Lackadaisical Lucifer!

Crocosmia Lucifer is playing his usual game in the month of July. In the spring, his foliage bursts through the soil and makes quite a statement with its sword shaped spears. But this doesn’t give you any indication of what will follow in July. Up come the flowers and it is the main focal point of the garden for about a month. It seems that no matter where you are in the garden, no matter what you are doing, it is this beast that draws the eye.

Crocosmia Lucifer

Crocosmia Lucifer

I keep saying that I must divide the corms, but never seem to get round to it, so the clump is getting bigger and bigger. To start with the flowers are vertical, but very soon they arch over and lounge on anything near them.

Crocosmia Lucifer

Crocosmia Lucifer

The individual flowers are quite beautiful. To start with there are just a few…..

Crocosmia Lucifer.

Crocosmia Lucifer.

……before you know it there are hundreds of flowers, all shouting ” look at me, look at me”


Crocosmia Lucifer.

But dear Lucifer, pride comes before a fall ! Lucifer is bowed to the ground with the much needed rain that we had yesterday, it rained hard all day, filling all the waterbutts and making the whole garden look bright and perky once more, he was the only casualty. I’m happy with all the rain and the garden is happy, I assume Lucifer will be eventually,  once I’ve righted him once more and tied him to the fence, although he’s not going to look quite the same. I really must split the corms this year and provide him with some sort of permanent support for the future. But the thought of Lucifer wearing a corset isn’t good for his image!

Do you have any plants that are shouting for attention?!


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30 Responses to Lackadaisical Lucifer!

  1. Frank says:

    Floppy or not he makes quite a bold show. What a focal point!
    Maybe I should try him again, it never seemed happy the last time but your picture is very convincing 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      It really does attract attention Frank, when it’s waving around in the wind, you can’t miss such a bright red! Is it your soil that maybe it doesn’t like, we are just the acid side of neutral and improved heavy clay, all the other Crocosmias seem to enjoy it here too.

  2. Chloris says:

    Indeed he really does light up your border. I have his brother ‘_Hellfire’ making a bright red bonfire in my garden. I love all the new Crocosmia hybrids. I have Limpopo too and that is a gorgeous colour.

    • Pauline says:

      I think as long as I have Lucifer chloris, I don’t need any more red ones, one prima donna is enough! I have a yellow one which is about the same size as Lucifer, but unfortunately I have forgotten its name, it has a long way to go though until it has as many flowers as the red devil!

  3. Angie says:

    My own ‘patch’ of Lucifer is quite small in comparison and doesn’t make nearly as much of a statement as yours does Pauline. It’s gorgeous, even with it’s faults at present.
    I’ve a neglected Honeysuckle that needs attending too, a job I’ve been putting off for a week or two. It looked marvellous covered in blooms but now they’ve gone it’s a mass of tangles and desperately needs tied in. Berries will need to be sacrificed!

    • Pauline says:

      I started with just 10 corms about 15 yrs ago Angie, I dread to think how many there are now!
      The perfume from your honeysuckle must have been wonderful, but they do need to be kept within bounds don’t they. Mine seems to have dropped most of its leaves, I’m not sure why, maybe all the hot weather we have had, but yesterday we had much needed rain, thank goodness!

  4. Alain says:

    What is surprising is that despite the fact that your growing season starts much earlier than ours, Lucifer blooms at the same time here as it does for you.
    I have moved Lucifer 3 times. There are still Lucifers coming up in the two previous places. In one, I pull them out as they come, in the other I let them grow. In three years the clump has become as large as the main one that was originally moved.
    We also need rain (while South of here they are getting too much).

    • Pauline says:

      Lucifer is so determined to grow, I have another patch that I keep pulling out, it seems to be one of those plants Alain, that refuse to go away!
      We had our rain yesterday, all day, thank goodness and we have more forecast for tomorrow. The water butts are now full again and the garden is looking a lot better and a lot happier! I hope rain comes to you soon.

  5. Matt says:

    I like Crocosmia but it boy does it spread! Here in the Blue mountains it is a roadside weed and in mid/late-summer we have rows of agapanthus, crososmia and coreopsis in vast swathes that flower all along the roadsides…it certainly grabs your attention!

    • Pauline says:

      The wild orange one spreads everywhere here too Matt, along the country lanes and into gardens where it isn’t very welcome. I’m always pulling orange corms out, it must be the birds eating the seed that brings them into the garden here. I have a few nice yellow ones that seem well behaved so far! Your roadsides sound really nice and colourful, I would be paying too much attention to the flowers at the side of the roads and not enough attention to my driving!

  6. rusty duck says:

    I haven’t checked Lucifer, but some taller grasses are looking decidedly flat today. And yes, tomorrow we’re in for more of the same.

    • Pauline says:

      The promised rain has arrived today Jessica, that makes 2 days now! I’m telling myself that it has come at the right time, as this is when rhododendrons and camellias abort their flower buds for next year, if they don’t have enough moisture.
      Stipa gigantea flowers are bent right over at the moment, but they will soon spring back when the rain stops.

