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Position – Full sun or part shade
Soil – Moist, well-drained
Flowering Period – July, August and September
Hardiness – Hardy
Crocosmia are deciduous, cormous perennial plants, native to South Africa and close relatives of the Iris family. The modern name Crocosmia comes from the Greek words for saffron and smell, Krokos and Osme. They were first brought back in the 1800s from the grasslands of South Africa so will add an exotic feel with which can be brought into the home as cut flowers too. Vertical, sword-shaped and often fragrant leaves adorn branching stems with glorious spikes of funnel-shaped blooms that also have a subtle and exquisite scent. They are best suited to flower beds and borders within cottage and informal garden settings. You should expect to see Crocosmia grow to an approximate height of between 1-1.5m (3-5’) and a spread of between 10-50cm (4-20”).
Crocosmia are best planted in moist, well-drained soil of loam, chalk, clay and sand within an acidic, alkaline or neutral PH balance. Some varieties are supplied as corms during the spring. These can be planted directly into the ground; however, you may wish to add a layer of grit beneath individual corms to improve drainage. Plant at a depth that twice the height of the bulb, with the point facing upwards. Occasionally they can be supplied as young plants or pots. In this case, you would need to plant Crocosmia so that the top of the plug or pot is level with the native soil. Water thoroughly and deeply to settle Crocosmia into place.
Feed Crocosmia with a general fertiliser during spring to promote healthy flower and foliage growth. Once established, rainwater should suffice unless during periods of drought. Deadhead spent flowers once they have gone over but leave the foliage in place, undertaking a tidy up during the spring to protect them over the winter months.
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