How to Grow Crocosmia Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Montbretia, Copper Tip, and Falling Star

Although Crocosmia are half hardy bulbs, they are usually grown as annuals by gardeners.

They have leaves that look like swords (ensiform). These these carry inflorescences that have red or orange funnel like flowers.

Crocosmia by Lizjones112.

Crocosmia comes into bloom in the summer months.

They make ideal border plants.

Crocosmia by

Common names for Crocosmia include Montbretia, Falling Star, and Copper tip.

Commonly Grown Crocosmia Species Photographs and Plant Identification

Crocosmia aurea

Crocosmia aurea
Crocosmia aurea (Falling Stars / Valentine Flower / Montbretia), photograph by Bernard DUPONT; CC.

Crocosmia masoniorum

Crocosmia masoniorum syn. Tritonia masoniorum

Crocosmia masoniorum
Crocosmia masoniorum (Giant Montbretia), photograph by Dinesh Valke; CC.

Crocosmia paniculata

Crocosmia paniculata
Crocosmia paniculata (Aunt Eliza), photograph by peganum; CC.

Crocosmia pottsii

Crocosmia pottsii
Crocosmia pottsii (Potts' Montbretia), picture by peganum; CC.

Commonly Grown Crocosmia Cultivars

Crocosmia Lucifer

Crocosmia Lucifer
Crocosmia 'Lucifer' cultivar, picture by Rudoni Productions; CC.

Crocosmia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Copper Tip, Falling Star, Montbretia, Antholyza, Curtonus.
Life Cycle: Half hardy bulb commonly grown as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 24 to 72 inches (60 to 180 cm).
Native: South Africa.

Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 7 to 10.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Red, orange, pink, apricot. Sub-opposite flowers along a stem. Raceme-like.
Foliage: Cauline leaves. Parallel veined.

Sow Outside: cover seeds. Autumn or early spring. Bulbotuber (corm): 5 to 6 inches (12 to 15cm); Autumn in warm areas (as a perennial); late spring in cool areas as an annual. Spacing: 6 to 10 inches (15 to 30 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three months. Temperature 60°F (15°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors in late spring, well after the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Feed in summer. Regular watering in dry periods. Requires to be divided every 3 or 4 years. Treat as an annual in cooler areas by bringing bulbotubers (corms) indoors over the winter. Propagate: dividing bulbotubers.

Family: Iridaceae.
Miscellaneous: Seed grown Crocosmia take at least two years to bear flowers.

How to Grow Montbretia, Copper Tip, and other Crocosmia species

It is perhaps easiest to grow Crocosmia from corms. These should be planted at about 10 cm (4 inches) apart, at a depth of between 10 and 15 cm (4 to 6 inches).

If growing from seeds, then they should be sown in the spring. Simply cover the seeds with topsoil.

It may prove easier to start off indoors from seeds. They should be started off about seven weeks before due to be put out, after the last frost of the spring.

They typically take from one to three months to germinate, at about 15 degrees Centigrade (59°F).

Once growing nicely, the Crocosmia seedlings can be transplanted into a location that is a sunny or partially shaded area of the garden.

Once established, the plants should be divided every three years.

Caring for Crocosmia in the Garden

If you live in a very cold area, then the corms of Crocosmia should be brought indoors in the winter. Store in a cool place.

It usually takes about two years until a Montbretia plant will bear flowers.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Crocosmia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ Iridaceae growing guides: How to grow Blue-eyed Grass, Libertia plant, Tritonia plant, and Lapeirousia plants.