Crocosmia, or montbrecia (outdated name), or tritonia is an unusual and beautifully flowering bulbous plant from the Iris family. The scent of crocosmia is very similar to the scent of crocus, hence the name, which consists of two Greek words - kroros (crocus) and osme (smell). In natural conditions, the flower grows in southern Africa.
Corm herbaceous perennial plant. In height, crocosmia can reach from 40 cm to 1 m. The corm is covered with a mesh shell. The stem is branching. Leaves are lily or xiphoid. The flower stalk is strong and powerful, somewhat reminiscent of a gladiolus. Thanks to this similarity, the plant has another name - Japanese gladiolus. The rules for caring for crocosmia and gladioli are almost the same. Crocosmia flowers can be yellow, orange and white, collected in dense inflorescences.
Crocosmia is very close to crocuses (saffron), irises (killer whales), ferrarians, gladioli and freesia. It goes well in a flowerbed with canna, daylily, salvia, rudbeckia and echinacea. Crocosmia is also suitable for creating beautiful flower arrangements, as it retains its beauty after cutting for two weeks.
The article will talk about how to grow crocosmia seedlings, how to properly plant and care for a flower in the open field.
Tritonia is propagated by seeds and bulbs. With the seed method, it is best to grow seedlings first, since when planting directly into open ground, the seeds may not sprout. The best time for planting crocosmia seeds for planting is the end of February-beginning of March. Before planting, the seeds must be soaked in water for a day, changing the water every 6 hours. Then they must be planted in prepared soil, which consists of sand, peat, turf and humus. After planting, it is necessary to water the soil, cover the boxes with plastic wrap and put them in a well-lit place.
As soon as the seeds germinate, remove the plastic wrap from the boxes. Watering must be carried out regularly, but not to allow waterlogging of the soil, as this can lead to the development of various diseases. After each watering, the soil around the seedlings should be carefully loosened.
When the seedlings have 2-3 true leaves, they must be planted in separate pots. 2 weeks before transplanting into the open ground, the seedlings must be taken out into the fresh air so that they gradually get used to the new climate.
It is necessary to plant crocosmia in open ground at the beginning of May, at which time the snow will completely melt, and the soil will warm up sufficiently. In order for crocosmia to bloom profusely and for a long time, it should be planted in the sunny part of the garden and where the groundwater is deep, since the flower does not like stagnant moisture.
A flowerbed for planting crocosmia must be prepared in the autumn, add 2 buckets of humus, 100 g of lime (necessarily slaked), 20 g of potassium chloride and 40 g of superphosphate per 1 square meter of the plot. And in the spring, just before planting, you need to apply nitrogen fertilizers.
The distance between the plants should be at least 10 cm, and between the rows about 30 cm. After planting, you should water abundantly and cover the seedlings from the sun for a couple of days. Crocosmia, which is grown from seedlings, will bloom only after 3 years.
Gladioli and crocosmia are very similar to each other and care for them is almost the same. It is necessary to water the plant abundantly once a week. After each watering, it is imperative to loosen the soil so that the roots of the plant do not suffer from a lack of oxygen.
In order for the plant to grow well and develop properly, the necessary fertilizers should be regularly applied. If the soil is fertile enough, then additional fertilization is not necessary, but for poor soil, fertilization is a must. To feed crocosmia, you need to prepare a mullein solution, for this you need to insist the organic matter on water for several days, and then dilute it again with water in a ratio of 1:10. With this solution, you need to fertilize the flowers every 10 days, starting from the moment 2 real leaves appear.
To increase the efficiency of feeding, mineral fertilizers must be added to the solution. During the active formation of buds, it is necessary to apply fertilizers with a high potassium content. That's the whole care. If you follow all the rules of agricultural technology and regularly feed the plant, then there will definitely not be any problems with its growth and flowering.
Collecting seeds is only necessary for the initial planting. Further, the flower can be propagated by dividing the corms.
In regions with harsh winters, it is best to dig up corms. The most suitable time for this is October, by which time the children are fully formed. The corms must be dug up and thoroughly dried for several days, and then stored in the same way as gladioli.
In regions with a temperate climate, corms do not need to be dug out, but they must be mulched. To do this, you must first lay a layer of compost, and then cover everything with dry foliage, sawdust or spruce branches. Where the climate is warm, it is enough just to sprinkle crocosmia with dry foliage and cover it with plastic wrap. After the snow melts in the spring, you need to remove all the shelters.
There are two ways of propagation of crocosmia: vegetative and seed. The seed method was described in detail above. The vegetative method involves dividing the bulbs. Every year from one corm one get at least five children. In order for crocosmia to grow and develop well, it is necessary to divide and plant the corms annually. It is necessary to plant bulbs in open ground at the same time as plant seedlings. You can also plant corms in pots and give them time to germinate, and then plant them in a flower bed without removing the earthen lump.
Crocosmia is very rarely affected by various diseases and insect attacks. But if you take care of the plant incorrectly, then diseases and pests can still appear. For example, such as:
In order for the plant not to suffer from various diseases, it is necessary to follow all the rules of agricultural technology and be sure to carefully process the seeds before planting.
Of the pests, the most dangerous for crocosmia are:
There are about 60 types of crocosmia. More popular ones:
Crocosmia golden (Crocosmia aurea) - the leaves have a lily or xiphoid leaf shape. The flowers are bright yellow-orange. This species begins to bloom in early September.
