Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’: Characteristics, How To Grow & Care

Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’ is a part of the Crocosmia genus, which belongs to the Iris family, Iridaceae, and is native to South Africa. It is a hybrid cultivar named after a prominent Danish plant breeder, Emily McKenzie. It features large, saffron orange flowers with a strong maroon stripe and golden yellow throats, rising gracefully above upright clumps of deep green, strappy foliage.

This plant is a cormous perennial that grows to a height of 2 to 2 -1/2 feet and spreads from 1 to 2 feet. It is hardy down to USDA zone 5 and can be grown in well-drained soil in full sun. The flowers bloom from midsummer through early fall. It is not only a beautiful addition to garden beds and borders but also a great choice for pollinator gardens and cut flower arrangements.

Characteristics and Facts about Crocosmia Emily Mckenzie

  • Grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 centimeters) with a spread of 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters).
  • Has moderate growth rate.
  • It is Perennial; can live for several years with proper care.
  • Has slender, sword-shaped foliage forms clumps.
  • Its stems are tall and arching.
  • Funnel-shaped blooms in rich orange-red color with a golden-yellow throat. Flowers appear in mid to late summer.
  • Suitable for USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9. (tolerates temperatures down to -10 to -5°C)
  • Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, other pollinators
  • The plant is not considered highly toxic but should be handled with care.
  • Can tolerate short periods of dry weather once established.
  • Prefers well-drained soil. Can tolerate different soil types, including clay and sandy soils.
  • Needs regular watering during the growing season, especially during hot weather.

How to Plant, Grow And Care For Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’


  • Select a planting site that receives full sun to partial shade. Ensure the area has well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging.
  • Amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost, to improve drainage and fertility. Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral pH level.
  • Plant Crocosmia rhizomes about 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 centimeters) deep and space them 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) apart.
  • Plant rhizomes in spring after the threat of frost has passed. This allows them to establish before the growing season.
  • Water newly planted rhizomes thoroughly to settle the soil around them. Maintain even moisture until plants become established.


  • Keep the soil evenly moist during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
  • Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring to promote healthy growth and flowering.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or compost, around the base of the plants to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.


  • Remove spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming and prevent self-seeding. This also helps maintain the plant’s appearance.
  • Divide overcrowded clumps every few years in early spring or fall to rejuvenate the plants and prevent them from becoming too crowded.
  • In colder climates, corms may need winter protection. After the first frost, cut back the dead foliage and apply a layer of mulch (such as shredded leaves or straw) around the base of the plant to insulate the corms. Remove the mulch in spring after the danger of frost has passed.
  • Crocosmia is relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but occasional problems such as aphids or spider mites may occur. Monitor plants regularly and treat any issues promptly,