Everything on Growing And Caring of Crocus/ Saffron
Taking a short walk in the garden with vibrant colored flowers can make your mood better in seconds. Flowers add beauty to the environment neutralizing your bad moods, and crocus is one of them. Learn about planting, caring, and the benefits of crocus flowers in this article.
What are crocuses?
Crocuses are perennial flowers that include at least 90 species of flowering plants. Crocuses belong to the family Iridaceae. Crocus is generally planted for its beautiful flowers and can be planted both outdoors and indoors, and they are just wonderful anywhere. Crocus consists of vibrant and showstopping color that attracts bees for their nectar and pollinating insects for pollination.
Planting crocus is very easy, and anyone with very little knowledge about it can easily do it. There are 3 major things that you need to check while planting your crocus, i.e., temperature, soil condition, and weather conditions.
Here are certain things that you need to be careful of when choosing a site for your favorite plant, and below are some tips for it.
1. Temperature: Crocus plants need a place that is provided with full sun or partial shade. These generally die out when the sun exposure they need is not sufficient.
2. Soil Conditions: These need to be grown on fully drained soil conditions, and any soil that is cold and wet is unhealthy to grow these plants.
3. Weather Conditions: These plants require cold winters to bloom properly, and crocus are those plants that can bloom where there’s still snow on the ground.
When to plant crocus bulbs?
Spring is the best time to plant crocus bulbs. Crocus bulbs can especially be planted in the fall when the weather cools down. It is said to be best when it is planted within a month of receiving them.
How to Grow Crocus flower?
– Crocus blub always needs to be planted 3 to 4 inches deep with its pointed end being upwards.
– Crocus flower looks best when grown in a group of 9-10 bulbs. Growing single crocus flowers along your walkway mostly gets lost in the landscape. However, always keep spacing of least 3″ while planting crocus bulbs.
– Crocus plants thrive anywhere under any conditions tolerating both sandy as well as clayey soils.
– You can grow them in your lawns and meadows where they can spread well, and the carpet of these flowers looks amazingly beautiful.
– Mixing them with other flowers while growing adds beauty to it, or make sure you grow crocus of different colors alternatively to enhance the irresistibility and pleasingness of your surrounding.
Caring of Crocus
Caring for these plants is also less time-consuming. You can literally grow them anywhere, providing them the least care, and here is how you can do it,
– If spring is short, apply a balanced fertilizer in late winter or early autumn. However, if spring is long, apply after crocus bulb flowers.
– Keep your beds watered; however, do not waterlog the soil, but cover the beds with mulch in case of cold weather.
– In Feb and March, protect your flowers and other early bloomers from harsh conditions using coverings like plastic milk jugs.
How to propagate crocus?
Crocuses multiply themselves when they neutralize into the soil, but if you want to propagate your collection, dig up your large clumps and split them, or you can simply plant your individual corms after cleaning them.
However, if you have an already grown field of crocus, don’t dig it off unless the leaves have disappeared after growing yellow or the flowers have died.
Spring-flowering crocus will grow themselves up when the sun warms the soil, and autumn flowering grows when the temperature lowers down.
Varieties of Crocus
Crocus has a lot of varieties in its color and species. So when you are wanting to think about planting these babies, make sure you add recommended varieties to your collection:
1. Bowles White:
Bowles White are the species that grow 2-3 inches tall and have a beautiful white color with yellow throats. This especially blooms during spring.
2. Flower Record:
Flower record species of crocus is about 4-5 inches tall, with pale violet color blooming in spring to early summer.
Pickwick species is also 4-5 inches in height, blooming in spring to early summer. It consists of alternate pale and dark lilac crocus with dark purple bases.
4. Tricolour Crocus:
The most beautiful species among all is the Tricolor crocus which grows in late winter and early spring. The 3 inches tall plant has 3 distinct bands of lilac, white and golden yellow.
Pests/Diseases of crocus plant
Crocus is a problem-free plant and can be grown and cared for very easily; however, sometimes, the squirrels, mice, voles may come to eat them. So what you can do is, you can wire up your area or pot you have planted these plants on to prevent them from losing.
Sometimes birds can pick up the flowers.
The corms are prone to rot and mold if kept too moist.
Grow your own Saffron from crocus bulbs
Saffrons also belong to the crocus family, it’s scientific name is Crocus sativus. Saffrons are also called saffron crocus or autumn crocus.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is the only edible substance that the crocus family offers.
Saffron is used for natural coloring and flavoring and is also highly used for different health benefits.
Why is saffron expensive?
Saffron is more expensive than gold! A gram of saffron costs more than $10 that makes more than $10,000 for a kilogram.
Saffron is so expensive because it is a labor-intensive crop. Each flower of saffron crocus has 3 tiny thread-like stigmas which are the real saffrons used as a spice. It requires the collection and harvesting of over 150 flowers to get a gram of final top-grade saffron.
