How to Grow
Optimum Planting Time: September – November
Flowers: January - February
Where to plant
Crocuses love very well-drained, gritty soil, poor to moderately fertile and ideally in full sun, although there are some varieties that will also grow well in partial shade. They do well under deciduous trees where they will get sun in early spring, and look lovely naturalised in grass.
How to plant in the ground
- Using a trowel or a bulb planter, dig hole 10cm deep and approximately 7.5cm apart.
- Place a thin layer of bulb compost and potting grit in the hole first. Next place the bulb in the hole with the tip facing upwards, add another layer of compost then fill the hole and compact the soil gently.
- Water in to settle the soil around the bulbs.
How to plant in containers
Crocuses grow well in containers and look great either on their own or mixed with other spring-flowering bulbs.
1. Choose a container with good drainage holes. Place a layer of stones or gravel at the bottom of the container to aid drainage.
2. Fill the container with bulb compost or multi-purpose compost, mixed with potting grit.
3. Plant the bulbs in the compost about 4cm deep and 1-2cm apart.
4. Water just enough to settle the soil, then place the container in a sheltered place over autumn and winter before moving into a sunny place when the shoots stat to show.
1. Crocuses are generally low-maintenance. Water container-grown crocuses in dry periods but avoid waterlogging the compost.
2. Crocus flowers will fade naturally and there is no need to deadhead them.
3. Ideally, leave the foliage to grow for around 6-8 weeks after flowering. This allows the bulbs time to build up resources for next year’s flowers.
4. Where crocuses have been naturalised in lawns, avoid mowing the foliage as much as possible until it has yellowed and died back.
5. Crocuses will multiply and spread over the years. To encourage this, lift and divide large clumps once they have finished flowering, and replant the clumps.
Pests and Diseases
Rodents, especially squirrels, can be a real problem as they like to dig up crocus bulbs. Protect areas where bulbs have been planted by pegging down chicken wire over them. Place a layer of grease or a copper band around the rims of pots to protect new shoots against slugs and snails.