But don’t get too carried away – you’ll need to grow lots of plants to get a good harvest of saffon. The Saffron Crocus Bulb is a beautiful autumn blooming Crocus (Crocus sativus). Saffron comes from the saffron crocus bulb (Crocus sativus), which is an autumn blooming crocus. But the real show stopper is the three fiery-red stigmas which carry the ‘scent of ambrosia’. Heavy clay soils may need the addition of sharp grit or gritty sand to improve drainage. Bulbs can be planted in well-prepared soil and left in the ground. Plant the bulbs in the pot in the fall, before any frosts arrive. How to Grow Your Own Saffron . The reason saffron is so expensive is that it takes an average of 150,000 flowers to create just 1 kilogram (about 2 pounds) of the spice. Saffron is a highly prized, crimson red spice used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. Despatched from end November. About Saffron Crocus. Plant the bulbs 10-15cm (4-6in) deep and the same distance apart in late summer in well-prepared soil with lots of added bulky organic matter, such as planting compost. It's the most expensive spice by weight anywhere in the world. They pop out of the ground in autumn like magic, lilac or mauve with darker colour veins. The fall-blooming, purple-flowered saffron crocus grows from a bulb-like structure called a corm. Where To Plant Saffron Crocus Bulbs Plant in well-draining soil in sun to part shade. Rich in taste, aroma and history, Saffron is the whole package in your garden. Credit: istock. Saffron is the dried stigma of a particular crocus flower species: Crocus sativus. It is gotten from the Crocus sativus which is normally known as saffron crocus bulb. If your region experiences wet summers the crocuses can be planted under … Saffron crocus grows from a one-inch bulbous corm that will bloom into a lavender flower on a short stem. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Harvest time is in October/November once Crocus sativus start to bloom. Vendors ship in the fall and the bulbs should be planted on receipt. If they're subject to very harsh, freezing winter conditions, the bulbs won't grow as well, and this could result in poor flowering. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Another name for autumn crocus is Meadow Saffron, but it is not saffron or related to saffron which also blooms in the fall. Saffron is collected from the stigma of one type of flower: the blue saffron crocus. Plant immediately as they do not store well. It comes from the saffron crocus, Crocus sativus. You’re not likely to be successful in areas of high summer humidity or rainfall, like most of the Australian east coast. If saffron crocus is planted in swampy or poor draining soil, it will rot. By utilizing a trowel, burrow little openings and plant the corms around 3 to 4 inches down. Buy them from early August until October. The Saffron Crocus prefers a full sun or very light shade location. It has beautiful golden-red threads and a pound of dried saffron goes for about $5,000, about 25 percent of the price of a pound of gold. If they’re planted to shallow there won’t be enough space for next year’s bulb to develop. How to Grow Saffron Crocus Fall is the time to plant your Saffron Crocus bulbs, and it's also the time when you can expect to see the first bloom on this perennial flower. Grow your own saffron threads which you will see in the supermarkets for more than $130 per gram or just enjoy the fragrant purple flowers either in pots or mass planted. **You can either grow a patch of these pretty flowers by themselves, or you can place them with lettuces, cucumbers, or radishes, i.e. Foliage will develop in the spring and flowers will follow in late summer through fall. Crocus species and cultivars are mostly very hardy and are easily grown plants that are particularly well suited to rockery planting. So plant in the ground 10cm deep with a minimum of 10cm apart. If you’re growing on a commercial scale, plant the saffron bulbs at a spacing of 60 corms per square metre and it’s estimated that you can harvest 6-10kg of saffron per hectar (2.5 acres) with a retail value of up to £2,600. Space the bulbs around 6 inches apart and 4-5 inches deep in the ground. It does need to be well-draining though, and best results are seen in a loamy, humus-rich type. Store the threads in an airtight … Growing Saffron Bulbs (Crocus Sativus) Growing Saffron is not an extremely demanding method, however; some steps are important to take into account. This is really straight forward and perfect for beginner gardeners and more seasoned ones alike. For 450g (1lb) of dry saffron… In USDA planting zones 6-8, in areas that typically have drier summers, saffron will grow well as a perennial. plants that flourish when the blue saffron crocus is … Plant them as soon as possible after receiving them. Without at