While the names are similar, crimson clover is different than red clover. This annual clover has larger, elongated flower heads with deep red, long-lasting blossoms that invite beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and bees. Like other clovers, crimson clover fixes nitrogen, but it's faster growing for quick benefits to your garden. Crimson clover grows best in cool weather, so grow it as a spring or fall cover crop. For maximum nitrogen, till, mow, or cut back with a weed trimmer at end of bloom and before seeds form. Grows in a variety of soils but does best if soil is well drained. Plants tolerate some shade so you can sow crimson clover in between rows or under tall plants, such as with corn or under fruit trees. A beautiful addition to fill spots in flower beds and borders. Flowers can be harvested and dried to make a delicious tea with a light, refreshing flavor.
• Botanical Name: Trifolium incarnatum
• Days to Maturity: 70–90 days
• Family: Fabaceae
• Native: Europe, Turkey, Madeira Islands
• Hardiness: Frost-tolerant annual. Hardy to -10°F.
• Plant Dimensions: 12"–36" tall, 8"–12" wide
• Variety Information: Upright plant with a taproot, typical 3-leaflet clover leaf and elongated, 1"-long flower heads with crimson flowers that open in succession from bottom to top. Crimson clover grows best in cool weather. In USDA zones 6 and warmer, it is grown as a winter annual for flowering the following spring. Flowers are produced only under long-day conditions (more than 12 hours of daylight).
• Exposure: Full sun to part shade
• When to Sow Outside: 6 to 8 weeks before your average first fall frost date. Can overwinter in USDA zones 6 and warmer.
• When to Start Inside: Not applicable.
• Days to Emerge: 7–21 days
• Seed Depth: ¼"
• Seed Spacing: Scatter seed about 2" apart
• Thinning: Not applicable