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Falling stars

Crocosmia aurea

Valentine flower, Montbretia (Eng.), Waaierlelie (Afr.)

This strikingly beautiful garden species produces numerous bright orange flowers on tall thin flower stalks which make it perfect for a vase. This plant loves to grow in most habitats and tends to produce large groups or clumps that fill an area relatively fast. It requires little watering outsidethe rainfall season, therefore it is an excellent addition to any water-wise garden.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest flower stalks in mid-summer months. Harvest seeds in autum, and sow immediately or after the last cold spell.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in autumn months after the pods have dried out. Sow to a depth of 1.5-2 mm in a seed tray and cover with river sand. Space seeds 20 cm apart. Germination should take 2 weeks.
Division
Dividing of large clumps should be done when the plant is dormant (in winter). Offsets are the easiest and fastest to propagate. Should take 3 years to maturity.

Special features

Attracts birds
Seeds are eaten by birds.
Attracts useful insects
It attracts useful insects such as bees, moths and butterflies.
Drought resistant
This species requires less water than its other close relatives, which makes it a great addition to any water-wise garden.
Pot plant
Suits well in any well-drained pot or container.
Attractive flowers
The flowers are arranged on continuous floral spikes. Individual flowers are approximately 40 mm in diameter.

Geography

Origin
Eastern parts of South Africa
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Used by indigenous tribes to treat dysentery

Personality

Family
Iridaceae
Flower colour
Bright orange or yellow
Scent
Mild

Problems

Spider-mites are the only pest that affect Crocosmias leaves. Spray dishwashing liquid to rid of unwanted insects.
Two-spotted spider mite
Two-spotted spider mite
Tetranychus urticae

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