Crocosmia masoniorum - the plant reaches a height of 80 cm. The leaves are xiphoid, ribbed. Orange flowers are collected in a brush. Flowering begins in July. This type of crocosmia is quite cold-resistant.
Crocosmia paniculata - can grow up to one and a half meters. The leaves are corrugated. This type of crocosmia is early flowering. It begins to delight with its bright orange flowers already in June.
Crocosmia pottsii - This species prefers partial shade, as it grows naturally in swampy areas. The leaves are long and the flowers are small.
Crocosmia ordinary (Crocosmia crocosmiiflora), or garden montbrecia - grows up to 1 m in height. The stem is thin, straight and branched. The leaves are narrow, xiphoid or broadly linear, erect, light green. Flowers have a yellow or red-orange hue, collected in panicles. Flowering begins in late July and early August. The most popular varieties of this type:
Crocosmia looks great in flower beds in combination with other flowers. Wants landscape design even more original and interesting.
A special charm to the garden is given by overseas curiosities - little-known original plants. There are many of these among the corms.
For example, homeria, watsonia, tritonia ...
Even the names of these plants sound exotic, they are rare in our gardens and remain a mystery to gardeners. Meanwhile, most of these exotics can be grown in our climate.
Among them there are species that are impressive in their growth, like dierama and watsonia, there are miniature ones, especially for lovers of alpine slides - romule, babian. Some rarely found corms are quite frost-resistant, but most of them have to be dug out for the winter. There are species that are quite capricious, and there are unpretentious and flexible ones.
Today we will talk just about undemanding curiosities - corm-bulb exotics from the iris family. They are close relatives of a very popular and well-known flower, they are similar to it in agricultural technology, therefore we will call this group “understandable as gladiolus”. Of course, each of these exotic plants has its own characteristics, which are important for the gardener to take into account, but in general, these are easy-to-cultivate plants.
Dimorfoteka is a plant with bright flowers, therefore the most advantageous location of a flower bed with Cape marigolds is in the south, southwest of the garden, on an area with fertile, loose soil.
The plot must be sunnyso that the flowers of the dimorphoteca shine in the sun with their splendor. A small shadow will not harm Cape marigolds, but the decorativeness of the flower bed is reduced. If the summer is too hot, it is advisable to shade the dimorphotek so that the development of plants does not stop due to the heat.
The sultry summer is a reason for shading Cape marigolds. Photo: DHgate.com
Dimorphoteka is a southern plant, and therefore tolerates drought well and vice versa, it dies on waterlogged soil, therefore, there must be good drainage on the site, which removes excess water from the plants, preventing stagnation of moisture at the roots.
Dimorfoteka not afraid of the wind, so do not worry when planting flowers on a hillock where the wind is blowing.
Caring for a montbrecia consists of quite ordinary weeding, loosening the soil after rains or heavy watering.
Watering the montbrecia abundantly, but infrequently, avoiding waterlogging of the soil. During the beginning of bud formation, it is necessary to feed the montbrecia with complex mineral fertilizer.
Montbrecia flowers, being cut for a bouquet, can stand in a vase, in water, for a long time, up to weeks. Montbrecia bouquets are best complemented with a sprig of asparagus.
Japanese craftsmen make dry bouquets from montbrecia and admire them in winter. In order for the montbrecia bulbs to ripen well, the peduncles are cut into a bouquet as early as possible.
Preparing montbrecia for winter consists in digging out the corms from the soil, immediately after the leaves turn yellow. Usually the leaves turn yellow in late September - early October. After digging, the bulbs are dried for two weeks and then placed in a container or bucket, poured with soil and stored in a cellar or basement. The storage temperature of corms of montbrecia is + 4-5 ° С. In a city apartment, you can store crocosmia bulbs on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
Seeds of montbrecia, grade Lucifer. Source: Wikipedia
Reproduction of montbrecia is no different from the reproduction of gladioli and other irises - plants are propagated by corms, babies or seeds. Seedlings of montbrecia bloom in the second or third year.
Seeds of montbrecia, grade Lucifer. Source: nature-of-gaia.com
Montbrecia looks spectacular in groups and beds, especially in combination with low plants. Montbrecia look great when planted on the lawn.
Water the plant abundantly once a week. After watering, it is advisable to loosen the soil in the flower bed so that a crust does not form.
Regular feeding of the plant is required. You can grow crocosmia without top dressing if you planted it in fertile soil, but if the soil on the site is poor, starting with the appearance of the second leaf, every 10 days fertilize the soil with mullein infusion (one part of the fertilizer is infused with 10 parts of water) and complete mineral fertilizer, by dissolving 2 g of the drug in 1 liter of water.
During the formation of crocosmia buds, potash fertilizers are more needed. As you can see, caring for a crocosmia flower is not at all difficult, and if the planting of montbrecia and care in the open field is carried out in accordance with the agricultural technology of the crop, you should not have problems with flowering and plant health.
The agrotechnics of growing dimorphoteka is the same as that of other flowers of the Astrovye family. Watering in dry weather, fertilizing with mineral fertilizers and weeding weeds.
During weeding, it is advisable to remove faded flowers so as not to lose the decorative effect of the flower bed.
Regular loosening helps to improve ventilation of the roots, which will prevent root rot.