least four to six hours of direct sun during bloom time, you run the risk of being disappointed with the crop. It can actually be handy if you experience particularly harsh winters. Whether you are planting in the ground or containers, make sure to have regular topsoil (garden soil) and some compost or potting soil. Difficulty: Easy. In Australia, that’s Tasmania, western Victoria, elevated parts of South Australia and areas of western NSW. A kilo of saffron is thought to be made up of 100,000 pistils (threads). Many gardeners trying to grow saffron crocus find that they are not getting flowers on their plants, although the plants are very healthy. Saffron is the dried stigma of a particular crocus flower species: Crocus sativus. Autumn crocus, which looks a lot like it, is extremely poisonous. Bulbs can be planted in well-prepared soil and left in … S affron, one of the glorious traditional spices that almost anyone can grow in their backyard or sunny patio, is said to be worth more than gold. Saffron comes from the saffron crocus (Crocus … You can also water them if the rainfall in your area falls below 1.5 inches (4 cm.) You can fertilize them once a year, though they grow fine without being fertilized as well. per week. Grow Saffron as a Perennial. How to grow saffron crocus. Crocus corms will grow best in hot climates, with a hardiness zone of 6-9. How to Grow and Care for Sweet Cherry Trees, How to Grow and Care for Velvet Banana Trees. How to Grow Saffron Crocus Saffron has a reputation for being the most expensive substance in the world. Growing saffron crocus is easy and certainly makes the expensive spice much more affordable. deep in clay or plastic pots filled with a well-drained soil mix, and then set the pots directly in the ground, with the rims about 2 inches below the soil surface, so the pots don't show. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find them at a chain store or big box store. They will be hardy down to -15 F (-26 C). The bulbs are small and rounded, with slight pointed tops - plant with the points facing upwards. Saffron is a crocus and is edible. The corms are planted in the spring or early fall. You can collect the stigmas to produce your own saffron, but be aware that it takes at least 150 to 200 flowers to produce around just one gram of this spice. Dutch saffron refers to a company that sells these bulbs from Holland. Saffron crocuses prefer average amounts of moisture in the spring but do best dry sites in the summer when they are dormant. Planting saffron crocuses really isn’t any different than planting regular crocuses or other types of bulbs. They either … When you plant your saffron crocus bulbs, place them in the ground at about 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 13 cm.) Saffron Crocus thrive in a continental climate where there's a definite difference in the seasons. Most Popular. S affron, one of the glorious traditional spices that almost anyone can grow in their backyard or sunny patio, is said to be worth more than gold. SAFFRON CROCUS (9 BULBS) Crocus sativus: Member $19.95 . Autumn crocus grows in either full sun or partial shade. If bulbs stay in damp soil, such as clay, they could rot. Saffron crocus prefer a warm climate and full sun. Plant them as soon as possible after receiving them. Snip open flowers from their stems and tweeze the saffron thread from the bloom, then lay the thread on a paper towel to dry (watch out for breezes or drafts!). Saffron crocus bulbs do not store well. It yields the rust-colored, edible spice. The Sativus crocus variety goes dormant in the summer. You can plant fall crocus … Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. If you have a particularly dry spell, light watering will be required, but, other than this, they'll cope will with just natural rainfall. For the best results with this plant, pick a site that gets plenty of direct sunlight and has a well-drained sandy, loamy soil. Roots will form in the autumn. The female part of the flower (the stigma) is what you’ll harvest each year. … In USDA planting zones 6-8, in areas that typically have drier summers, saffron will grow well as a perennial. Pre-winter is … Once you have purchased the saffron crocus bulbs, you can plant them in your yard. Then they will die down over the hot summer, to pop up again when cooler weather returns in the fall. 10 Plants for Year-round … Once established, they're relatively drought-tolerant and too much moisture can damage or rot the bulbs. deep and at least 6 inches (15 cm.) Tip – Approx. After planting, water your bulbs well, thoroughly soaking the area. You want the bulbs to sit at least three inches apart. Partly because of those particular health benefits, saffron can be included in a healthy and balanced diet. The leaves need at least half a day of full sun. Other than needing