i recently planted saffron crocus corms for the first time. How long should it take before I see growth breaking through the soil surface?
Also, they are outside in planters in full sun (I'm in Atlanta - Zone 7). Should I water them weekly at this point, or late nature take its course?
In Zone 7 you "might" see "some" foliage this fall, but really it's doubtful. Newly planted bulbs normally - & should be - putting all their effort into establishing a good root system first & foremost. I'd count more on seeing blooms next fall.
But then, bulbs in planters are kind of skewed since the soil goes through much more wide differences in temperatures, from very warm to very cold. No natural insulation like in-ground bulbs. You'll just have to wait & see.
Just an update. I've been ignoring the pots I planted the corms in and letting nature take it's course. I just looked outside this morning and see that pretty much ALL of the newly planted corms are showing about an inch or so of green leaves now. Each corm has multiple leaves that look kind of like grass. So at least I know they're not dead!
Will let you know how things progress over time.
So, another update. I glanced outside this morning and was surprised to notice my very first purple saffron bloom. It's very pretty and colorful, with a combination of purple petals that turn black near the stem, with a yellow (stamen?) in the middle, along with 3 beautiful rusty orange/red threads of saffron. I noticed one other bulb has produced a bud as well.
All the others are happily growing leaves, but show no signs of buds yet. Don't know whether they will produce any saffron this year, but I'm still happy.
Now maybe after NEXT Fall I'll have enough threads to make a paella (I only planted 30 corms to start).
First update on my second season with the crocus planted last Fall (2010). They all came up last year, and a few bloomed, but not many. Over the Summer, I ignored them. We had a pretty hot, dry Summer (I'm in Atlanta), but I just left the pots with the crocus alone. About a month ago, pretty much all 30 corms had sprouted new leaves. Upon returning from a vacation on Oct 19, I noticed that 2 had already bloomed, and 2 more had buds about to open (which as of this morning were open, and I harvested their saffron threads). It even looks like possibly the corms have grown and have put out more shoots than last year. So all is off to a good start this fall.
Even if you aren't interested in the saffron itself, just the flowers are worth it for their beauty alone.