Mastering the Art of Planting and Growing Red Crimson Clover

crimson clover


  • Red Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum) is an annual legume valued for its stunning red flowers, nitrogen-fixing ability, and soil improvement properties.
  • This plant is versatile and can be grown as a cover crop, forage, or ornamental addition to gardens.
  • Our guide will provide detailed planting and growing instructions, taking into account variations in growing locations and conditions.

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Planting Instructions

Choose the right time

  • For cooler climates (zones 4-6): Plant in early spring or late summer.
  • For warmer climates (zones 7-9): Plant in fall or winter.
  • Ideal soil temperature for germination is between 60°F and 75°F (15°C - 24°C).

Select a suitable location

  • Red Crimson Clover thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
  • Plant in well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0-7.0 for optimal growth.

Prepare the soil

  • Remove weeds and grasses from the planting area.
  • Till the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) and incorporate a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10.

Sow the seeds

  • Broadcast the seeds evenly, using a rate of 20-30 lbs per acre (22-33 grams per 100 square feet) for new plantings.
  • Lightly rake the seeds into the soil, ensuring they are no deeper than 1/4 inch (6 mm).

Water and maintain

  • Keep the soil consistently moist, but not saturated, until germination occurs (usually within 7-14 days).
  • Reduce watering frequency as the plants establish.

Growing Instructions

Mowing and maintenance

  • For cover crops: Mow or till under before the plants reach full bloom to maximize nitrogen fixation and biomass production.
  • For ornamental gardens: Allow plants to bloom and enjoy the vibrant red flowers.


  • Red Crimson Clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant, reducing the need for additional nitrogen fertilizers.
  • However, annual soil tests and applications of phosphorus and potassium may be necessary to maintain healthy growth.

Pest and disease management

  • Monitor for pests such as aphids, root-knot nematodes, and clover root curculio.
  • Practice crop rotation and introduce beneficial insects to manage pests and reduce disease pressure.


  • Established plants are moderately drought-tolerant but will benefit from supplemental irrigation during extended dry periods.

By following these detailed planting and growing instructions, you can successfully cultivate Red Crimson Clover in various growing zones, creating a beautiful and beneficial addition to your garden, farm, or landscape.