Montbretia Crocosmia × crocosmioides 'Castle Ward Late'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
montbretia 'Castle Ward Late'


The plant known as Crocosmia features sword-like leaves that grow in a clump, forming a lush green base from which flower spikes arise. The blooms are vibrant, often in shades of fiery red, orange, or yellow, resembling small gladiolus flowers. These tubular flowers are arranged in a zigzag pattern on arching stems, creating a striking display that adds movement and texture to the garden. The plant exudes a tropical flair, making it a focal point in any setting where it is deployed. The blossoms of 'Castle Ward Late' tend to appear later in the season, offering a burst of color when many other plants are starting to fade. The flowers also attract hummingbirds and beneficial pollinators, adding to the plant's appeal and contributing to its role in the ecosystem.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Falling Stars, Montbretia

    • Common names

      Crocosmia × crocosmioides 'Castle Ward Late'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Crocosmia is generally not known for being toxic to humans. There is little to no information suggesting that Crocosmia × crocosmioides 'Castle Ward Late', or any Crocosmia species, pose a serious risk of poisoning upon ingestion. However, as with any plant, individual allergic reactions or sensitivities are possible, and it is always advisable to avoid eating ornamental plants due to the unpredictable nature of plant toxicity among different individuals. If consumption does occur and any adverse symptoms are noted, medical advice should be sought.

    • To pets

      Crocosmia is not commonly listed as a toxic plant to pets, including cats and dogs. The specific hybrid Crocosmia × crocosmioides 'Castle Ward Late' has no special mention of toxicity. Nonetheless, pet owners should discourage their pets from ingesting plants that are not part of their normal diet, as even non-toxic plants can cause gastrointestinal discomfort if eaten in large quantities. If a pet were to eat parts of a Crocosmia plant and show symptoms of distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, or unusual behavior, it is important to contact a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (60-90 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts pollinators: Crocosmia is known for its vibrant flowers which are attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, promoting pollinator activity in the garden.
    • Easy to maintain: Once established, Crocosmia 'Castle Ward Late' requires minimal care, making it a convenient choice for gardeners with limited time.
    • Adds color and interest: The plant produces bright, showy flowers that add a splash of color and aesthetic appeal to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought-tolerant: Crocosmia 'Castle Ward Late' has moderate drought tolerance, which is beneficial in regions with water restrictions or in gardens designed to conserve water.
    • Suitable for cut flowers: The long stems and vibrant blooms make excellent cut flowers for arrangements and bouquets.
    • Naturalizing: Crocosmia can spread naturally over time, filling in areas and providing a more continuous and naturalistic display in the landscape.
    • Deer-resistant: The plant is not preferred by deer, making it a good option for areas where deer browsing is a problem for gardens.
    • Seasonal interest: Crocosmia 'Castle Ward Late' flowers in late summer when many other plants have finished blooming, providing extended seasonal interest.
    • Versatile in landscaping: Can be used in a variety of landscape settings including borders, flower beds, and as mass plantings for a dramatic effect.
    • Multiplication: The corms can be divided every few years to create more plants, allowing gardeners to expand their plantings or share with others.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photographic Inspiration: Crocosmia's vibrant flowers provide a perfect subject for macro photography, creating stunningly detailed images that highlight their unique structure and color.
    • Culinary Garnish: The bright blooms of Crocosmia can be used as an edible garnish for salads and desserts, adding a splash of color to your dishes.
    • Dyes: The pigments in Crocosmia flowers may be used to create natural dyes for fabrics or other materials, offering a range of warm tones.
    • Artistic References: Artists may use Crocosmia as a reference for paintings, illustrations, or designs, drawing inspiration from its form and color.
    • Teaching Tool: In educational settings, Crocosmia can be used to teach students about plant biology, pollination, and the life cycle of perennials.
    • Theme Gardens: Crocosmia, with its striking flowers and sword-like foliage, can be integral in creating theme gardens such as 'fire' gardens with warm-colored plants.
    • Ecological Studies: Crocosmia can be used in ecological studies to observe the interaction between the plant and its pollinators, like bees and hummingbirds.
    • Floral Crafts: Dried Crocosmia flowers and seed pods can be used in creating floral arrangements, wreaths, or other decorative crafts.
    • Landscape Photography: The plant can serve as a focal point or add depth to landscape photographs, particularly in natural, wild meadow settings.
    • Seasonal Displays: The bright hues of Crocosmia can be incorporated into autumn displays and decorations, celebrating the colors of the season.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Montbretia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Montbretia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Passion: Crocosmia, also known as Montbretia, is often associated with feelings of passion, possibly due to its vibrant, fiery flowers that can evoke an intense emotional reaction.
    • Energy: The bright, vivid colors of the Montbretia symbolize energy and vitality, reflecting the plant's vigorous growth and the lively appearance of its blooms.
    • Adventure: The exotic look of Montbretia, with its sword-like leaves and unique flower form, suggests a sense of adventure and exploration, much like the flower explores the space in the garden with its spreading habit.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Montbretia should be watered deeply to ensure the roots receive enough moisture, typically requiring about 1 inch of water per week. During dry spells, water every few days to maintain consistent soil moisture, but be careful not to over-water as this may lead to root rot. In hot climates, increase the frequency to twice per week, providing about 2 gallons for each plant to ensure adequate hydration. During the winter or in times of rain, reduce the amount of water to prevent soggy soil. Always check the top inch of soil before watering; if it's dry, it's time to water.

