Crocosmia Lucifer produces a fiery red flower from corms. Its delicate bloom is presented in racemes—unbranched clusters—that arise from June to August. Crocosmia has slender green grass-like foliage 2 to 4 feet tall. The plant is native to South Africa and a relative of gladiolus with similar growth characteristics. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5 to 9, crocosmia will spread over several seasons and form an even larger clump. The flowers give way to small round seed clusters which are easy to plant and grow. Seedlings will not flower for at least two years.
Things You'll Need
- Seed flat
- Potting soil
- Crocosmia seed
- Plant mister
- Insecticidal soap
Start the seed indoors seven weeks before the expected date of the last frost. Fill a seed flat with potting soil and place the seeds 1 inch apart on the surface of the soil. Sprinkle compost lightly over the seeds and mist well with a plant mister.
Move the flat to a room with a temperature of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the flat damp but not soggy. Germination can take 30 to 60 days. Move the flats outdoors once temperatures are 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night, even if they haven't germinated.
Grow the sprouted seeds in the flats until they are 5 to 7 inches tall. Prepare a well-drained bed in which to transplant the seedlings. Mix 3 inches of compost and 1 inch of sand into the soil to a depth of 5 to 8 inches. Rake the bed free of debris.
Plant the seedlings deeply enough in soil to allow for extra support when the sword-like growth gets taller. Provide average moisture to the plants. Crocosmia are low-maintenance plants. Flowers should be cut back after they are finished blooming to prevent the spread of seeds.
Watch for spider mites, which are common among Crocosmia Lucifer plants. Their presence are more noticeable in the hotter periods of summer. Use an insecticidal soap to combat the pests.
Save seeds for the following year by cutting them off the plant in late summer or early fall. Place the seeds in a plastic baggie and save them until spring.
Mulch the plants with 3 to 4 inches of organic material in cold climates.
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