Experiences with Saffron Crocus?

nadia214January 20, 2013

Hi! I was really curious if anyone has grown the Saffron Crocus. If so, what was your experience with it, what zone you are in and where you able to harvest Saffron? I'm toying with the idea of growing it but I'm feeling a little intimidated by it because I heard its hard to grow good quality saffron from it. Thanks in advance!

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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

It didn't work for me in zone 10b. I don't think it even bloomed, and it definitely didn't come back the next year.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:44PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

I have grown them, and they flowered, and then I had an inadvertent upheaval so they come up in weird places now.

If you can grow garlic well you can probably grow saffron. They seem to prefer an open soil, and plenty of sunshine, and they do better if they're lifted each year and replanted with the larger bulbs set out to flower/produce and the smaller ones put in to grow on to flowering size. Some people recommend using a 'hill and furrow' growing system, though not as marked as you would for potatoes. If you need to irrigate rather than count on autumn rains, then that would make sense for keeping the flowers/anthers dry.

You might not get flowers the first year if the bulbs have yet to reach flowering size. And you need to manage your bulbs this way rather than hoping they'll naturalise. I suppose it's because they're a crop, not a decorative plant.

Feeding seems to be best done using mature compost rather than quick chemicals.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 4:30AM
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wvbetsy(z6WV)

I've had excellent success growing saffron crocus. I plant them just as I would any other crocus. I amend the soil with compost regularly. The only time I dig them is when they've become crowded. I disagree that they're no decorative. They've naturalized throughout my flower beds. I collect the threads and use them in cooking.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:53PM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

I've got a couple of clumps that have flowered for 2 years now. They are in my garden meant for flowers, not veggies. I think they are beautiful and yes, we have used the threads in cooking--but since there are not many, we only added them to the saffron we already had. I live in NJ a few miles north of Trenton. The crocuses are planted in the only bed that gets full afternoon sun. They did make clumps pretty fast after I planted the single bulbs.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 6:06PM
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