Mon, 12 Oct 2015 19:07:15 PDT
My Lucifer‎ crocosmia are planted a good 12" deep in Buffalo, NY (zone 5b), in a garden very close to Lake Erie and the Buffalo River.  I have seen a slow thickening over four seasons, no aggressive spread, and no need yet for thinning (perhaps in another couple years based on the multiplication rate so far). Also no vole or squirrel damage and no frost damage in this last, our coldest winter on record.


  Original Message  
From: Travis O
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2015 9:38 PM
Reply To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] crocosmias

Excellent questions regarding 'Lucifer.' Maybe the other reason it has that name is for its tendency to get really crowded and be difficult to eradicate, lol. Corms by definition are technically annual parts (modified stems that store nutrients in the form of starches, so I hear). New corms form around or on top of the old corm and the old corm usually withers and goes away unless growth is interrupted for some reason (digging, root damage from rodents, insufficient water, etc). Similarly Crocus and Gladiolus flower better if divided every now and then. 'Lucifer' was selected out of many choice seedlings, not only for the color, but for its ability to multiply, a good trait for a horticultural variety of anything. If it rarely increased asexually, it would be time consuming and expensive on the market. Bulbs that rarely multiply or are only able to be propagated by seed are less common in gardens and correspondingly more expensive.

I wonder if deep planting would interfere with aggressive spreading. Anyone tried a deep planting of 10" or more?

I have 'Lucifer' but have not yet needed to divide it. Zone 7ish garden in SW OR countryside, I think voles and squirrels do a fine job at thinning it out, although the deer unfortunately pass it by. Hummingbirds love the red flowers, as do I, but I disdain the coarse and highly fibrous foliage that remains until the first hard frost. It seems to tolerate rather than proliferate in my garden.

I hope that answers one of your questions or maybe one or two that weren't asked.

Travis Owen
Rogue River, OR

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