Crocus are a definite sign that spring has sprung, and here in the Okanagan mass plantings of colourful crocus can be seen popping up in a multitude of gardens.
Crocus adapt well to planting in a wide variety of soil conditions, and will multiply over time to cover large areas. When selecting varieties, choose ones that bloom at different times which will in turn allow you to extend the flowering time significantly.
These beautiful cup shaped flowers shoot up from corms in the ground to a height of about 3 to 6 inches and come in a wide variety of colours. Some of which include Violet, Blue, White, and Yellow and the leaves are small and grass-like with a white stripe running through the center of the leaf axis.
While most people think of crocus as a spring flower, the Saffron crocus(Crocus sativus) is a fall-flowering crocus that is available in late summer. The Stigma is the part of the plant that is harvested and consumed as the spice Saffron. There are also several other varieties of beautiful fall-blooming crocus.
When selecting an area for crocus to be planted be sure that the site you’ve chosen is in full sun to light shade and the soil is moist but well draining. Crocus corms should be planted in the fall, a few weeks before the hard frost is expected. Not so early that they try to grow before the winter, and not so late that the ground is frozen. This time will vary based on your micro-climate, location, exposure, etc. Loosen the soil gently with a garden fork and add compost or soil amendments as needed. Place corms approximately 4 inches deep, 3 to 4 inches apart, cover with soil and press firmly. Water thoroughly after planting.