Tuesday, April 14, 2009


My favoured color is yellow, that's why I like this time of the year with it's yellow flowering plants: Daffodils, Forsythia, Dandelions and the early Crocus which I grow only in yellow, mixed with some whites.Three years ago I planted just 12 of them and now I have literally hundreds of Crocus blooming.

I promised my friend Pat to send her more info about Crocus planting and propagating.
This is what I found on the Internet:
These small plants grow just 5 to 7 centimeters tall, but they are very prolific, easy to grow and make good house plants, easily to force them into blooming too. Crocuses sprout from corms, bulb-like stems. Not only are crocuses good flowers in the garden, they make good houseplants. You can easily force them to bloom indoors.

The word "Crocus" is Latin for Saffron. It should not surprise you that Saffron comes from the stigma of the Saffron Crocus. But, it takes thousands of flowers to get an ounce of Saffron.

House plants
Crocus grow well in many types of soil, adequate drainage provided. However, add some extra peat to the soil mix at first. Place crocuses in a container with their tips slightly sticking up from the soil.Water the bulbs thoroughly, then place the pot in a dark and cool (between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius) place for several months, as these bulbs generally require a 12-15 week cold period. Once the bulbs begin to sprout, move the pot to a brighter location and provide warmer indoor temperatures, at least 20 or 22 degrees C. and keep the soil damp, but do not overwater. Crocuses need plenty of sun to create those spectacular blooms. Once blooming has ceased, the crocus leaves should be left alone to dry naturally.

Propagation by division and planting tips
After three to four years, clumps can be dug up in the autumn and the bulbs divided and replanted. First work the soil, adding compost to provide a rich bed for growth. Mix into the soil a generous portion compost as fertilizer. These small corms can be planted using a trowel, a bulb planter, or just pushing them into soft soil to the proper depth of about 8 cm from the top of the corm. Add a thin layer of mulch on top if desired. Good light to partial shade and well-drained soil are essential. Select a spot where you can see them from a window of your house. You don't want to miss the first show of the year! Water Crocus corm thoroughly to prevent air pockets.Lift corms every three to four years, late summer to fall, divide and replant. Allow the corm to dry in a warm environment for 48 hours to seal any exposed surfaces before planting. Don't display a large number of them close together, as they will rapidly multiply.

Squirrels love them

Crocuses aren't disease-prone and are fairly trouble-free. The main pests are squirrels, rabbits and rodents that dig the bulbs up. To prevent this it might be necessary to place chicken wire over the planting area and plant at least 8 - 10 centimeters deep.

I am asking myself often, where would I have gone 20 years ago for all these horticultural information ... Maybe to the library, or magazines, or asked neighbours, friends or family for their tips and tricks. Now with the Internet, you have all the knowledge in seconds on your screen.