Many crocus are native to Turkey and therefore it’s no surprise that they like a sunny well drained spot. The corms from which they grow are storage organs which hold all the nutrients needed for a happy bloomer. For your springtime displays, plant the corms in early autumn - September is ideal. They naturalise well in grass soon forming colonies before your very eyes! This is a plant to use in quantity - bold drifts and clumps are what these corms need. They also look well in pots, particularly terracotta.
The lilac and white stripes of 'Pickwick' Crocus flower really jump out at you in February and March, as does 'Orange Monarch' or 'Yellow Mammoth'. Suttons have an excellent bulbous gift idea for a loved one: buy a Plant-O-Tray Heart with crocus and dwarf tulips and watch as the bulbs spring to life with heart shaped vigour.
Saffron crocus bulb is the source of saffron - the world's most expensive spice, said to have been used by Cleopatra in her bath water! The vibrant orange red stigmas at the centre of the purple flowers are harvested and dried to flavour rice and sauces. Very sweetly scented, these corms are planted in August and September for blooms in October and November. They need a dry sunny spot and are a real aristocrat of the Crocus world. Also available from Suttons in white flowering forms. For detailed growing information on this crocus, see here.
Also flowering later in the year and known as 'autumn crocus' are the corms actually called Colchicum. These flower mostly in purple on bare stems with the leaves appearing later. They can be planted in small numbers to great effect, as they are more individually showy. Plant in late summer for an impressive show that same year. 'Waterlily' is very popular with up to 8 flowers per bulb. You can even grow Crocus bulbs indoors on a saucer with no soil needed, just plant out after flowering has finished.
From springtime carpets to an autumn full of spice - Crocus are certainly corms to consider.
Where to grow Crocus?
- Plant Crocus bulbs en masse at the front of a border
- Allow to naturalise in lawns or beneath deciduous trees
- Crocus bulbs look good in containers
- Excellent for rock gardens
- Crocus bulbs prefer an open sunny spot although they will tolerate light shade
- Well drained soil
How do I grow Crocus?
- Plant new Crocus bulbs about 5cm deep and 5-10cm apart
- Plant spring flowering varieties in Autumn
- Plant autumn flowering varieties in July and August
- Only water when the soil becomes dry
- Once flowering has ended allow the leaves to yellow and die back naturally
Buy Crocus bulbs online from Suttons