia son plisadas y con forma de espadas.

This plant enjoys a una ubicación cálida y orientada al sur; no es recomendable que esté cerca de una pared donde reciba demasiado calor. On the contrary, it mustplicarse una capa gruesa de mantillo en invierno. Las plantas también requieren un suelo bien drenado, y dividir los macizos en primavera para mantener el vigor de la planta. 

This plant can measure between thirty and ninety centimeters; it develops very well in full sun and partial shade; As it requires medium humidity, its maintenance is relatively simple.

 One of its main characteristics is that it is a powerful attractant for hummingbirds, thanks to its striking flowers and spectacular foliage, which commonly occurs in summer. In this video, see the beautiful color of the crocosmia lucifer in its natural habitat.

crocosmia Severn sunrise

This plant is a cousin of some classes of gladioli; they are hardy plants that produce mounds of sword-shaped green leaves with tall, arching spikes of funnel-shaped flowers that appear in mid to late summer.

severe sunrise

Several named varieties are now available in a range of warm colors. This variety has bright orange-red flowers with a yellow eye that makes an impressive contrast.

The flowers are excellent cut flowers, and the clumps should be divided every three years in spring.

The principal evils to which this plant is exposed are spider mites and fungi in the foliage. In cooler regions, corms can be stored as gladioli, wintered in pots, or covered with straw outside. Like the crocosmia lucifer, this plant grows very well in full sun and semi-shade, in regular or sandy soil, of the clay type. 

It also blooms in the summer and early fall;  It requires moderate humidity to offer colorful flowers and intense green foliage. This plant can measure between seventy-five and ninety centimeters, with a medium growth rate.

Brilliant carmine crocosmia

This plant belongs to the Iridaceae family, it is a deciduous corporeal perennial, and its leaves have the particular shape of a sword; it also has branched spikes containing very striking funnel-shaped flowers, but very colorful.

bright carmine

Crocosmia crocosmiiflora is also known as a glossy upright perennial, only reaching two feet in height, but boasting beautiful deep carmine-pink flowers with a contrasting bright red center.

From the striking color of its flowers, this crocosmia receives the name carmine. It must be between eight and ten centimeters deep in moderately humid soil but rich in humus and organic fertilizer to plant this variety.

The bulbs of this plant must be divided regularly to maintain vigor and strength of this plant. It is propagated by seeds grown in containers in a cold frame; planting on banks and slopes next to rose bushes and shrubs is recommended since this plant does not require pruning. It is a very resistant plant, free from diseases and pests, making it ideal for growing in the home garden. 

Crocosmia Emily McKenzie

Also known as Lady Mackenzie, this plant belongs to the Iridaceae family and the perennial crocosmia genus; It is perennial and deciduous, and its leaves, like the previous varieties, also have the particular sword shape that distinguishes them in their genre.

Crocosmia Emily McKenzie

Crocosmia Emily Mckenzie has beautiful wraparound flowers and is a plant that grows compact and upright, up to two feet tall, with fully erect, narrow leaves. It has dense arching spikes that end in wonderful deep orange flowers with a reddish-purple throat, from which various purple buds emerge in late summer.

This plant grows in moderately fertile soil, rich in smoke and organic fertilizer, which must be humid but very well-drained because this waterlogging can rot the roots of this plant in a few days.

Like most crocosmias, it develops in full sun or semi-shade; but it can survive in winter and periods of prolonged frost. This plant is propagated by the division of its bulbs in spring, just before growth begins. It is widely recommended for planting on banks and hillside borders and in the gardens of houses, apartments, and shopping centers.

Like the brilliant carmine crocosmia, it is a very resistant plant, which does not require pruning, is free of diseases and pests, and requires very little care for the beautiful flowers it offers to those who are fortunate to have it, among your favorite plants.

eastern star crocosmia

Despite also being a crocosmia, this plant has nothing to do with the crocosmia lucifer; also called the star of the east, it is a robust plant, without being aggressive, showing beautiful green leaves which hold its flowers vertically.

Foliage remains upright and in good condition until fall, which is not always the case with other cultivars. The flower stalks are also exceptionally sturdy, and it has to be because they bear some of the giant flowers of any crocosmia, almost four inches in diameter.

Deep orange flower buds emerge like lipstick tubes of protective bracts in late summer. Its flowers open wide with a glow, soft orange highlighted by a pale center, for a surprisingly long flowering period.

It is a bonus for crocosmia lovers, as the flowers blend perfectly with the other hot colors of late summer and then blend seamlessly with the warm oranges and yellows of fall.

It is a plant that is not as resistant as the previous ones, so care must be taken in seasons of solid and prolonged frosts. Mites also tend to attack this plant when it is planted in too much shade and with extreme humidity since it can rot its roots in less time than you think.

Crocosmia coleton fishacre or Gerbe d’Or

This plant is a lovely variety, which clusters together to form an excellent display of apricot yellow flowers, standing out against the dark olive brown leaves.

Best Crocosmia Varieties to Grow and How to Care 2023

Crocosmia Coleton Fishacre

It, like other species, is native to South Africa and is one of the best perennials of the crocosmias. They prefer full sun, although they also do very well in partial shade, thriving in soil retaining moisture.

It should be planted at least four inches deep, dividing its bulbs every three or four years to ensure a good supply of its delicate flowers. Depending on the variety, this plant can produce three or more growing shoots in a single season, each of which will form a new plant the following season.

crocosmia zeal tan

It is another of the crocosmia varieties, with brilliant orange and red flowers, a well-marked cut, a golden throat shape, and beautiful smooth leaves. Also of South African origin, it is one of the best perennials of the species, and they exhibit their most extraordinary splendor in the summer and autumn months. 