  • sunLight

    Montbretia thrives in full sun conditions, requiring at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. The ideal spot for this plant is in a garden area that gets unfiltered light throughout the day. Avoid overly shaded areas, as too little light can lead to poor flowering and weak growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Montbretia does best when grown in temperatures ranging between 60°F and 90°F. They are hardy and can withstand minimum temperatures down to about 20°F, but they do require a warmer climate to flourish. The ideal growing condition is a temperate environment without extreme heat or cold.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Montbretia in late winter or early spring to remove dead foliage and make room for new growth. Pruning will help maintain a tidy appearance and promote healthier, more vigorous plants. Cut back the foliage to about 3 inches from the ground annually, which is also the best time for division if the plants have become too crowded.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Montbretia thrives in a soil mix that is well-draining and rich in organic matter. The ideal pH level for Crocosmia 'Castle Ward Late' is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. A mixture of two parts garden soil, one part peat moss or compost, and one part sharp sand or perlite would create an optimum environment for its growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Montbretia, or Crocosmia 'Castle Ward Late', generally does not require frequent repotting and can be repotted every 2-3 years. Repotting is best done in the spring before new growth begins.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Montbretia prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable to different humidity conditions. It does not require any special humidity requirements and will thrive in the typical outdoor humidity levels where it's usually grown.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Plant in bright, indirect light with good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade, and ensure soil drainage.

    • Hardiness zone

      6-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Crocosmia × crocosmioides 'Castle Ward Late', commonly known as Castle Ward Late crocosmia, begins its life cycle as a corm, which sprouts in spring when the temperatures rise. The corm sends up sword-like foliage followed by arching stems with vibrant, funnel-shaped flowers that predominantly attract pollinators in late summer. After flowering, the plant sets seed, which can be dispersed to propagate new plants, although crocosmias are primarily increased by division of the corms. As winter approaches, the foliage dies back, and the plant enters dormancy, with the corms surviving underground. Gardeners often lift and store the corms in colder climates to prevent them from freezing. The cycle recommences the following spring when temperatures become favorable, prompting the corm to break dormancy and regenerate the plant's growth above ground.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer

    • The best time for propagating the Crocosmia, commonly known as Montbretia, specifically the Crocosmia × crocosmioides 'Castle Ward Late', is in spring after the last frost when the soil has warmed up adequately. Division is the most popular method for propagating this plant. To propagate Montbretia through division, carefully dig up the clumps of corms when the plant is dormant and gently pull the corms apart, ensuring each division has at least one growing point. Replant the divisions immediately, placing them approximately 2 to 4 inches deep and spaced about 6 to 8 inches apart, which is roughly 5 to 10 centimeters deep and 15 to 20 centimeters apart. Water the newly planted corms well to help establish them and kickstart growth. With proper care, these divisions will grow into vibrant, flowering plants in the upcoming season.