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Crocosmia planting and care

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.