How To Grow Autumn Crocus or Colchicum

Autumn crocus (the real name is Colchicum) is one of two commercially available bulbous type Crocus plants that bloom in the fall.

In flower from September to late October, this wonderful blooming plant brings a last gasp of bulb beauty to bear.

They are very easy to grow in spite of their odd flowering time.

The most commonly found plant is C. autumnale and except for the fact that the blooms are lavender-pink or light purple you'd have a hard time telling them apart from the spring blooming crocus.

(Well, other than the fact that they bloom six to eight months apart that is.)

fall crocus

Do note that the flowers come up in the fall without leaves and that leaf growth is a spring thing.  The leaves grow in the spring and then go summer dormant - then the flowers come in the fall.

Varieties to Look For

If you get a little tired of same-old, same-old autumn crocus plants, you can even find double-flowering varieties.

The violet coloured ‘Waterlily” variety is the most commonly available and when you see its colour in the fall garden, you'll understand why.

But if you happen to want a large display, try planting a C. bysantinum with its very large corms, each one of which can produce up to twenty purplish-pink flowers.

The variety ‘Giant' will produce very large violet flowers blooming in mid-September to October and these can reach 25 cm in height (that's around 8 inches tall)

fall crocus

The corms can be planted in the fall, they may indeed flower from an early September planting date.

Leave them in the garden because the next spring, they will produce leaves. These leaves grow and then disappear by mid-summer.

Book cover spring bulbs

Plant Warning

Colchicum corms are poisonous so do not allow children to play or handle these corms.

fall crocus

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