Plant Autumn Crocus

autumn-crocus
From obenson flickr

I have just bought and planted some Autumn ‘Crocus Speciosus’ AGM that were part of a birthday present. I could have waited until summer to plant the bulbs. Flowering bright blue are about 4 inches tall. I hope to see the blue veined flowers with  deep yellow stamen  by October  followed by leaves in spring. The thin flowering stems find it difficult to withstand wet and windy weather and are inclined to flop but I have given them some shelter in the rockery.

Autumn crocus are not cheap but they can last for years given favorable conditions. Autumn crocus or meadow saffron is a poisonous member of the lily family.

Autumn Crocus Tips

  • Plant about 4 inches deep and be prepared for them to flower a bit later the first year.
  • Try other varieties of Autumn flowering crocus of which there are many including the saffron Crocus sativus, Crocus goulimyi, Crocus pulchellus, Crocus agrippinum and Crocus nudiflorus, Crocus clusii, Crocus laevigatus Fontenayi, Crocus pulchellus and Crocus Zephyr
  • Excellent for naturalising in wild gardens, rockeries and between shrubs according to my packet instructions (but they are unlikely to say good chance of failure).
  • Many colchiums and autumn crocus they can flower without soil indoors prior to planting out.
  • Increase your stock via freshly ripe seed or dig up the corms when the leaves fade in spring pulling them apart and replant the cormletts.
  • Mice can be troublesome because they eat the Crocus corms so protect them if you are troubled.

Other Resources
National Council for Conservation of Plants and Gardens ‘Conservation through Cultivation.’


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