good soil and sun, saffron crocus are not picky. How to Plant Saffron Crocus Saffron Growing in a Pot Plant the saffron bulbs (corms) at a depth of 10 to 15 cm below the ground and 15 cm apart, keeping the pointed side upwards. Plant Crocus sativus bulbs anytime between August to late September. Thankfully, saffron is sold by the gram. Growing your own saffron is as easy as simply planting a few crocus bulbs in the ground and harvesting the red saffron threads in the fall, and you can grow your own saffron for much cheaper … To plant saffron crocus, start with high-quality corms. As you would expect from a plant that is typically grown in arid regions, they don't need a lot of watering in general. Saffron crocus is grown in countries like Iran, India, Afghanistan, Italy, France, New Zealand, Pennsylvania, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Morocco, Turkey and some parts of China. It is really obtained from the red marks of shame of the crocus blossom. This image is not\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Plant saffron bulbs 3-4 inches deep, and 3-4 inches apart. Most people turn to a reputable online nursery to purchase them, though you may find them for sale at a small local nursery. Dig holes and plant the crocus bulbs 3-4" deep and 2-3" apart. The pot can be buried into the ground at this point, but should always be lifted out to be stored indoors before the freezing temperatures arrive. N.B. Grow Saffron as a Perennial. When growing saffron, first find a place to purchase the saffron crocus bulbs. An easy way to tell them apart is saffron has 3 stigmas and autumn crocus has 6 stigmas. Since this plant is propagated in different parts of the world, planting techniques of the saffron cultivation may differ too, depending on the climate, the type of soil, depth of planting and spacing of corms. By Jodi Torpey. It requires about 4,000 stigmas harvested from the saffron crocus to yield a mere ounce of this costly spice. 15cm if you are inter-planting with Spring bulbs. The purple-flowered saffron plant grows from the crocus corm (which is similar to a bulb). Considering the high price this spice fetches at market, you might be surprised to discover how easy it is to grow. After planting, water well. Plant crocus corms 3 to 4 inches deep (with the pointy end up). It’s so expensive that you may wonder “Can I grow saffron crocus bulbs and harvest my own saffron?”. Saffron is a purple fall-flowering crocus that is extremely easy to grow and should be planted in the late summer for blooms in just weeks. The pot should be relatively deep and spacious. Each saffron crocus bulb will multiply by year three, hopefully around 5 times. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Saffron plants need well draining soil and lots of sun. The bulbs (corms) don't store well and should be planted soon after you receive them. The deep depth is important, as the bulbs will multiply by growing new bulbs above the old ones. The dried stigmas of the plant are picked from the saffron crocus, which is a plant that can grow up to 30 centre metres in size. To harvest the saffron strands… Make sure the bulbs will receive sun during bloom time. Growing saffron. The answer is yes; you can grow saffron in your home garden. Crocus … Space the bulbs 2 to 3 inches (5-7 cm.) Pruning Hydrangeas. Growing Saffron Crocus: When To Plant Saffron Crocus Bulbs. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. The first year after planting, your Saffron Crocus won't produce its best bloom. You shouldn't water them throughout this period. Step-by-Step Instructions For Growing Saffron Crocus in Crates or Containers: After Arash showed me how to create the milk crate planter, he walked me through the step-by-step process of planting and growing saffron. PLEASE NOTE - THIS CODE INCLUDE 9 BULBS. Growing and Harvesting Saffron Crocus. Plant the saffron crocus bulbs … Saffron crocus bulbs do not store well. Fall is the time to plant your Saffron Crocus bulbs, and it's also the time when you can expect to see the first bloom on this perennial flower. Arash says their research is two-fold; they are examining the best way to grow saffron crocus … This plant isn't incredibly picky about soil type. A: It’s correct that saffron comes from crocus, but only from fall crocus, Crocus sativus, not spring crocus, Crocus vernus. Incorporating an organic fertilizer into the soil when you're planting Saffron Crocus bulbs can be advantageous. A kilo of saffron is thought to be made up of 100,000 pistils (threads). Mulching around the plants with straw or compost can help to protect them if you expect the temperatures to drop significantly. Normally,saffron is planted in light soil fields, with good drainage and without any flooding problems, which have been already used for other cultivations with no signs of