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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Crocosmia, Pruning

Can Crocosmia be pruned or cut way down? When? The tall leaves are looking ungainly.


According to The Plant Care Manual by Stefan Buczacki (Crown, 1993), you should cut back the foliage as it discolors.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, perennials that produce leaves and flower stems from below the soil level, such as crocosmia and peony, are cut back to soil level.

Date 2017-03-02
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Crocosmia

I just received about 20 Crocosmia lily bulbs, fresh out of the ground. I'm new to the species, and don't know that much about gardening in general... Should I plant them now or wait until spring? Should I cut the foliage or keep it? I'd almost rather wait until spring to plant these, as I'm considering moving in the next few months and want to take them with me, but what is the best way to keep them over the winter? Also, can I plant them in a pot (how deep should it be) or do they need to be in the ground?


Crocosmia is in the plant family Iridaceae, and is related to Gladiolus but not lily. You may find this general information on Crocosmia from Washington State University useful.

As far as when to plant them, since it sounds like you have entire plants, not just the corms, you can certainly try putting them in the ground. If winter temperatures do not go below 10 degrees, they will be fine without protection. The leaves tend to start looking scraggly in the fall and you can either leave it as is, or cut the spent flower stalks back. If you were just planting the corms, it would be best to do this in spring.

I'm assuming these plants have finished flowering,as it is mid-October. According to British gardener Alan Titchmarsh, you can "cut back flowering stems to near ground level in November, but leave evergreen foliage to provide winter protection, removing it in early March. In cold gardens, lift corms in October." (Source: author's webpage, 2007)

Since you are moving, you may want to put the plants in containers just for transport, and then plant them into the ground in your new location. This plant might work in a permanent container if the pot were large and fairly deep (at least 16 inches), with excellent drainage (or else the corms will rot). These are tall (2 1/2 to 3 feet), spreading plants, so planting into the garden is probably best.

If all else fails, you can always start afresh by purchasing and planting new corms in the spring.

Date 2018-04-11
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Garden Tip

Keywords: Symphyotrichum, Perennials--Care and maintenance, Rudbeckia, Lilium (Lily family), Helenium, Delphinium, Crocosmia, Chrysanthemum

Many of the daisy-like flowers such as Rudbeckia, Helenium, Symphyotrichum, and Chrysanthemum will form a mass of flowers that will eventually topple over the edge of the beds. While a cascade of color can be attractive spilling over the edge, it looks very unsightly when you expose the brown bare centers of the plants. It is best to stake these plants as a group or clump. Tall perennials with large flowers like Lilium, Delphinium, Crocosmia, and Dahlia will benefit from individual stakes.

Date: 2007-07-13
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May 23 2018 14:32:42