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Crocosmia Planting Guide

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Gladiolus' Hardy Cousin
Crocosmia

A single glance at the plant forms of glads and crocosmia leaves no question as to whether these are related. (Absolutely they are.) But these cousins certainly approach life differently. Glads are belle of the ball types, with kaleidoscope blooms and flowers festooned with wild patterns and ruffles. Crocosmia stick to the yellow-orange-red side of the color wheel and deliver a concentrated, straight-forward presentation with glacefully arched spray of blossoms. Crocosmia are also tougher when it come to winter temperatures, weathering zone 5 or zone 6 chills, depending on the variety. While these cousins are different, but both are beautiful, each earning its place in the summer garden. See for yourself.





Outdoor Beds
  1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2"-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Crocosmia will not survive in soggy settings.
  2. Site your crocosmia where they'll receive full sun.
  3. Plant the bulbs (corms, actually) 2"-3" deep and 8"-10" apart. Place them with the pointy end facing up.
  4. After planting, water your crocosmia generously to settle the soil around the corms. Roots and sprouts will form in a few weeks, depending on soil and air temperatures. If temperatures are still cool in your area, wait until they warm before planting. Crocosmia need heat to get them going and can be slow to sprout.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut crocosmia flowers for bouquets. The arched sprays add colorful highlights and varied flower forms to arangements. Snipping flowers will not hurt your plants.
  6. After blossoming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place, don't cut it off. The leaves gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year's show. Water as needed. Leaves may be removed when they yellow.
  7. Your crocosmia will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle in spring.
Planters, Pots, Tubs and Urns
  1. Fill your containers with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes; crocosmia corms must not sit in waterlogged soil or they risk rotting.
  2. Feel free to mix crocosmia with other plants in the same container. Just keep in mind that all must have the same light and water needs.
  3. Plant the corms 2"-3" deep and 8" apart. Place them with the pointy end facing up.
  4. After planting, water your crocosmia generously to settle the soil around the corms. Roots and sprouts will form in a few weeks, depending on soil and air temperatures. If temperatures are still cool in your area, wait until they warm before planting. Crocosmia need heat to get them going and can be slow to sprout.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut crocosmia flowers for bouquets. The arched sprays add colorful highlights and varied flower forms to arangements. Snipping flowers will not hurt your plants.
  6. After blossoming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place, don't cut it off. The leaves gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year's show. Water as needed. Leaves may be removed when they yellow.
  7. Your crocosmia will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle in spring.
Growing Tips
  1. Important - The growing tip of a crocosmia corm is sensative. Identify this area and try not to touch it. Bumping or bruising it can make the corm less likely to sprout.
  2. Crocosmia can be slow to sprout, sometimes taking a number of weeks to do so. Be patient. And see planting tip above.




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