illness to prevent phytosanitary problems. Pick a spot in your garden that has well-draining soil and gets full sun. Once you have purchased the saffron crocus bulbs, you can plant them in your yard. If saffron crocus is planted in swampy or poor draining soil, it will rot. 50-65 flowers will produce 1 tablespoon of Saffron. Another way of growing Saffron Crocus in cold-winter areas is to plant the corms 2 inches (5 cm) deep in clay or plastic pots filled with a well-drained soil mix. Growing Saffron Crocus In Pots Or The Ground. Then set the containers directly in the ground, with the rims about 2 inches (5 cm) below the soil surface, so the pots don't show. Saffron crocus and other autumn flowering varieties need … For the best results with this plant, pick a site that gets plenty of direct sunlight and has a well-drained sandy, loamy soil. After the plants die back in the fall, move the pots into the basement and store them dry for the winter. Many … Keep reading to learn how to grow saffron. Replanting after this will encourage healthy growth by preventing overcrowding and ensuring that the bulbs remain deep enough in the soil. It is the stigmas of the Crocus Sativus that is the most expensive spice in the world. Apart from the saffron, the flowers are very pretty and the leaves stay green all winter which is an added bonus. As they are fall-blooming crocus, you will plant them in the fall, but they will probably not bloom the year you plant them. Steps for harvesting Saffron – Part 1. She has been involved in the Pet Industry for over 15 years. Saffron Crocus is an attractive, autumn-flowering perennial with a long and fascinating history of cultivation. In a secret location in the rolling Trent Hills lies something truly unexpected - True Saffron Farm. In ancient times saffron was used as medicine for a cough or a cold or even flatulence! A sterile plant that can't reproduce by seeds, it propagates through the multiplication of its bulbs (called corms). Once indoors, no watering will be required during this dormancy period. After your saffron crocus bulbs are planted, they need very little care. About 50 to 60 saffron flowers will produce about 1 tablespoon (15 mL.) Saffron (Crocus sativus) has always fascinated me, being both beautiful and expensive, two irresistible qualities. Active Time: 45 minutes. Its species name crocatum can be traced back to the Hebrew word karkom, which refers to saffron, a spice made from the stigmas (female organs) of crocus flowers. Don't be expecting a bumper harvest! Widely known as saffron, its dried stigmas are used in cooking and as a dye. How to plant saffron crocus: Saffron is the most costly flavor having a purple blossom which has a place with the Iridaceae family. … This article has been viewed 4,325 times. You need a cool Mediterranean climate to grow saffron (Zones 6, 7 and 8, and drier Zone 9). The saffron thrived in that light growing medium. Along with purple-veined lilac petals, the flowers are known for their orange-red stigmas, which have been highly prized for thousands of years. Gardeners take advantage of this and plant the corms in one of two places. Steps for planting Saffron. Sign up for our newsletter. Saffron comes from the colourful red stigmas (female part of the flower) – referred to as threads – of a very hardy autumn-flowering crocus. You can order them online, or buy them from a local nursery. August is the best time to plant in colder locations (zones 3-6). After they're established, you could treat them annually with fertilizer, but, with the right conditions, they probably won't require any to be added. Any replanting can be done in the summer during the dormancy period. The color of crocus … Saffron is the quintessential season for paella and other delicious Mediterranean dishes. Each flower has three stigmas that can be carefully removed using a pair of tweezer before being dried out for use. By then, the plant is more established, and the flowering will likely be optimal. Once every 4 to 5 years, dig up your corms and move them to new beds to avoid pest or disease problems or soil mineral deficiencies. Crocus bulbs are easy to grow in containers. How to harvest saffron. The grassy saffron crocus leaves can grow 6 inches to 1 foot high and should persist until spring unless the winter is especially harsh. Saffron Crocus Growing Guide. Suited to temperate gardens, it relishes dry summers and cool winters. Credit: istock. Search around for vendors and be sure that the plants will survive in your planting zone. The true spice saffron is the species, Crocus sativus. As they are fall-blooming crocuses, you will plant them in the fall, but they will probably not bloom the year you plant them. The spice is actually the red stigmas of this crocus flower. Growing Saffron Crocus Plants are hardy in Zones 5-8, and prefer full