Montbretia: pretty bulb flower

1 min read

Montbretia is a pretty perennial that is making a comeback in the garden.

In summary, what you need to know:

Namecrocosmia crocosmiflora
Family : Iridaceae
Type : Bulbous or perennial

Height : 60 to 80 cm
Exposure : Sunny and partial shade
Soil : Ordinary but well drained

Flowering : June to September

As easy to grow as it is decorative, it also looks like a gladiolus thanks to its lanceolate leaves.

Planting montbretia

Ideally, montbretia is planted in fall or spring for flowering the following summer

  • Plant the montbretia bulbs 10 cm deep in the sun and where it is hot in summer.
  • Montbretia likes well-drained soil without being too buried.
  • Respect a sufficient spacing of 5 to 10 cm between each plant.
  • It is more aesthetic to plant the Montbretia in small groups of five or six.

About every 3 years it is advisable to divide the stumps of montbretias by separating the bulbs in order to regenerate the foot.

  • The division is preferably done in the summer
  • Pull the stump out of the ground using a spade
  • Cleanly cut the bulb with a sharp knife
  • Replant the new strain of Montbretia in a suitable place
  • Water generously

montbretia seedlings

In sowing, prefer sowing in pot in September-October.

  • You can leave them outdoors and under shelter all winter long.
  • Flowering will only occur 2 to 3 years after sowing.
  • You will proceed with transplanting in the ground as soon as the first leaves emerge.

Maintenance of montbretias

The montbretia, also called Crocosmia , is a perennial bulb plant very easy to maintain which generally requires practically no care when it is well established.

  • Weed if necessary around the foot so as not to let the weeds take over the rhizomes
  • Remove faded flowers as you go but leave the foliage until it turns yellow, usually until September.
  • Montbretia needs to see its leaves turn yellow in order to build up the reserves it needs for the next flowering.
  • No need to water because the plant does not need it.

💡 Once the leaves have faded, we can cut for the winter.

Care for montbretia in winter

When you have cut off the faded foliage before winter, you can protect the bulbs in the ground.

Whether in a pot or in the ground, the montbretia resists frost provided that it is neither too strong nor too long (about -5°)

In the event of a long and harsh winter, it is imperative to protect the montbretia bulbs.

  • A good mulch is enough if the temperatures do not drop below -5°
  • It will be necessary to dig up the bulbs and put them away from frost if you fear a strong frost
  • Bring in the pots if your montbretias are grown in pots or trays

All you need to know about montbretia

Originally from South Africa, the crocosmia Montbretia offers pretty colorful tufts that tend to grow over the years.

The foliage is a pretty green while its flowers offer warm and shimmering colors, ranging from yellow to red through orange.

Particularly easy to maintain, it even resists light winter frosts, provided they are neither too strong (-5°) nor too long-lasting.

Some varieties even resist down to -15° if the soil is not too wet in winter.

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