Crocosmia (or montbrecia) is an attractive plant with long, erect leaves, which does not imply much difficulty in growing and maintaining. In a crocosmia photo at the time of flowering, it may look like a lily combined with a crocus: small flowers, gathered in a whisk, seem homely, but only before approaching them.
In landscape design montbretia is used both for group and for single landings, for filling small beds and large fields.
Crocosmia: landing in open ground
The technology of planting montbretia and caring for it is almost identical to that recommended for gladioli and the bulk of bulbous, but there are significant differences. In particular, the preparation of the material can be started just a few days before planting, regardless of whether the flower will be grown in the apartment, or whether it is transferred directly to open ground.
- The preferred time for landing crocosmia for the middle band is the last decade of April. In the southern regions can be moved to the beginning of the month, but not earlier. The plant is extremely thermophilic, which affects all aspects of caring for him. The minimum temperature of the soil (at a depth of 10 cm) should be +5 degrees.
- Before planting the Crocosmia bulbs, be sure to keep them warm (the material is kept cool) for several hours, dry and strip the husks. They should also be sorted out by eliminating specimens with deformation, stains, etc. Some gardeners also recommend removing children.
- After that, the bulbs must be immersed in a solution of potassium permanganate of the minimum concentration, it must be kept for 2 hours. It is desirable that the liquid be at room temperature.
The process of growing crocosmia itself can be carried out both through seedlings and classical planting in open ground. Which one to choose depends on the climatic conditions of your region.
- Growing crocosmia through seedlings involves filling a large container with wet sawdust or peat, the layer is 4-5 cm thick. The bulbs are laid out at a short distance from each other, after which the container is recommended to be tightened with a film with several small holes for air exchange. Every day, the substrate must be moistened by spraying with water at room temperature.
- As soon as the sprouts begin to hatch, the bulbs are transferred to the pots (can be germinated in groups, but with a distance between the specimens), where the classic earth mixture is poured. Under these conditions, seedlings are prepared for at least 2-3 weeks, usually until mid-May or early June. After crocosmia taken out in the open ground or seated alone in large pots, if you plan to grow in the apartment.
Purposeful landing montbretsii in open ground is somewhat easier. However, it is important to immediately prepare the right place for the bushes.
- In the autumn, the site where crocosmia will sit is shallowly digged, the soil is connected to humus and superphosphate (30-40 g per square meter), as well as potassium chloride. On the "empty" soil, not abundant in nutrients, for 1-2 weeks before planting, you need to make nitrogen. Additionally, it is desirable to ease the soil through the addition of sand and small pebbles.
- Moisture should not stagnate in the soil, as a result of which they often create a special “cushion” of sand and peat combined in equal proportion. They are mixed with compost, and the finished substrate is laid with a layer of 15 cm in thickness. For it, the pit is specially dug deeper by the indicated amount. The bulbs should be spread over the peat-sand mixture, covered with sand and usual soil.
- The distance between instances depends on their size: basically the distance varies from 5 to 15 cm. The same applies to the depth of the planting material: the smallest (including children) are lowered by 3 cm, especially large ones - by 10 cm.
- An important nuance concerns working with individual varieties: if you plan to preserve their individual characteristics, do not mix bulbs of different varieties in the flowerbed. Place them so that there is a distance of 80-100 cm between them - this will avoid over-pollination.
It is recommended to mount monocutration in a sunny, open area. Unlike other colors, it is not afraid of the wind, so it can grow on a hill that is not protected by anything. Far worse for her cold, so that the plant is never left for the winter in the open ground, even growing it in the southern regions.
How to care for a plant?
Caring for this flower is divided into 2 stages: the main falls on the warm season and takes place in open ground, and the shorter one - in the winter, continues indoors. The main points - fertilizing and watering, remain relevant at any time, but the additional ones - loosening, pruning, etc., are inherent only in the summer part, and in winter it may be necessary to divide the nest.
- Despite the fact that montbrecia does not like stagnation of moisture, it suffers from drying out of the ground poorly, so watering should be regular and abundant. In hot weather, 1–1.5 liters of water is applied under each flower every day, at moderate temperatures, the soil is moistened depending on the drying rate of the upper layer. Classic schedule - 1-2 times a week.
- Fertilizers under crocosmia are applied several times a year, while primary feeding is carried out at the time of germination of the bulbs, then it is repeated when the leaves begin to appear every 10-15 days. The following feeding is done at the beginning of the vegetative period and is repeated 2 times a month, until its very end. At the time of crocosmia flowering, potassium is needed, before it there is a weak extract of mullein and mineral fertilizers. And after flowering it is unacceptable to use nitrogenous fertilizers.
- In the summer, be sure to loosen the area near the bush, but this should be an easy procedure: do not touch the deep layers of the earth (more than 5 cm), and also try not to touch the area 1-2 cm near the stem - the ground is dropped on it, forming a mound, but the soil itself loosening is not worth it.
Features care crocosmia in winter
It should be said that the plant may well tolerate cold, in the case of a slight decrease in temperature, the presence of snow and additional "insulation" in the form of leaves, fir-tree paws, covering material. But most professionals still recommend carrying the flower into the room as soon as the frost approaches. This is especially true of the northern regions.
- If you grow varietal specimens, it is imperative to dig them out of the open ground in the fall: most of them do not tolerate cold at all. To do this, the bulbs are collected and cleaned from adhering substrate, the above-ground part is cut so that its height does not exceed 3-5 cm. The bulbs are laid out on parchment and dried in natural conditions for 2-3 days, after which they are laid in containers with dry (!) peat and stored at a temperature of 0-2 degrees.
- Hybrids and small-flowered specimens have greater stamina, so some of them can endure a mild winter in an open area, if they are pre-mulch. Nevertheless, it is recommended to dig them up and also prepare them for winter storage in a cool room. This may be a basement, storage room or a regular refrigerator. It is important not to divide the common nest into separate bulbs - it is better to make a separation in spring, before a new landing.
If you plan to leave Crocosmia bushes in the open field, do not cut the leaves and stems: this can be done in spring, in March or early April. Basically you have to remove only dead areas, as well as get rid of old leaves, so as not to block the growth of new ones.