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Help With Crocosmia

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Question from john hutcheson


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I am looking for some help to grow Crocosmia. I love these plant but for some reason seem to have no luck with them despite the fact that they seem quite prolific throughout the Scottish countryside!

Firstly in the past 3 years, I have bought container grown plant and these have generally failed to survive the winter. One plant has and although it is yet to flower, I assume that it is the common orange variety. The Lucifer variants have not survived.

This year, I bought 20 corms and planted these about 6 weeks ago at Easter (end of March?). There is still no sign of growth from these.

So some questions:

1. Which way up should the corms be planted? Dimple or bump?
2. How long should they take to break into growth?
3. Is there a favourable time of the year to plant the corms?

I have had a peek at the corms beneath the ground and there is absolutely no growth from them. Neither have they turned mushy?

I have also looked at the potted plants from last year and the corms seem fine and firm but again no sign of growth.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

  • Views: 1216
  • Replies: 9
  • Posted: Sun. 29th May 2011 12:21

Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from Claire Carmichael

Where abouts in Scotland are you? I sent some of my 'weedy' ones to a pal near Glasgow and they are growing well.. The last 2 winters have destroyed many of my plants though. If there is a way of sending me your address I would be more than happy to send you a pile too.. Not sure of the variety but they multiply like mad, love to be mistreated and have lovely orange flowers..

  • Posted: Sun. 29th May 2011 13:07

Re: Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from Nicola

Thanks Claire for your kind offer to John!

John, as we don't have member to member private messaging you can write to us at shoot@shootgardening.co.uk and I can pass on your address details to Claire for you if you'd like to take her up on her offer. Just thinking you might not want to disclose it here:) All the best, Nicola

  • Posted: Sun. 29th May 2011 13:13

Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from Lauri Fox

Hi John,
First to answer your questions...bump side up when planting. Breaking dormancy depends on weather conditions, warmth and wet. We pot start ours in early spring so as to avoid late frosts getting them.
Many of the crocosmia that come from chain nurserys will take a year off in a sulk because they have been forced into bloom, that said in general they will do the same when going from pot to ground. Ours will bloom like crazy one year and sparse or not at all the following year. They cycle. We have over 300 varities here.
What varitey are the 20 that you planted? Did you soak the corms before you planted them? We do to any dry ones, over nite then plant.
If your soil is too cold yet then they will be late in coming up. If you can bring your pot into a conservatory or some place dry not a heated green house (they will rot) and see if that will get them to break dormancy.
Any other questions feel free to contact us.

  • Posted: Sun. 29th May 2011 13:30

Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from Angie Robertson

Hi John. are you near Edinburgh? I have a few large clumps which you could come and help yourself if you want them. They are nothing special just the common orange variety and my neighbour has a red/orange variety which I'm always pulling out from between the fencing, so you could have some of that also.


  • Posted: Sun. 29th May 2011 14:27

Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from James Todman

Here some tips that might help:

1. Plant in well drained soil that gets plenty of sun, especially in the morning. Add plenty of organic matter to soil if drainage is a problem.

2. Don't plant too deep, about 3 inches (8cm) is fine. Don't plant too close together, about 5 inches (12cm) between each corm is fine.

3. Plant pointed side up in spring when soil has warmed up.

If you are having problems getting the corms started, plant in pots using a good quality compost and keep them well watered and in the sun. Plant out into the border when you have a strong plants established with a good root system. Remember to water well.

Hope this helps.

James T.

  • Posted: Sun. 29th May 2011 15:22

Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from john hutcheson

What a brilliant set of responses. Thanks to everyone.

Claire, I have sent my details to Nicola, but please do not inconvenience yourself or put yourself to any expense.

I live in Erskine, West of Glasgow. The winter was pretty hard on us, particularly as I am at the highest point around. Although it is not too high, it is a bit exposed.

I planted the corms the right way then! Bump side up and I placed them in some compost. It was a pretty warm spring, but since then it has been much cooler. I didn't soak them although they were very dry when I planted them. I also failed to keep a note of the variant although I think it was probably Alice McKenzie - the most common?

Angie, I don't really stay close to Edinburgh but am shortly to take early retirement and may be able to pop in later this summer when I am out and about. Maybe if we exchange email addresses, I can get in touch. I would give you plenty of notice and not simply drop in with my spade and fork! I'll ask Nicola to pass on my email address to you and you can let me have yours.

I may also lift the ones that I have planted and put them into pots as there is absolutely no development!

Thanks everyone for the help. Brilliant!

  • Posted: Sun. 29th May 2011 16:02

Re: Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from Angie Robertson

No problem John. Ask Nicola to pass on your email and I'll drop you one in return, then you can contact me if you ever find yourself out East. I live in the west of Edinburgh so it's right of the M8, no travelling through the city.

  • Posted: Mon. 30th May 2011 19:30

Re: Re: Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from john hutcheson

Thanks, Angie. I contacted Nicola yesterday. Hopefully she'll be in touch soon.

  • Posted: Mon. 30th May 2011 19:55

Re: Re: Re: Re: Help With Crocosmia

Reply from john hutcheson

Just following up on this. This morning I decided to dig up the corms that were planted earlier in the spring. None of them showed any sign of life and a couple of them looked rotten. The original plants from last year also looked dormant but seemed generally in better conditions. The corms were firm and clean. One had shoots of 10 cm. I discarded the dodgy corms and placed the others in pots of compost and placed them in a sunny position.
We will see how they do!

  • Posted: Sat. 11th June 2011 08:40