How to prune Lucifer plants

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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How to prune Lucifer plants
Lucifer plants produce dense clumps of iris-like blooms. (mafra13/iStock/Getty Images)

Known botanically as Crocosmia "Lucifer," Lucifer plants are herbaceous, cormous perennials in the iris family. These attractive garden plants boast deep green, pleated, sword-shaped foliage and scarlet red, iris-like blossoms that bloom from June until August. After the Lucifer plant completes its blooming cycle, the dead flowers can be pruned from the plant to help it maintain an attractive appearance. The pruning process is simple, even for novice gardeners.

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Pruning tools

Use a simple pair of pruning shears to prune a herbaceous plant like Crocosmia "Lucifer." Divide its corms with a gardening knife or a clean, sharp kitchen knife. Fungal spores and bacteria can linger on the blades of pruning tools long after you've pruned diseased plants, which is why it's essential to only use sharpened and sterilised pruning tools.

When to prune

The best time to prune a Lucifer plant is in the early autumn, after it has completed its blooming cycle. Pruning a Crocosmia "Lucifer" at the wrong time of year can put undue stress on the plant and make it more susceptible to injuries and botanical diseases. Divide the corms of your Lucifer plant in the early spring, before new plant growth is observed.

Deadheading

Prune Lucifer plants at the end of the growing season using a process known as "deadheading." To deadhead the plant, cut off all the spent flower spikes using the sharpened and sterilised pruning shears; for best results, cut the spikes down to a healthy leaf node. Discard the removed spikes rather than leaving them on the ground, to prevent increased insect activity at the base of the plant.

Dividing

Crocosmia "Lucifer" is a clump-forming plant that grows from basal underground corms. Divide these corms every three to five years to prevent overcrowding and ensure that the plants continue to bloom prolifically. Dig up the corm using a small hand shovel. Rinse the Lucifer corm under room temperature running water to remove any soil or growing medium. Use the sharpened and sterilised gardening or kitchen knife to separate the smaller corms that are growing off the original. Plant the divided corms in sunny locations in moist, fertile soil.

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