Ubiquitous Crocosmia

Bright orange blooms of Crocosmia are showing up on most every garden tour on blogs I read.
If you google for Crocosmia, you get a host of vendors praising its best qualities: vibrant, full sun to part shade, actinomorphic *, easy to grow, arching sword-like stems, vivid, attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.
If you google for ‘Crocosmia is a thug’ you get dozens of gardeners who agree that it is a thug because of the tendency to multiply by both stolons and seed but they grow it anyway despite its tendency to flop on its neighbors, like those above that flopped on Begonias. The stake didn’t help because I failed to tie it up.
A member of the Iris family, Crocosmia grows from a corm, like a tiny gladioli bulb. As new corms form, they get closer and closer to the soil surface and old plants tend not to bloom. The fix is to yank ’em out and plant deeper.
Crocosmia in late Winter here.
At the end of last March, while we waited for Azaleas to put on the Really Big Show, I though the grass-like green of Crocosmia was fresh and pretty, a foil for the pinks of Spring. Not long after that, I was marking great swaths for the mower to take out and pulling out handfuls.
As it grows tall and leggy, the plant gets less attractive but
the blooms, oh the blooms.
It helps to have something sturdy like Cannas for support.
In case I forget why I really let Crocosmia grow:
Butterflies like it.

* Actinomorphic: radially symmetrical, which merely means individual blooms have identical petals, spaced evenly.



  1. Do you have a problem with rust? For the last two years mine are covered in rust.

    • Nell Jean

       /  July 31, 2014

      I’ve never seen rust on Crocosmia. Do you also grow gladioli, the same rust is specific to plants in the Iridaceae. I’ll start watching for it. Corms coming out of south Florida may be suspect.

  2. beautiful color…would brighten any area!

  3. I’m thinking of potting it up so that I can control it’s spread.

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