Planting Instructions by Flower Name
- Hardy Zones: 5-9
- Spacing: 4-5"
- Height: 15-20"
- Blooms: Late summer to early fall
- Planting Depth: 3-4"
Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora
Montbretia originated in South Africa. They are in the Iris family and related to gladiolus, crocus and iris. Montbretia is a very vigorous plant, especially in warm, moist conditions. Ours is a mixture of varieties, which will bloom in fiery reds, oranges and/or yellows.
Montbretia does best in well-drained, moist soil, but will not survive in water-logged conditions. Plant the pointy end up, 3-4” deep and 4-5” apart, in an area that gets full sun to partial shade. Water well and top growth should appear in a few weeks. Montbretia looks best planted en masse. Use supports to prevent plants from flopping over in windy locations.
Leave the foliage intact after blooming has finished to provide nourishment for next year’s flowers. Remove the foliage when the leaves yellow. Montbretia blooms best when crowded a bit. However, when the plants get too crowded, they stop flowering. In zones 5-9, where Montbretia successfully overwinters, divide the clumps every 3-4 years. New baby corms are produced under the original, “mother” bulb on underground stems, or “stolons.” Dig, separate and replant the new corms, following the planting instructions above, preferably in the spring.
Montbretia is hardy in USDA zones 5-9. In zones 5 and 6, apply a thick layer of mulch in the fall to increase winter hardiness. In colder areas, dig up the bulbs after the first frost and let dry for several days in a cool, dry area. Store the bulbs in peat or vermiculite in paper bags or boxes until the following spring.