to partial sun. The flowers are bold and beautiful. They can be purchased for a reasonable price from several different online companies, including Nature Hills Nursery and Brent and … How to plant saffron crocuses in your garden: Best planting time is September or October. If you plan to harvest the stigmas, it's best to wait until the second or third year. It allows you to move the containers to a warmer location when the frosts hit. from a reputable nursery via Amazon. Words: Jenny Somervell Saffron (Crocus sativus) has always fascinated me, being both beautiful and expensive, two … Saffron is a delicious and colorful seasoning that is used in breads, desserts, and main dishes in many parts of the world, from England to India, from the Middle … Too much humidity is a big problem for this plant. Plant them in summer in moist but well-drained soil and water well. How to Plant and Take Care of Your Saffron Crocus. Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey. Plant bulbs in groups or clusters rather than spacing them in a single line along a walkway or border. The leaves appear in the early spring. apart. The leaves of the saffron crocus appear before the flowers and the beautiful but deadly cochiums flower before the leaves grow. This means more corms will naturally develop underneath the soil. Make sure to plant Saffron Crocus bulbs at least 6 weeks before chance of frost. In a secret location in the rolling Trent Hills lies something truly unexpected - True Saffron Farm. How to grow saffron Saffron crocus bulbs are widely available from mail-order bulb and seed companies. It’s worth as much as gold per gram, but fortunately it’s easy to grow. Instead, youll see foliage in the spring, which will die back, and saffron flowers the following fall. Each flower will only produce three stigmas and each saffron crocus bulb will only produce one flower. of saffron spice, so keep this in mind when figuring how many to plant. They do best when summers are hot and dry. Commonly harvested in the Mediterranean and then all the way to the mountains of Kashmir, many people don't realize this spice is produced from the dried stigma of a crocus variety. (10/8/11) Oklahoma Gardening host Kim Toscano talks with us about the Saffron Crocus and how to properly plant this bulb. This easy-to-care-for plant doesn't need a lot of attention or watering. Do not mistake the poisonous Autumn crocus (colchicum) for crocus sativus. Saffron Crocus bulbs. Each corm produces 3 – 8 leaves. How to Grow Saffron. Saffron crocus require very well drained soil, especially in winter, preferably sandy loam. 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Saffron Crocus (Crocus Sativus) is a very interesting crocus variety, blooming in fall and providing you with the incredibly pricy saffron spice, which gives color to well-known dishes like Paella. If you plan to harvest the saffron spice yourself, it’s best to do it in the morning when the flower is fresh and the bloom is fully open. Growing Saffron Crocus: When To Plant Saffron Crocus Bulbs. Saffron has often been described as a spice that is worth more than its weight in gold. Here are tips for growing Saffron Crocus. You should plant crocus around 3 inches separated and ensure the bunch contains 10 to 12 corms. Following are the tips and recommendations on how to grow good saffron crocus plants, even in pots that will produce flowers every year. Saffron Crocus bulbs don't tend to be available in many run-of-the-mill garden centers, so you may have to order them from a specialist. Saffron Crocus Bulbs Grow the most expensive spice in the world! Position : Where to Plant saffron Saffron plant requires full sun. The reason saffron is so expensive is that it takes an average of 150,000 flowers to create just 1 kilogram (about 2 pounds) of … Here’s how you can grow this ancient spice in your own garden. The plant will not grow in shade. Picking those flowers requires 40 hours of labor, and most small-scale farmers only produce this limited quantity every year. These corms should be purchased fresh, just prior to planting. You can grow crocus sativus and harvest the culinary saffron in minute amounts. Saffron plants need well draining soil and lots of sun. How to Grow Saffron. Now that you know how to grow saffron plants, you can give this spice a try in your herb garden. Gemma is a Freelance Writer and Animal Welfare Advocate. Another way of growing Saffron Crocus in cold-winter areas is to plant the corms 2 in. Instead, you’ll see foliage in the spring, which will die back, and saffron flowers the following fall. There should be at least five inches of soil on the base and a further three inches over the top of the bulbs. Growing Saffron Crocus or Crocus Sativus plant or bulbs is not that difficult, so if you live in the right climate, you can indeed grow your own.