  7. susie says:

    What a gorgeous plant you have there. It’s a shame your much-needed rain knocked Lucifer down. Similar thing happened a few weeks ago and ruined my Monarda border just in its prime. I finally cut it all back last week as it couldn’t recover.

    • Pauline says:

      It will take two of us to lift and loosely tie it to the fence Susie, I should have done it yesterday when the sun was shining, because now it is pouring down again! I think having cut your monardas back, there is still time hopefully, for them to have a second flowering before autumn arrives.

  8. debsgarden says:

    Lucifer is shouting summer! The individual flowers are exotic and quite beautiful. It looks fabulous next to the acanthus mollis. What a striking combination! I generally don’t like for my plants to flop, which sometimes happens after a storm. It is fortunate there is a fence to contain Lucifer!

    • Pauline says:

      He is isn’t he Deb! The area behind the fence is where the pond is, it was fenced off when our grandsons were born and C. Lucifer was planted outside the fence. The corms have spread so much that half of them are now inside the fence, and with the rain, the flowers are flopping on the pond side plants. It is raining again today, I can’t say I need rain anymore!, so rescuing the plants will have to wait until it is dry once more.

  9. snowbird says:

    I have him too, but only in pots as I had it almost take over my garden at one point…
    My poor teasal was hammered by rain, but how we needed it!xxx

    • Pauline says:

      A good idea to put him in a pot Dina, did he protest! We did need the rain didn’t we, the garden was so dry for so long, the plants all look a lot happier now, thank goodness!

  10. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Lucifer is a handsome devil! His floppy nature later in the season isn’t his best feature but you’ve planted him so well that he makes quite a splash in your garden! Tie him up but he’ll have the last laugh as he escapes this fall and returns to repeat his act!

    • Pauline says:

      He is handsome, yes, I agree Peter, but I think he knows it! The clump of corms takes up so much room now, a bit of editing must be done once he has finished flowering. Where he is falling over the lawn, I know someone who will just ride over him on the lawn mower, so to save that happening, I must try and prop him up somehow!

  11. Annette says:

    What a star plant! I’ve planted several crocosmia in my new garden and they do quite well. In Ireland I must have had Lucifer, in any case it was a very tall one and it did tend to fall over its neighbours. The road verges in Ireland are covered in Crocosmia too which is a splendid sight. Have you ever seen it? Not to forget Fuchsia magellanica that usually grows alongside it.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Annette, we have had many happy holidays in Ireland,the crocosmia and fuchsia along the road verges are a wonderful sight, I was amazed at how many phormiums had escaped into the countryside too!
      I have now loosely tied Lucifer up to the fence and he looks a lot better, at least now, he won’t be chopped off by the lawn mower!

  12. That bright shade of orangey-red is very eye catching isn’t it? Sadly Crocosmia Lucifer is not hardy here. I wish it was, because it provides a wonderful burst of color to have mid-summer into fall.
    At the moment the only plants in my own garden that has a similar effect are a couple of types of Phlox. ‘Niki’ is such a vivid shade of purple that it catches the eye immediately. I also have a reddish variety that is as striking a color as the Crocosmia Lucifer.

    • Pauline says:

      It certainly catches the eye Jennifer, no matter where I am in the garden, the colour stands out. Your phlox sound wonderful, I must try some more, I don’t seem to be very successful with them. They are fine for the first year, but after that they dwindle away, never to be seen again.

  13. Kate Patel says:

    A lovely story of images, thank you.
    And a very entertaining post for someone like me who loves Lucifer and has yet to find a way to tame him. So far, best results are where it’s grown in raised sleeper beds as a fiery underplanting to equally thuggish golden bamboo ….
    I’m delighted to have discovered your website and shall enjoy following your posts.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Kate!
      Your Lucifer with bamboo sounds a very good idea, they can both keep each other in check! We have managed to tie him to the fence and now it looks a lot better, but will have to think of something more permanent if it is going to stay in that position.

  14. Helle says:

    What a splash of colour, looks lovely. Earlier in the year my meconopsis were the star of the show, getting a lot of attention. I have now collected lots of baileyi seeds and some lingholm. I remember you wrote that yours hadn’t done all that well and we talked about sharing seeds. Are you still interested? I can give you a lot of the baileyi and some lingholm. Even with the limited number of the latter there are still many more than I will need. The third variety, where I’ve unfortunately lost the label, has no seed pods and can only be split.

    • Pauline says:

      How wonderful Helle, that your meconopsis did so well for you. I’m afraid I didn’t have any at all this year, the first time for quite a few years. I am certainly interested in some seed if you can spare some, I only have 5 tiny seedlings coming on at the moment, so would love to say yes to your very kind offer and will e.mail you with my address, many thanks.

  15. catmint says:

    That brilliant red looks great against the greens. Lucifer’s had his time to show off, now he has to bow out for a while to enable a different picture to emerge. Glad the rain was welcome not destructive.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Catmint, the green does set Lucifer off nicely. I have managed to loosely tie him to the fence and he looks a lot better. The rain was certainly needed by the garden, it was all starting to look rather dry even though we are on clay, now everything is looking much better, thank goodness.

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