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How to plant crocosmias

Deriving from the sunny climes of South Africa, crocosmias or montbretias are fabulous clump-forming perennials renown for their exotic starry blooms, strap-like leaves and thin arching stems. Fully hardy and easy to grow, these flamboyant jewels will bring pizzazz to the herbaceous border, whether you choose to plant them in bold groups or interlace them with grasses. They make excellent cut flowers.

Plant around 8-10 cm in moist but well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil in full sun or partial shade — allowing for around 50-75 corms per square meter. In spring, lift and divide congested clumps as needed.

Always unpack on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant.

Potential problems, pests and diseases:

Generally, crocosmias do not suffer from any serious diseases. However, they may be affected by red spider mites. These tiny sap-eating mites can cause the leaves to become mottled with pale spots. In extreme cases, affected plants may shed leaves and potentially perish. Since red spider mites thrive in dry, hot weather, regularly spray foliage with water to discourage any attacks and keep an eye out for tiny mites, eggs and cobwebs.

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