My crocosmia didn't do well this year

Asked August 1, 2019, 2:59 PM EDT

Hi, I've had my crocosmia for about 8 years and it has gotten bigger and better every year and is usually blooming by this time of the year (late July). This year I only got a few blades to come up and only see one bloom starting. We had a late cold spell in March (Portland, Oregon). All my other plants seemed to weather it fine but that. Totally baffled by its not growing. My hummingbirds are sad. I live on the east side of Portland and my sister lives on the west side and her's did not do well this year either. Any thoughts?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for using Ask an Expert for help with your crocosmia.

These dramatic flowers become more and more sparse as the bulbs, underground, become more and more crowded. Every three or four years, dividing the clumps will help maintain abundant blooms.

After summer flowers fade, allow the leaves to yellow naturally (don’t trim them off). These leaves build up energy in the bulb for strong growth and flowering the following year. In early spring, once the soil starts to dry out, dig up the clump, and divide it using your fingers, a knife, or a spading fork (for large clumps). Make sure each piece has a good amount of roots. Replant these smaller clumps with some space between and a bit of bulb fertilizer.

You may see some small bulbs attached to the larger ones in the clumps you dig up. Plant these along with your divisions. They will be too small to produce flowers for a few years, but will add their leaves to the display.

Have a good gardening year,