Crocus is a tiny bulb flower blooming either at the end of winter or in fall.
Core Crocus facts
Height – 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil: ordinary – Planting: spring/fall – Flowering: winter or fall (variety)
Planting and care are a set of small actions that, if properly performed, will boost blooming.
There are two planting periods, each matching the one or the other variety. The species that produces saffron is called Crocus sativus.
- It is recommended to plant in fall those bulbs of species that bloom at the end of winter
- and to plant at the beginning of summer the bulbs of species blooming in fall
Follow a planting depth of 2 inches (5 cm) and plant in clusters of at least 20 to 30 bulbs.
- Take a look at our information on how to plant bulbs.
Pruning and caring for crocus
If you’ve planted crocus in the middle of your lawn, wait for the crocus leaves to have wilted before mowing for the first time in spring.
Usually, this will match with the end of the first dandelion blooming. You’ll have a lawn dotted with yellow dandelions, but won’t have to suffer through all the weeding!
Different types of crocus
Other crocus species include Crocus chrysanthus, Crocus sieberi, Crocus tommasinianus, Crocus olivieri…
Many of these grow in the wild, but garden centers are beginning to introduce them as botanical crocus varieties.
Crocus sativus produces three long pistils (the female pollen-receiving organ) per flower.
- Early morning, when flowers have just opened, harvesters scour the flower beds to pick each fresh flower by hand, whole.
- Within less than an hour, batches are sent indoors, where they’re spilled on a table.
- Each flower is then opened to reveal the pistils which are carefully pulled out with tweezers.
- Pistils are carefully dried and packed.
The faster the process, the higher the quality, but there are also other factors: variety, soil, water, sun…
A million flowers will yield only 5 kg of flowers, so you can imagine how much work this is! Luckily, you only need a few to prepare a savory meal…
All there is to know about crocus
They are perfect to highlight your garden at the end of winter or in fall, when clusters large and dense enough start forming incredible flowered spots all around.
As a spice, it’s a valuable crop, but since flowers only last a day, it’s a challenge to time your availability for the harvest…
Smart tip about crocus
In a lawn, crocus will multiply and spread over the years, but for that you must refrain from mowing until the leaves have wilted away…