Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lucifer

The most striking flowering plant we have blooming at the end of July is Crocosmia "Lucifer", which is a fiery red. There are many other cultivars of Crocosmia, mostly yellow and orange, but the majority are not as hardy as "Lucifer".





They grow from corms looking very much like gladiola corms, which you plant in the fall. The corms need some time to settle. The year after planting, they are not as vigorous and don't bloom as well. But once they are well established, they bloom profusely and multiply. The same is true if you move them. They will sulk a little the first year but then recover.



It is recommended to divide them every third year, but I do it less frequently. As I said above, they do not look quite as good the year after they have been moved. They are more sparse with fewer blooms.
They multiply quickly, and whenever I move them, I  never can get all of the corms and within a couple of years, if I let grow the corms that were missed, they produce a patch almost as big as I had before I moved them. This is what happened with the ones behind the bench below. I thought I had got them all 3 or 4 years ago and now, they are just as thick as they used to be.


You will notice that they do not bloom as profusely as the ones in the other photos. Behind the bench, they get about 6 hours of sunshine and manage well, but not as well as my other patch which is in full sun.  They are drought tolerant once established. Behind the bench they are in a raised bed which does not get watered.



They are deer and rabbit resistant and last several days as a cut flower. Although originally from South Africa, Crocosmia is listed as hardy to zone 6 but the cultivar "Lucifer" seem more resistant than others and is certainly hardy to zone 5, perhaps even zone 4. I have seen an unidentified orange cultivar succeed in my zone 5 area, but it was growing in a protected space. 

9 comments:

  1. Ours has just flowered...just in time for our flower show

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  2. One of my favourite garden plants Alain. I have a smaller orange version but not the dramatic red. I must fix that this autumn. Now I must decide where I can make room for it! Yours look wonderfully healthy.

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  3. Beautiful series of photos. Bonjour de Montreal, Quebec.

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    1. Thank you for your visit Linda. I am glad you like the pictures.

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  4. They are stunning. I've been reluctant to try them because I've heard from some sources that they spread like mad and, once they start doing that, they don't bloom nearly as well. That doesn't seem to be the case for you, though.

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  5. I don't have any Crocosmia ... you have a gorgeous patch of them. By the way, my son attended McGill for one year and loved Montreal ... as did we!

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  6. One of my favs and I have it and another orange variety in my garden. SUch a beautiful plant!

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  7. What gorgeous clumps you have! I look forward to mine reaching that size!

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  8. Nice! The colour is so vibrant.

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