Crocus


QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE

1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 3 to 8.

3. Planting Distance - 4 to 6 inches apart in ground; or 3 bulbs per 14 inch or larger container.

4. Mature Height/Spread - 3 to 5 inches tall with a similar spread.

5. Bloom Time - Early spring.

6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole or bed deep enough to allow the dormant bulb to be covered with 4 inches of soil. Place bulb pointed end up in hole and cover with soil, firming soil with your fingers. Water thoroughly.

GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT

Native from Spain to Afghanistan, crocus have been cherished in gardens since the 1500s. Victorian gardeners planted entire carpet-beds of them.

Why grow crocus? You can squeeze hundreds of them into a small area. They bloom when you're the hungriest for flowers and multiply quickly.

Earliest of all spring flowering bulbs to bloom, these heirlooms will bring spring to the garden weeks ahead of schedule. Long before winter fades, exquisite blooms can poke through the snow to provide cherry spots of color on 3-5 inch tall stems. You'll get loads of springtime color when these bulbs are planted in and around the garden, or they can be planted in mass for a kaleidoscope of naturalizing color. 

SOIL PREPARATION

Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2.  To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2-4 inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.

CONTINUING CARE

Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).

Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Grooming - Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible.  You don’t want the flower heads to go to seed.  Seed formation drains off the food needed to produce next year’s growth, which is essential for further bulb development.  Leaves should be allowed to die back naturally before removing.  The green leaves are the last things to wither and dry up but they do provide the nourishment for your bulb growth. As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season. DO NOT remove the foliage while it is still green.

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - In late fall, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw or leaves to in-ground plantings to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.

For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.

In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and remove any dead or damaged parts on any plants.  Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance. 

 

CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.