13 How to Plant, Grow, Care Crocus Flowers Asparagales 2022

13 How to Plant, Grow, Care Crocus Flowers Asparagales 2022

Crocus is a genus of seasonal flowering plants in the family Iridaceae comprising about 100 species of perennials growing from corms. They are low growing plants with relatively large white, yellow, orange or purple flowers that become dormant after flowering.

  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Iridaceae
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Genus: Crocus; L.
  • Tribe: Croceae

How to grow and care for saffron flowers

While its brilliantly colored beauty is enough to make even the tartest cat happy, a brightly colored crocus poking its head through the snow has been known to fire joy in those perpetually afflicted by winter frantically.

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Many gardeners see the appearance of crocuses as the first sign that spring is a nanosecond away. And what is more joyous to a gardener than spring after a long, cold season of leafless shrubs and bare trees?

Let’s learn more about this beautiful plant genus that provides a welcome spring burst of color.

What are saffron flowers?

Crocus is a genus of 90 closely related species of bulbous perennial herbaceous plants belonging to the iris family that grows from corms. Although they are known to bloom in the spring, some species bloom in the fall or winter., They are native to North Africa and the Middle East, the eastern Mediterranean (particularly the Islands of the Aegean region), and extends to Central Asia. And western China.

Its native habitat is quite diverse and includes meadows, bushes, and forests. Most species are relatively small, growing four to six inches tall.

Saffron, a spice widely characteristic of Spanish cuisine, is made from the stigmas of the species C. sativus in autumn flowering. This expensive and highly coveted cooking ingredient traditionally used in risottos, pilafs, and paellas.,

Read more about its use as an herb on our sister site, Foodal. And get Foodal’s delicious paella recipe that features this highly coveted, seasonal ingredient.

cultivation and history

Crocus sativus was first cultivated for saffron in the eastern Mediterranean and first appeared in the historical record with the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.,

The ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire in Constantinople first introduced the plant to Western Europe when he brought corms to the Netherlands, where they became famous for ornamental gardens. By the early 1600s, new fancy varieties had been developed that are strikingly similar to the types that are still grown.


Saffron flowers can be propagated by two different methods that require digging out the root structure.

the roots should be dug up and divided after the first frost in the fall after the bulb-shaped corms have gone dormant.,

The primary propagation method is digging at the roots and separate the corms into bulb offsets. These offsets are new shoots that develop around the base of the mother corm. Once you have excavated the root structure, you can separate the offsets and use them to expand existing beds or create new ones.

Plants should be dug and thinned at least every five years to minimize crowding.

Saffron plants produce small bulbs of seeds, called bulbils, that develop along with the root structure.,

13 How to Plant, Grow, Care Crocus Flowers Asparagales 2022

How to cultivate

Plant corms in well-drained, compost-rich soils in full sun or part shade.

Dig holes three to four inches deep, and place corms point facing up—water well immediately after planting.

USDA Hardiness zones 3-8 plant newly purchased crocuses that bloom in the spring six to eight weeks before the first hard frost is expected. Generally, when the soil temperature is below 60 ° F., this would mean September to October in the north and October to November in the south. If you have dug your own, you can plant after the frost.

Gardeners in warmer areas will want to “cool” corms to 35 ° F to 45 ° F for 12 to 14 weeks, so put them in the holes in the fridge in October and plant them as soon as they come out of the cold.

Crocuses that bloom in the fall are winter hardy in zones 6-10. Gardeners in colder climates can dig up the corms after the flowers are exhausted and replant the following fall.

Plant drop – blooming corms in August – you’ll see blooms in 6 to 10 weeks.

Learn more about specific planting times for various species here.,

growing tips

Many gardeners plant spring-blooming crocuses on their lawns for a gorgeous early spring display.

Just pick up a section of grass, and roll it back carefully. Loosen the soil and mix in some compost, then plant the corms. Roll into the grass from the back and tamp down.

Some gardeners prefer a ‘sparse’ look, with the corms planted randomly in small groups rather than in formal rows. Others like to express their creativity by planting a design, such as a smiley face.

The saffron will emerge and bloom while the herb is still dormant. Be careful not to cut until the plant’s leaves turn yellow and wilt.

Grass crocuses tend to be freely seeded, resulting in a spectacular carpet of vivid colors after a few years.

For spring-blooming crocuses, water a lot when you plant them and then let Mother Nature and winter rainfall do the work.

For fall-blooming crocuses, water heavily when planting, then water only if conditions are particularly arid.,

Crocuses do not have any particular dietary requirements. You can spray and water in a balanced granular fertilizer depending on the soil conditions.

Crimson Threads of Deliciousness

You won’t need more than 10-12 plants of C. sativus to produce enough saffron for most household applications.

Harvest saffron mid-morning on a sunny day when the flowers are in full bloom. Tear off the stigmata with tweezers or fingers.

Gently place on a paper towel in a warm area to dry. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.,

cultivars to select

The available varieties of this flower are as abundant as a young child’s tantrums. You’ll find types available in Lavender, Orange, Pink, Purple, White, and Gold, in shades ranging from soft to deep. They all have a grass-like blade, often with a light stripe running down the middle.


40 Crocus Jumbo-C mix. Vernus and C. Flavus

They get a combination of C. versus (sometimes called Spring, Dutch, or Giant) and C Yellow., Flavus in this Daylily Nursery mix, available through Amazon.

You will get 40 corms, or bulb-shaped stems, that are 3 to 3 1/2 inches wide and produce yellow, purple, and white flowers.

Snow Crocus ‘Tri-Color’

Check out these tri-color snow crocus plants for some spectacular color in late winter.

