Winter is a tough time for many plants and animals, as the temperature drops and the sun produces less warmth and light, and many plants can die off.
How to care for montbretia in winter, if you have one of these gorgeous plants in your garden, will be foremost in your mind as the weather cools – but don’t panic! We’ve got you covered.
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How To Care For Montbretia In Winter
It may surprise you to know that this delicate looking beauty is actually pretty cold-hardy, and a few chilly days will do it no harm at all.
This being said, there are a few things that you should do for your Montbretia before the coldest months really set in:
- Cut back the wilted leaves. Removing the spent growth this way will allow the plant to focus on keeping its roots safe and warm.
- Leave most of the foliage. If you leave the year’s green growth on the plant, it can help to keep it warmer during the cold weather.
- Add a layer of mulch to your Montbretia bed. This will not only keep the ground slightly warmer, but it will release nutrients into the soil ready for spring.
- If the temperature drops to below -5 degrees C, you should consider pulling the bulbs and roots and storing them, in a dark, dry place until the spring.
- If you grow your Montbretia in pots, bring them indoors or into a greenhouse for the coldest part of the year.
- Ensure that the soil is not waterlogged – if this wetness freezes it can do considerable harm to your Montbretia.
These plants should bounce back easily after the winter, but a little TLC will help them immensely.
Do I Cut Back Crocosmia For Winter?
Most plants die back to a certain extent in the winter, as they withdraw their energies to keep their roots, bulbs and rhizomes safe and protected.
You can help them to do this by cutting back excess flowering stems as winter approaches – doing this with crocosmia will help it lots.
You should remove any and all flowering stems after the blooms have gone to seed and dropped off – the plant does not need to be spending energy on these.
However, you should leave the foliage of your crocosmia, as this can help to protect the plant from the colder weather.
The leaves will generally stay green even throughout the winter, so it may be a welcome sight to have in your garden when everything else is dead!
It is a good idea to trim back this foliage in the spring, to make way for fresh new growth.
This video shows you the best way to cut back your crocosmia for the winter:
Is Montbretia Annual Or Perrennial?
In short, this plant is a pernnial. This means that it does not just have one season before turning up its toes, but it can go on for years.
All perennials die back during the winter, as the plant draws its energies into its roots and sheds the leaves and flowers it wore for the rest of the year.
This type of plant will bounce back in the spring when the warmer weather hits, making them a firm favourite for gardeners who do not want to replant over and over!
Having a few perennials in your garden will ensure that there won’t be many times when there is simply nothing growing.
Montbretia, once established, can keep coming back in spring for many years to come – it’s a great investment in your garden!
This is a short article telling you a little more about perennial plants.
Why Did My Crocosmia Not Come Back?
Once this plant is established, it’s actually pretty hard to stop it from coming back – if your hasn’t, it’s almost certainly a problem with the conditions.
- Too much water. If you are overwatering your crocosmia, you may be unwittingly killing the roots – put down that watering can!
- Not enough sunlight. These plants like a full sun position in order to thrive – without enough light they will slowly give up the ghost.
- Too cold. Although frost hardy, if it is subjected to very long, very cold temperatures, Montbretia can actually die completely.
- Not enough drainage. These plants don’t like their feet getting too wet, so adding some coarse sand or gravel can help immensely.
As long as you have covered these bases, there is no reason why your crocosmia should not come back each and every year.
How Do You Prepare Crocosmia For The Winter?
This plant, unlike many others, winters quite well and does not need to much intervention to keep it happy.
However, there are a few things you can do to give it the best chance of surviving until the warmer temperatures reappear:
- Cut back flowering stems. Remove the long stems that produce those beautiful flowers, to let the plant focus its energies on its corms.
- Give them a good thick layer of mulch. This organic material will help keep the soil temperature slightly warmer, as well as releasing a load of nutrients.
- Lift the corms in heavy frost. If the temperature is dropping sharply and is predicted to stay that way for a long time, dig up the corms and store them in a cool dry place until the spring.
- Trim the foliage in spring. Cutting back the green leaves in the spring is the best way to encourage healthy new growth.
Even if you do none of these things, you will almost certainly find that your Montbretia bounces back in the spring – this is a plant that really likes to survive!
As you can see, this plant requires less attention than many others when the colder seasons kick in – but this doesn’t mean you can forget about them!
Giving your Montbretia a little extra TLC, especially if it is going to be a particularly harsh winter, is essential to get it up and running again in the spring.