Perennials forum: Crocosmia Lucifer Water/Light Needs?

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Shreveport, LA (Zone 8b)
Bulbs Region: Louisiana
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bkrell
Nov 13, 2017 10:39 AM CST
I have a bed adjacent to the front of my house that sits next to my driveway, soaking in all the reflected heat, yet has a willow oak that provides a decent amount of shade. Nothing grows well. The soil is a very sandy clay. For some reason, the past owners of the house improved every bed except this one. I've tried some native perennials like coneflower and coreopsis with little success. Neither seemed to get enough sun and or water. But I was wondering if anyone thought crocosmia might be a little more tenacious in such an environment, give the fact that every description I read says it likes "light, gritty soil?"

Shreveport, LA (Zone 8b)
Bulbs Region: Louisiana
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bkrell
Nov 13, 2017 10:41 AM CST
Just to make it clear, I'm zone 8b in Louisiana.
Name: Betsy
Texas (Zone 9a)
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piksihk
Nov 14, 2017 7:44 PM CST
I've grown crocosmia for many years; they survive on neglect. I do water but mostly they do not get any attention. The bulbs will multiply rapidly and I have given many babies away. Some are in full sun and the ones in front bed do get some shade in late afternoon. My soil has not been amended for years.



While the earth remains, Seed time and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease. Gen. 8:22
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Nov 14, 2017 9:00 PM CST
I am in the Pacific NW. Lucifer is borderline invasive for me, although I love it so I tolerate its propensity to take over the world. I ruthlessly pull babies outside their accepted zone and snip out all stalks that are growing sideways. We get along OK.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Shreveport, LA (Zone 8b)
Bulbs Region: Louisiana
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bkrell
Nov 19, 2017 10:47 AM CST
Dang, I didn't see the responses. I decided I might go with cast iron plant instead. I did order some Lucifer, though. I may have to make a new bed, lol
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Dec 19, 2017 10:03 PM CST
I split a bag of 60 between several large pots and 3 beds this last spring. So far I am a bit non-plussed. Most grew, maybe 10 flowered. Those in the pots (like almost all plants in pots for us this year) were less full. Flowering was very short. When I compare them to native Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower), they pale. Cardinal flower bloomed for months and hummingbirds loved them. I'm winter-sowing more cardinal flower. While growth might be better for Crocosmia in the 2nd season, I am hedging my bets with cardinal flower just in case.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Dec 26, 2017 11:05 AM CST
It has been my experience that Lobelia cardinalis loves lots of water and grows well on stream banks. Crocosmia thrives on neglect and is happy in drought situations.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
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gemini_sage
Feb 13, 2018 5:55 AM CST
bkrell, I think cast iron plant was probably a better choice for the location because Crocosmia like more sun. I'm thinking Lucifer may flop onto the driveway if in a position too shady for them.

UrbanWild, don't give up on your crocosmias. I had the same experience, but have read that they can take a couple of years to put on a show and that was indeed the case. Lucifer is one of the taller varieties and has a different effect in the garden than cardinal flower. Is that the variety you planted?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Feb 14, 2018 6:03 PM CST
@gemini_sage - yes...lucifer was what I tried. We'll see what comes back. I can accept the fact it may take a while to build up. I planted it mainly for hummingbirds but honestly, I am not sure it was a draw for them. They seemed far more interested in Salvia 'Black and Bloom' and cannas...and an Echeveria that I am thrilled with. Thumbs up
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Shreveport, LA (Zone 8b)
Bulbs Region: Louisiana
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bkrell
Feb 16, 2018 9:22 PM CST
Well, I'm thinking now I may go w Stella d'Oro daylilies. I also intentionally "crepe murdered" the crepe myrtle in the center of the bed so maybe more light will get in this year.
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Feb 18, 2018 10:11 PM CST
Lucifer, and all my other Crocosmia, are very popular with the Hummingbirds. After 4 years of growing in 6B, I'm reasonably sure the reason they all survive, is because I leave the spent foliage as a natural mulch till after our last spring frost. I gently rake the residual back after April 15 (our last frost/freeze date) and they are already growing. Less is more with Crocosmia. Plant them and leave them alone, has always worked for me.
Thumb of 2018-02-19/beenthere/44e80d

Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies Critters Allowed
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UrbanWild
Jul 3, 2018 7:43 PM CST
None of my Crocosmia 'Lucifer' survived the winter. Grumbling I'll try them again some day. Thumbs up
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Shreveport, LA (Zone 8b)
Bulbs Region: Louisiana
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bkrell
Jul 4, 2018 9:26 AM CST
Well, I planted them randomly around the yard. So far, only one has bloomed
Thumb of 2018-07-04/bkrell/162d37

Name: Christine
Wolfville, Nova Scotia (Zone 5a)
christine2
Oct 1, 2018 2:04 PM CST
In my zone 5B garden Lucifer is on the south side in hot sun. I neglect them and they bloom beautifully. The hummingbirds fight over them. Honestly, there is usually one sitting on the top branch of a small weeping crab which is right beside the Crocosmia, guarding them, ready for a fight if need be! They do the same thing with my newly planted Cardinal Flower!

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