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Saffron Crocus

edwardspk Sep 11, 2010 05:17 PM

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?

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  1. Quine Sep 11, 2010 05:26 PM

    This is a quote from this site :

    'Plant the croms in the spring or fall. If planted in the fall, the crocuses will sprout the following spring.

    In short, not for a while yet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Quine
      edwardspk Sep 13, 2010 03:18 PM

      Hmm, the place I bought them from said that if I planted them as soon as they were shipped in August, I should expect blooms this fall. Guess I will find out soon enough. Will let you know when/if they grow!

      Thanks for the response.

      1. re: edwardspk
        Quine Sep 13, 2010 03:21 PM

        Cool! yep, wait and see, the best advice for Mother Nature.

    2. b
      Breezychow Sep 13, 2010 03:48 PM

      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.

      1. e
        edwardspk Sep 14, 2010 12:14 PM

        Appreciate the responses. Any advice on watering the bulbs? I know they are dormant in summer and like dry soil, so should I just rely on Mother Nature for their watering now, or water weekly at the same time I'm watering my other potted plants?

        2 Replies
        1. re: edwardspk
          Glencora Sep 14, 2010 12:41 PM

          I have some in a part of my garden I never water. They seem to do fine with wet winters and dry summers. Since they're in pots you don't need to worry about drainage. The flowers appear before the foliage, I believe.

          1. re: edwardspk
            Breezychow Sep 14, 2010 05:04 PM

            If they were in the ground, I'd rely on Mother Nature unless you were experiencing a long dry spell. But being in pots, I'd water when you water your other plants.

            In the ground, even during drought conditions, the soil still has more natural moisture than in pots.

          2. e
            edwardspk Oct 28, 2010 08:46 AM

            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.

            1 Reply
            1. re: edwardspk
              morwen Nov 1, 2010 06:28 AM

              Cool! Do keep updating. I've been curious about saffron crocus for quite some time but have never taken the plunge. I know you need lots and lots of them for any appreciable harvest but I still want to try them if only for the GeeWhiz! factor.

            2. e
              edwardspk Nov 23, 2010 06:40 AM

              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).

              1. e
                edwardspk Oct 21, 2011 12:20 PM

                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.

                1 Reply
                1. re: edwardspk
                  morwen Nov 15, 2011 10:20 AM

                  Awesome! I'm definitely going to add these to our garden.

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