With the first rays of spring sun, beautiful, colourful crocuses, the first harbingers of the end of winter, begin to appear on lawns, squares and other green areas. If you want to delight in their beauty not only during walks, but also in your own garden, you must check when and how best to plant them
Crocus – the bulbous flower of spring
Crocuses are flowers which originate from the Mediterranean region and under their name, there are up to 70 different species which are highly resistant to low or even sub-zero temperatures . Therefore, they can be found naturally in the Alps, Tatra Mountains and Asian countries
In Poland, the most popular species of crocus is saffron conspicuous by its subtle purple color. However, its varieties blooming in yellow, white, pink, maroon and even in shades of two colors blurring on their petals are equally common.
Due to the change in high altitude cultivation, the now naturally occurring crocuses in the ecosystem are fully protected and should not be plucked under any circumstances. Fortunately, you can enjoy them by planting them in your own garden
When is the best time to plant crocuses?
Crocuses are bulbous plants which are best planted around 1.5 months before the first frosts in the autumn
Because whole carpets of crocuses look most impressive in gardens, it is best to buy more bulbs sold in sets. Choosing them, you can bet exclusively on one species or combine their colors with each other, creating a multi-colored, beautiful seed
The cost of buying bulbs in the case of crocuses usually ranges from 20 to 60 cents per piece, but it is worth remembering that once planted crocus bulb will provide us with flowers in the spring for many years, because this plant is classified as a perennial
Planting crocuses step by step
Planting crocuses is not a complicated task, so it is best to start in September to get there before the first frosts. This work should start with choosing a place for our crocuses. The soil in which the flower bulbs are to be planted should be fertile, with a low degree of humidity, and the site itself should be in a well-sunny position
Once you have chosen a suitable site for your crocuses, you should clear it of grass, weeds and anything else that hinders the plants from germinating. Then make holes about 10 centimetres deep and put crocus bulbs in them – remember to keep a distance of about 8 centimetres between them
Place the seedlings upside down in the holes and then cover them with soil. Immediately after digging in the seedlings the prepared crocus bed should be watered generously, while gently tamping down the soil covering the bulbs
How to take care of crocuses
Crocus bulbs planted in this way should still be rooting in autumn, and in late winter put up their first leaves from under the layer of snow, but to delight them with their beautiful flowers they need proper care
Watering and fertilising crocuses
Because crocus bulbs are planted in autumn – one of the rainiest times of the year – they do not need to be watered unless the ground is dry due to scanty rainfall. When it comes to fertilizing, you can apply a small dose of bulbous plant fertilizer directly to the soil, allowing crocuses to draw nutrients from the soil throughout the winter
>> See also: When to plant tulips? Planting techniques and the best varieties
Protection against frost
Although crocuses are cold-hardy flowers, it is a good idea to protect their bulbs from frost in the first year by placing a small layer of straw or geotextile over them, which should be removed in early March.