Crocosmia: add bold colour to your borders with crocosmia

Photo of Crocosmia

This is a great plant to add bold splashes of colour to your garden. Its tall, arching stems carry vibrant red, orange or yellow flowers. It looks delicate but its wiry stems do not need staking and resist attempts of wind and rain to bash them down. Plant a few bulbs and your clump will grow into a large drift in no time.

The vivid colours of crocosmias look best against a backdrop of dark green or purple leaved plants or shrubs. Try them near lovely cotinus shrubs or a purple leaved hazel.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' is a great red flowered crocosmia. It has been awarded the RHS's AGM (Award of Garden Merit) for its vigour. Crocosmia 'Tangarine dream' is a very vibrant orange colour.

Crocosmia paniculata is the tallest crocosmia at 1.2m if its high drama you're after.

Crocosmias make excellent cut flowers, their wonderful colours add drama to your arrangements and flowering continues for more than a week after being cut.

Growing Guide for Crocosmia

The cheapest way to buy crocosmia (also known as montbretia) is as bulbs (corms) to plant in the autumn. These quickly divide giving you a good sized clump.

Plant in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. However mine grow perfectly well in heavy clay so have a go even if your soil is not great. They will generally do best in full sun.

If you have cold winters protect with straw in the winter but usually they are fairly hardy. If you plant them at least 3 to 4 inches deep this should protect them from any frosts you might have.

If the clump is getting congested or the plants are not flowering dig up and split into small clumps. Re-plant with some well-rotted compost added to the soil and water in.

If you are lucky and your crocosmias like their growing conditions you may find they self-seed providing you with new plants in different parts of the garden.

Companion plants for Crocosmia

The bright colours of crocosmias work well against a foil of purple leaves such as cotinus or purple hazel. They also go well in tropical-style gardens with cannas and banana plants for company.

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