Snow Crocus’Tricolor ‘, 20 Bulbs

splendid shades of purple, white, yellow, and orange contrast strikingly against the white snow. Find these from Hirt’s, available on Amazon.,

saffron crocus

Suppose Foodal’s Fall Pot Chickpea Stew with Saffron Garlic Yogurt is on the menu, or any other enticing recipes outlined below, plant saffron crocus. These are available from Daylily Nursery through Amazon.

Fifteen saffron bulbs saffron – fall flowering, grow your saffron!

The bright purple flower petals are offset by the deep red stamens, which we harvest and call saffron. By the way, did you know that it takes about 35,000 flowers to produce a pound of saffron?

C., Tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’

For grass plantings (see below), the small, early flowering C. tommasinianus or ‘tommies’ are a popular choice.

Twenty bulbs of C. tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant.’

This variety from Amazon includes 20 corms that produce fragrant lavender-pink flowers. This type naturalizes very well.

Do you want more options?

These flowers come in a wide range of shades and colors, and there is something for everyone. Check out our crocus cultivar selection guide here!

Control of pests and diseases

Saffron corms are pretty tasty for squirrels, mice, and voles. Keep these greedy rodents out by surrounding your planting space with a wire barrier, such as chicken wire, to prevent burrowing.

Or, do what a gardener I spoke to does: plant twice as many corms as you expect to grow and let the creatures fill up.

These beautiful plants can also be victims of bulb nematodes and root-knot nematodes. You will have to pull up and dispose of the affected plants.,

To prevent an infestation, regularly add micronutrient-rich compost to your gardens. The good organisms in the compost will help control nematodes.

You can learn more about root-knot nematodes in our guide.,

13 How to Plant, Grow, Care Crocus Flowers Asparagales 2022
13 How to Plant, Grow, Care Crocus Flowers Asparagales 2022

Quick Reference Growing Guide


If the thought of another long and punishing winter is almost too much to bear, plant a spring variety, and you’ll have something joyous to look forward to through all the dreary months.

We also suggest forcing these spring bulbs indoors for an early burst of blooms during winter.

Or, if your family can’t get enough of paella and other tasty, golden-colored dishes, plant the fall-blooming saffron and dazzle them with exotic flavors.

Keep squirrels and their relatives away with chicken wire, and you should be rewarded with bright colors in spring or fall.

Do you grow this colorful member of the Iridaceae family? Have you ever grown the variety that gives saffron? We’d love to hear your stories in the comment section below.

And for more beautiful spring flowers, check out some of our other flower growing guides like:

  • How to grow hardy snowdrops
  • How to grow and care for tulips
  • How to grow and care for Grape Hyacinth

Spring flowering plants

  • Daffodil
  • Hyacinth
  • Crocus vernus
  • Snowdrop
  • Lily of the valley
  • Scilla
  • Forsythia

Winter flowering plants

  • Primrose
  • Cyclamen
  • Mahonia
  • Winter heath
  • Sarcococca
  • Winter jasmine
  • Hellebore

How to grow saffron

Some call red saffron gold, and this is because this autumn species that does not occur in any land usually gives a characteristic and almost magical flavor to food. Therefore, it is not expected that its price will be moderate, so it is better to learn how to cultivate it and have its spell at home. If you want to highlight the flavor of your rice dishes and your broths, find out in this oneHowTo.com article how to grow saffron.

You may also be interested in How to grow chamomile.

Steps to follow:


Saffron is not grown with seeds but with bulbs. This kind of root can be difficult to find. The first thing you should do is visit specialized stores in areas where you know it is grown. Without the bulbs, it is impossible to grow saffron.

13 How to Plant, Grow, Care Crocus Flowers Asparagales 2022
13 How to Plant, Grow, Care Crocus Flowers Asparagales 2022


Once you have the bulbs, it is time to plant. Do it at the end of March, when the winter is over. We recommend that you take a 10-centimeter rectangle-type pot and plant the bulbs you want with 20 centimeters of the distance between each one. Ensure that the pot’s grid drains correctly and that it does not store water at the bottom since humidity is recommended for this plant, but not excessively.

3 In high temperatures or the middle of summer, water it like any other plant, alternating the days with the necessary water. Once it blooms, it reduces the frequency of watering to a minimum. And when the cold comes again, cover it with plastic wrap.

4 When the saffron blooms, you must remove the flower’s pistil, that kind of red thread that is what you will use to season your meals and create irresistible flavors in your kitchen. Store the pistils in a plastic container at room temperature, and remember that a bit of use is enough. Don’t spend it all on one plate!

5 When the saffron dries or drops the leaf, it is time to empty the pot and remove the bulbs. Start a new planting from scratch with these bulbs, and you will see that the whole cycle begins to repeat itself. It is common to happen in June.

6 Fun fact: it takes 250,000 saffron flowers to collect 1 Kilogram of spice – that’s why it’s so expensive!

If you want to read more articles similar to How to grow saffron, we recommend that you enter our Gardening and plants category.

Is crocus the same as saffron?

Saffron comes from the saffron crocus bulb (Crocus sativus), which is an autumn blooming crocus. The spice is actually the red stigmas of this crocus flower. Each flower will only produce three stigmas and each saffron crocus bulb will only produce one flower.

Is a crocus poisonous?

There are two Crocus plants: one that blooms in the spring (Crocus species) and the other in the autumn (Colchicum autumnale). … The Autumn Crocus is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure.

What does a crocus symbolize?

What do crocus flowers symbolize? Crocus flowers have a rich symbolism of rebirth, innocence, joy, and new-beginnings thanks to their early blooming flowers in spring.

What month do crocus bloom?

Crocus can flower any time from late winter to early spring. They appear on the scene very quickly. One day there will be no sign of growth and the next day you may discover them in bloom! Crocus flowers do not have stems.

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