However, growing saffron at home from saffron bulbs is not so hard for at-home use, and also it will be much cheaper.
How to grow saffron at home?
Growing saffron at home includes the same process as growing any other crocus flowers.
– Make sure to buy quality bulbs. You can get bulbs from online stores or from local nurseries.
– Plant the bulbs in good quality soil (fertile and well-draining), at 3-5 inches depth and at least 6 inches spacing.
– For a tablespoon full of saffron, you will need at least 50-60 flowers so take care of the number of flowers you will like to grow. But, as the saffron bulbs multiply fast you can have a lot more flowers next year even if you start with less.
– Crocus needs very little care after being planted, just irrigate up to 4cm per week, you can skip if rainfall occurs also make sure, the soil is not too wet. You can give a small amount of fertilizer if you want but it can also be skipped if quality soil with humus is used.
– A common problem, bulb rot can be seen if the soil is poorly drained and if the plant is not getting enough full sun.
– Saffron bulbs are planted in summer and can be harvested in mid to late autumn. The flowers are very delicate so they should be plucked carefully and dried for at least 12 hours. Harvesting should be done before or immediately after sunrise.
– Now the saffron is ready to be used.
– For propagation of saffron only vegetative method is used i.e through bulbs. Bulbs should be collected, divided, and planted immediately after the plant fades away.
Common mistakes people make while growing crocuses
Even though growing most perennial flowers, including crocuses, is easy but most times, people tend to make some common mistakes that stop these plants from flourishing well.
So here are some basic tips to help you not mistake when you garden for the next time,
1. Ignoring the sun
When planting a flower, most people do not realize that they need a sufficient amount of sunlight because it’s their source of food. And that is why the plant dies easily.
So next time you plant your favorite flower, check the portion where you are planting it and if it gets enough sunlight and shade it requires.
2. Overplanting or underplanting
It is essential to check which plant requires how much space to flourish properly. Most flowering plants need more space, while some need to be grown in a group.
The best way to space them is by checking whether they touch each other after getting mature or not.
So next time you plant something, make sure to give them enough space and provide a beautiful vertical-horizontal pattern with alternate colors to spice up more.
3. Soil Depth
The depth of the soil is equally important when it comes to planting. Every plant requires its own soil depth, and it is necessary to double-check before you grow something.
Not providing enough water may also lead your plant to die easily. So if some plants require enough heat, they equally require enough water to keep them hydrated. It works similarly to humans.
Benefits of Crocus
Crocus not only creates a beautiful environment but also there are so many other reasons why people love growing this flower;
1. Crocus can easily cope with seasonal frost or snow because of their natural insulating property. And this comeback every year so that you can enjoy its beauty every time giving only less of your time, adding beauty to everything.
2. Crocus is very helpful in preserving bees that are now on the verge of extinction but are very vital to the world. So another good reason for planting this versatile flower is protecting bees.
3. These are the flowers that brighten up your dull winter days because these mostly thrive in late autumn and winter months easily, unlike other flowers.
Apart from providing a calming appearance to protecting the environment and its associative components, the crocus provides many health benefits as well. Crocus itself does not have any health benefits, but saffron has. Crocus is the main source of saffron that has many health benefits like;
1. Crocus saffron is very much helpful in maintaining the mood and treats depressive symptoms. A study has proved that daily consumption of about 30 mg of saffron is equivalent to the supplements like Fluoxetine, Imipramine & Citalopram used for treating depression.
2. Saffron is even said to have high antioxidants that help neutralize harmful radicals in the body that are beneficial for cancer. Saffron and its compounds are said to be killing colon cancer cells and slowing down their growth.
3. Saffron is also helpful in treating the premenstrual syndrome(PMS) most women suffer from. A study has shown that taking about 30 mg of saffron daily may treat the PMS symptoms like irritability, headache, pain. Also, by smelling saffron flower, PMS anxiety is said to slow down.
4. Crocus saffron helps reduce heart-related diseases because its consumption helps to lower cholesterol and prevents clogging of blood vessels.
5. In most countries, saffron is encapsulated and used to treat patients that suffer from memory loss.
6. Saffron is even helpful in treating cold when drunk with milk and sometimes helpful for treating patchy baldness if used as a mixture of milk, liquorice, and saffron.
7. Saffron can also be used for treating your skin problems like hyperpigmentation, acne spots, sun tan, and more by applying the paste.
Overall, Crocus is a beautiful and beneficial plant that you need to grow to color the surrounding you live in and to spread out the good moods it provides.
Did you like the article? Feel free to give suggestions and feedback in the comment section below. Also, share your gardening experiences with crocus flowers. Enjoy reading and Happy Gardening!
Also read about Nasturtuim to complement your garden along with crocus.