How to Grow Saffron Crocus?
Posted by Ben Rotteveel on

HOW TO GROW SAFFRON CROCUS?

 

SAFFRON CROCUS PLANTING GUIDE

Not all bulbs bloom in spring, but not all bulbs provide such a sought-after harvest either! Saffron Crocus (Crocus Sativus) is a very interesting crocus variety, blooming in fall and providing you with the incredibly pricy saffron spice, which gives color to well-known dishes like Paella. If you plan to harvest the saffron spice yourself, it’s best to do it in the morning when the flower is fresh and the bloom is fully open. Pick the stigmas with your fingers and take them indoors to dry in a warm location. Once dried, store them in a closed container to keep them fresh. For 1 tablespoon of saffron spice you’ll need about 50-60 flowers. 


QUICK GUIDE

  • WHEN

Plant in fall

Bloom 6-8 weeks after planting


  • WHERE

Hardiness zone 4-9

Full sun 

Well-draining soil


  • WATER

Once after planting


  • WIDTH & DEPTH

3” apart

2-3” deep

How to Grow Saffron Crocus - Crocus Sativus?

 

Arrival

We ship your DutchGrown saffron crocuses at the perfect planting time which is September. Best is to plant them as soon as they arrive. If you can’t plant them immediately, it’s important to store them correctly: unpack them right away and put them in a dry place with plenty of air circulation, where the temperature is between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to have them planted before mid October.

Garden & Container Planting

Flower bulbs are tough cookies that are easy to grow, but one thing they hate is getting their feet wet: a bulb that is ‘bathing’ in water will rot in no time. So avoid soggy soil at all cost – this means places where you can still see puddles 5-6 hours after a rainstorm. Another thing you can do is to upgrade potentially soggy soil by adding organic material such as peat, bark or manure. When it comes to planting bulbs in containers, the mantra is exactly the same: drainage-drainage-drainage. Get a pot or box with at least some drainage holes at the bottom. 

Saffron crocuses need the sun to grow, so make sure you pick a place with ample sunlight.

Saffron crocuses will need to be planted deep enough that they won’t be affected by temperature variations above ground, either too warm or too cold.

The standard method for calculating the ideal depth is to dig a hole three times as deep as the bulb is high, and place the bulb at the bottom with its pointy end up. Since saffron crocuses grow less well when they have to fight for nutrients with their fellow bulbs, it’s best to plant them 3” apart.

To help the bulbs settle and grow roots quickly, it’s important to water them well after planting, but after that you won’t have to water them again. The saffron flowers might start blooming after about 6-8 weeks.

During blooming season, you generally don’t have to water your saffron crocuses, but you can water them when there hasn’t been any rain for 3-5 days. 

After saffron crocuses have finished blooming, don’t cut the foliage straight away: through photosynthesis the leaves will create nutrients that the bulb will be needing for its next growing season. After a few weeks the foliage will automatically yellow and die back, and then you can remove it. Now the bulb will be going dormant, and won’t need any watering until next fall. 

 

How to plant saffron crocuses in your garden:

  1. Best planting time is September or October. 
  2. Pick a spot in your garden that has well-draining soil and gets full sun.
  3. Plant the saffron crocus bulbs about 2-3” deep and 3” apart, placing them in the ground with their pointy ends up and the ‘hairy’ skin down.
  4. Water well once and wait 6-8 weeks for the flowers to bloom. 
  5. After the saffron crocuses have bloomed don’t cut off the foliage. Leave it until it’s completely withered and yellow, then remove.

How to Grow Saffron?


How to plant saffron crocuses in containers for indoor blooms:

  1. Best planting time is September or October.
  2. Place the pot in a living room where the temperatures are around 70 degrees F.
  3. Find a well-draining container and fill it with loose soil, making sure water won’t gather and stay at the bottom.
  4. Plant the saffron crocus bulbs about 2-3” deep and 3” apart, placing them in the soil with their pointy ends up. Since containers often have limited space, you can also experiment with placing the bulbs closer together, but make sure they never touch.  
  5. Water well once and wait 6-8 weeks for the flowers to bloom. 
  6. Once grown indoors, you can replant the bulbs in your garden for next fall blooming Saffron.

 
Order Your Saffron Crocus Online at DutchGrown

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