Crocosmia Q:

One original corm has become several large patches of Crocosmia that are all lying on one another, owing, I suppose, to not having been actually *planted*. Those that bloomed are finishing up now, and I'd like to sort them out. So... can I collect 'em before the leaves die out? Should I re-plant immediately, or put them in the garage for the winter and plant in spring? How deep to plant? Should I leave the leaves(!) attached as much as possible, or just collect the corms? Oh --zone 7b-ish.
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You'd have to do a search on cold hardiness, but in my USDA Zone 8b, they are reliably perennial. I had one small bunch someone gave to me, now I have three rather nice sized stands.
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You can dig them up now that they've finished blooming, sort them out and plant them about four inches deep. If you don't like them flopping about, you could put a peony ring around them or a grid ring to support the leaves. If you don't want to bother with that, dig them up, let the leaves die naturally somewhere safe, then sort out the corms and plant them 4 inches in a sunny, well drained location.
They're perennial in zone 7 here in Eastern Tennessee. I have the Montbretia, the orangey-yellow one, and Lucifer, the red one. When you see the new shoots next spring, invest in that grid ring for the stands of them to guide the leaves upright and they'll support the flowers better. Lucifer grows taller it seems than my Montbretia.
I understand that Lucifer is sometimes hardy in zone 6b.......... plant them like crocus. madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36 ------------------------------------------------------ Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." Chief Seattle
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wrote:

Thanks, Mad. Interesting that you say they're naturally floppy. I was hoping if planted properly, they might learn to stand up straight. :-) I have neither the $$ nor the patience to give each one a little brace. I think I'll try shouting "'ten-SHUN!" instead.
They're (obviously) happily perennial here, too. I did want to give some to a neighbor and include planting instructions. I believe mine are 'Lucifer,' too. Very dramatic against some yellow daylilies a week or 2 ago.
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Those green bamboo sticks don't cost much, and if you remember to bring them in each year, they'll last two or more years. That's what I spent last night doing, putting stakes along my hollyhocks, larkspur, nicotianas, etc. It's been wet here again (we keep going wet then dry, no evenness) and the hollyhocks are well on their way to seven feet, so now they're falling over under their own weight.
A neighbor of mine has crocosmias, they're reliable for her, but her garden is more sheltered than mine. I tried them, but they only made it through one mild winter we had, the next one killed them :o(
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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It seems from my reading that "montbretia" is the common name for all crocosmia.
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Actually, at one point in time, Montbretia was the name of the genus, but it is now generally applied specifically to the species Crocosmia masoniorum, which has smaller flowers than most of the newer hybrids and is an orangey-yellow in color.
There are many hybrid forms available with colors ranging from dark red through oranges, apricots to bright canary yellow and some with contrasting throat colors - even bicolors. A range of sizes (both plant height and flower size) and foliage colors as well.
Crocosmias should be planted deep to avoid leaning or drooping, specially as the newer corms emerge from the top of the old, effectively 'lifting' the plant over time. Very fertile, loose soil that remains evenly moist is also suggested for maximum performance - these are not exactly xeriscape plants.
FYI, the August 2004 issue of "Horticulture" has an excellent article on Crocosmias written by Dan Hinkley of Heronswood Nursery.
pam - gardengal
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On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 14:46:39 GMT, "Pam - gardengal"

Ah HAH! So I *can* improve the uprightness of these pretty plants by re-grounding them. Actually, I only recall planting 1 or 2 single corms several years ago. How they spread into big, floppy patches is a mystery. I'm *definitely* going to take a bunch up and replant (and give away).
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