How to grow Crocosmia from seed

Commonly and incorrectly known as Montbretia, Crocosmia species and cultivars are predominantly native to the grasslands of southern and eastern Africa. They are a genus containing a number of ornamental flowering plants which despite their exotic origins have proven to perform well in northern European climates.

Crocosmia seed pods -
The seeds are rarely seen for sale due to a combination of some low viability and a preference by retailers to sell the bulbs, however you can collect your own seeds in the autumn. Be aware that seeds collected from garden specimens may not grow true to the parents.

They should be collected ripe when the pods were dry and cracking and sown as soon as they are harvested. Remove the seeds from the seed pods and wash off any debri using tepid water.

Sow the seeds onto the surface of the compost in 9 cm pots or a modular seed tray filled with a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. Press the seeds into the compost but do not bury them, then cover with a thin layer of horticultural grit. Gently water in so as not to disturb the seeds, and place the tray in a heated propagator at a temperature of 18-20 deg Celsius. Alternatively seal the pots or tray inside a clear polythene bag and position on a warm, bright windowsill away from direct, midday sunlight. Keep the compost damp but not waterlogged and you can expect the seedlings to emerge within 2-4 weeks. Once germinated they can be removed from the propagator or polythene bag. Any ungerminated pots or left over modules can be placed outside in a coldframe to germinate in their own time - if at all.

They will be ready for potting on once the roots have become established, and once the threat of late frosts have passed they can be hardened off for planting outside into their final position.

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