Crocosmia Zeal Tan

This type of crocosmia prefers to grow in full sun and part shade; It requires moist, well-drained soil and should be planted at least four inches deep. It is a plant that spreads very quickly since three new plants can be obtained from just one of its bulbs in the following season.

Best Crocosmia Varieties to Grow and How to Care 2023

For this reason, in some countries, this plant is considered a pest due to its excessive growth, and since it does not require much care, it can grow wildly in any soil. It also tends to thrive very well when planted in pots,  but it is recommended to cut the dried leaves and flowers to encourage a new flowering and protect them very well when frost arrives until it is planted in the ground.

crocosmia honey angels

It is a compact variety with many small, smooth, tubular flowers that are lemon-yellow in summer, borne on apple-green leaves. It thrives in direct sun and moist, well-drained soil.

crocosmia honey angels

This plant grows in moderately fertile soil, rich in smoke and organic fertilizer, which must be humid but very well-drained because this waterlogging can rot the roots of this plant in a few days.

Like most crocosmias, it develops in full sun or semi-shade; but it can survive in winter and periods of prolonged frost. This plant is propagated by the division of its bulbs in spring, just before growth begins. It is widely recommended for planting on banks and hillside borders and in the gardens of houses, apartments, and shopping centers.

Like the crocosmia zeal tan, it is a very resistant plant, which does not require pruning, is free of diseases and pests, and requires very little care for the beautiful flowers it offers to those who are fortunate enough to have it among your favorite plants.

How to plant crocosmias at home

If you are interested in gardening but lack green space, you should choose flowers or plants that are abundant and hardy or difficult to kill. It ensures that your gardening efforts are successful. If flowers are your weakness, consider planting bulbs because they bloom more quickly than the same flowering plants grown from seed.

Crocosmia for the garden

Of course, the crocosmia, native to South Africa, is an excellent choice because it is a profuse flowering plant, and if cared for properly, it can provide you with flowers for years to come.

Choosing between bulbs or seeds

We must first choose between bulbs and seeds since we can propagate our plant in both ways. But it would help if you kept in mind that the plants that are achieved through the division of bulbs not only grow faster but also flower sooner than those that are sown through seeds.

orange crocosmia

These have the advantage that they can be relocated throughout the flowering seasons rather than digging up and replanting in different places. But if you prefer to plant the plants with seeds, you must follow a different process since every three or four years, the plants are dug up, and the roots are separated into bulbs, so you have the opportunity to have many more plants. And when we have more plants, the chances of having a colorful garden all year round are greater.

When to plant crocosmias

To plant the seeds, it is recommended to make a seed tray, where they should be placed two centimeters deep, in a substrate that is kept dry in the open air, and at the end of spring; but if you are going to plant them directly in the ground, it is best to do it ten centimeters deep, in well-drained soil, since we must remember that too much water standing in water can rot the roots of our plant. 

potted crocosmia

If you plan to plant your crocosmia in the ground, you need to find an area that drains well after it rains and gets full sunlight. To determine if a specific site drains well, look at the location five to six hours after heavy rainfall. If you don’t see water still pooling in the area, it means it drains well enough.

If your desired site does not drain well enough for crocosmia, you can add organic material, such as peat moss or organic compost, to improve the soil’s drainage capabilities. Crocosmia also grows well in pots and other containers; you have to ensure that it contains several holes that guarantee good drainage to the land.

How to divide crocosmia

Crocosmia lucifer

It would help if you planted crocosmia bulbs during flower fall so they will bloom during the following spring season. For this reason, if you plan to grow your crocosmia from seed, you should transplant the seedlings in late spring. 

You only need to water the soil when planting if the soil is dry. When transplanting seedlings, ensure the stem is above the soil line and leave four inches or more between seedlings.

How to get crocosmia bulbs and seeds

Crocosmia, members of the iris family, are beautiful flowering plants that tend to have red, orange, or yellow flowers. They are simple to grow but beautiful, so they are straightforward to obtain, and you don’t have to invest much money. Even if gardening is not your forte, this is such a noble and easy-care plant that success is guaranteed if you decide to grow it.

yellow crocosmia

You can find crocosmia bulbs and seeds, as well as everything you need to plant them, at any nursery in the area where you live or at specialty stores. You can also take advantage of technology and buy your seeds online.

To find exactly what you’re looking for, enter keywords into the search box on any page and click the search button. Once the search results are loaded, browse the results until you find the perfect listing or use the filters to refine your search results, and then you can purchase seeds of any species you desire. 

Crocosmia Plant Care

The crocosmia plant mainly requires water, like the clematis recta. However, special care must be taken not to overwater because, as we mentioned before, this could rot the plant’s roots.

This plant requires the use of manure and fertilizer if the quality of the soil is poor, but as far as possible, it should be rich and healthy; It is also necessary to place a liquid fertilizer every three weeks, such as earthworm humus so that the flowers show their maximum splendor. 

Crocosmia

In autumn, once the crocosmia has stopped blooming, the soil level must be removed to prepare it for the next season, placing new soil and organic compost that we can prepare at home. 

If you live in a cold climate, cover the pots with a thick layer of mulch to prevent them from freezing during the winter. If you follow these simple steps, you can enjoy a plant that does not require as much care but can offer you beautiful flowers for much of the year. 

If you do not have a very sunny space, you can plant the crocosmia in a semi-shade, but ensure that the soil it produces does not get too soggy. The good idea is to grow it in the shade of another plant so that it can feed on its shadow and share the soil’s moisture.

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