It’s easy to see why crocuses are so popular. They bloom early in the spring, and the striking flowers are sure to be every gardener’s delight. But they look so beautiful, that many gardeners may wonder if there’s a catch. Is it difficult to succeed with crocuses? The answer is “No”. Whether you’re growing them in your garden or forcing them for out-of-season bloom, Crocuses are thankful, tough, and enduring. Need to know more? Let’s go into the details so that you can enjoy growing crocuses with confidence!
How Crocuses Grow
Although we call them bulbs for convenience, the correct term would be “corm”. The plant grows from this bulb-like structure, consuming it entirely. Then, before it enters dormancy, it begins to prepare for next year, forming a new corm, and if it’s a happy camper, it may produce several new corms.
That means you can treat crocuses as deciduous perennials. They come up, bloom, and then go to sleep, popping up again when autumn comes around.
- A sunny spot;
- Well drained soil;
- Autumn planting.
Crocuses don’t like:
- Wet feet;
- A climate that’s warm to hot all year;
- Premature cutting back.
Crocuses in the Garden
In most gardens, crocus bulbs can be left in the ground during dormancy. It’s a case of planting them once and enjoying the blooms for years to come. Of course, you don’t want bare patches during their summer dormancy, but that’s easily overcome. Plant them with low-growing ground covers, and you have a low-maintenance area that looks striking in spring.
You can also turn your lawn into a spring flower-meadow with the help of crocuses, but you will need to hold back on mowing until the plants have taken all the nourishment they need to form a new corm from the leaves. While some perfectionists might not like the idea of letting lawn get a little lanky during this time, others will be thrilled with an opportunity to delay the lawn-mowing chore!
Planting crocus bulbs is easy. Select a well-drained site, and if your garden tends to be wet, overcome this by choosing a raised bed or rockery. You can also use compost to improve drainage and build your beds up a little to enhance the effect. Crocuses prefer to be planted right side up. The flattened portion of the bulb (or corm) is the bottom.
Forcing Crocuses for Winter Bloom
Crocuses may bloom early in spring, but it is in winter that we most crave colour. “Forcing” means persuading your plants that bloom time has arrived, and crocuses lend themselves well to this little trick. It’s very easy to do. Here’s your recipe:
- Plant your crocuses in six-inch (15cm) pots in October or choose a wider pot with approximately the same depth as a six-inch pot to make a bowl of blooms;
- Set the crocus bulbs close together, but don’t let them touch one another;
- Chill the planted crocus bulbs in a cold, dark place. This can be an old refrigerator, or a chilly cellar or store room;
- You will want to keep your soil moist, but not constantly sopping wet, so check them every second week and water again if the soil is becoming dry;
- Keep them in these conditions for about ten weeks. Your plants have now had the chilly “winter” they like to endure;
- Now, it’s time for some sunshine and warmth! Place your pots on a sunny indoor windowsill. Flowering time is around the corner!
- Within four weeks, your blooms should begin to emerge. Spring just arrived early, even if it is only indoors.
Flower and Flower Again
The most important thing in getting your crocuses to flower again next spring is to allow the leaves enough time to die back naturally. During this phase of its growth, the crocus takes all the nourishment from its leaves and packs it into a new corm or corms for next season’s blooms.
That’s it! Your crocuses should be more than willing to greet each new spring, bringing you oodles of pleasure and adding colour to your life.
Visit our crocus selection and take a look at those beauties in shades of purple and gold, or choose purest white for its cool elegance. We especially recommend our Penny Lane Collection, an all-in-one flower garden kit featuring deep red tulips and white crocuses for a simultaneously flowering display that will take your breath away.
Place your orders now for spot-on seasonal delivery. Plant them and enjoy!