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How to plant, grow & care for crocuses flower

How to plant, grow & care for crocuses flower

Spring color is so important in the garden, bringing mood-lifting optimism just when we need it most. The delicate and colorful crocuses are the ideal mood enhancers in February and March – after the cold winter, their yellow, white and purple flowers are just so beautiful to look at. As early bloomers packed with pollen, they are an important crop for pollinators, particularly bumblebees, which come out of hibernation to find food that is often quite scarce at this time of year. There are some tall, chunky cultivars (often a bit showy and too far removed from the wild) as well as fine-leafed, pointed, elegant cultivars. There are exceptionally beautiful crocuses that will reliably return year after year with minimal attention, and many brilliant, easy-to-grow varieties that can be planted in grass, border borders or in a pot. You will find all possibilities in our hand-picked selection of crocus bulbs.

how to grow crocuses

where to grow crocuses
Soil Type: Crocuses thrive in a gritty, well-drained soil that is poor to moderately fertile. Crocuses thrive in leafy soil under deciduous trees.

Appearance & Position: Crocuses love to be planted where they will be in the sun when they flower. In general, full sun is best, but some cultivars are happy in partial shade as well.

when to plant crocuses
Plant the tubers in September through November for an early spring display. You can plant fall flowering crocuses and colchicums in late summer for fall and early winter color.

how to plant crocuses
Naturalization of crocuses in the grass
There are several ways to mass plant crocuses in grass. At Kew they raise the grass and scatter the crocuses on the ground and then replace the turf. At Great Dixter, crocus bulbs are planted one at a time, in the thousands, using a long stemmed bulb planter.

To plant them like we do at Perch Hill, you’ll need a bucket of spent compost and a bucket of crocuses.

Crocuses thrive in thick lawns when the sun is full on them, so choose your location wisely. Then cut the grass before planting in September, October or November. You will see the blooming crocus much more clearly when the grass is cut short.

Punch 20 or 30 holes with a bulb planter, aiming for natural propagation. Make sure the holes are 8-10cm (3-4 inches) deep and the bulbs are about 10cm (4 inches) apart.

When you are happy with the pattern, add 1½ cm (½ inch) of the spent compost to the bottom of the hole. On heavy soil, use a fresh bag of multipurpose compost mixed with 50% sand.

Then place a single crocus bulb on top and add another 1.5 cm (0.5 inch) of compost on top.

Break off some soil from the bottom of the bulb planter so the soil you are replacing sinks to the correct level when you replace it.

After flowering, wait until the foliage has died back in May to cut the grass.

Growing crocuses in a pot
Crocuses are beautiful in pots. It’s also a great way to figure out which ones you like before you plant hundreds in your yard or grass.

Plant them in pots from September to November. Plant 8-10 cm (3-4 inches) deep in pots filled with peat-free compost.

You really want to stuff them in, almost touching but not quite! I plant at twice the density as in the garden, so instead of double the width of the bulb, I plant them on just one width of the bulb.

Keep them in a cold frame (or outside if you don’t have one) – they need a cold period to develop their root systems before flowering. Check them every few weeks to see if they are starting to sprout.

If you see them sprout, you can move them to a warmer place (like a greenhouse) if you want to force them for early flowering. Otherwise leave them outside and they will bloom when the weather warms up.

If you want them indoors as a center table, you’ll find they open fully when warm. Once in bloom it is important to keep them cool or they will wither in 4-5 days; Stored cool, you should triple the flowering time, so keep her outside on the doorstep when you don’t need her as a centerpiece.