Crocus Sativus Growing Guide

Planting Crocus Sativus

  • Plant these bulbs in late summer.
  • Plant them with the pointy end up in a sunny to semi-shaded area about 8 cm (3 in) deep and 8 to 10 cm (3 to 4 in) apart.
  • If you have trouble with gophers or squirrels eating your bulbs, try sprinkling red pepper in the holes, covering the bulbs with chicken- wire, surrounding bulbs with sharp shards of gravel or other substance, or planting rodent- repelling bulbs like Fritillaria nearby.
  • These bulbs do best in well-drained soil.

Growing Crocus Sativus

  • These bulbs look good planted in groups at the base of trees or in wooded areas.
  • Plant in groups of ten or more bulbs which then appear more natural.
  • Also look great when planted at the front of borders or rock gardens.

Care Crocus Sativus

  • If the growing conditions are good the saffron crocus will produce two flowers per bulb in the first fall after planting.
  • Harvest the flowers in the morning when they are barely open. Remove the three red filaments from the pistil (stigmas).
  • Once the saffron have been harvested they must dry in order to preserve them. Dry the pistils in the oven, with the door open, for 10 to 20 minutes at 50 ̊C (120 ̊F).
  • It is recommended to let the saffron rest in a small airtight jar for a month before consumption.

Winterizing Crocus Sativus

  • These bulbs are great for naturalizing and almost require no care.
  • If you grow them in a cold area, it is advisable to cover the roots of the plant with bark chippings, to protect them from winter frosts.
Crocus Sativus