Crocus Flowers are Easy To Grow And Here Are Some You Want in Your Spring Garden
Every spring, it seems I write and say that my Crocus have started
blooming and they are the earliest flower in the garden.
The bright yellow of the C. chrysanthus
when they lead off the
garden blooming season stays with me for an entire year's gardening
Easiest To Grow
It seems that crocus are one of the easiest of bulbs to grow and
because of this, gardeners hold them in small esteem. Cheap in the
stores, and plentiful in the gardens, these charmers should be planted
in huge drifts in our gardens and wild areas. "More is better!" shrieks
the flower lover in me.
Plant them in as much sun as you have, space them 3-4 inches apart,
put them down 2-3 inches deep
, and plant lots of them
in the same area. Groupings of 20 to 30 in each spot will give you a
A brief warning to the wise if I may, yellow crocus do well close to
the house where the dogs tend to chase away the smaller birds and
starlings. Planted far away from the house, the birds peck at the
yellow flowers while they ignore the other colours.
I have the
devil of a time keeping yellow plants growing outside of the dog’s
Let me also suggest to you that the established clumps bloom earlier in
the spring than first year plantings. Don't plan your garden colours
around first year bloom times.
Crocus vernus naturalized
is the first little charmer I want to mention.
They come in a wide range of colours, including such lovely bloomers as
'Rememberance' with its deep violet blooms, 'Goldilocks' with a
sunshine yellow and 'Purity' a white bloomer. You won't go wrong with
any of these.
The bulbs you'll normally see in the garden centres are the large
flowering hybrid forms of crocus. These large flowering types are the
result of many years of intense hybridization in Holland and give us
the largest flowers in the most intense shades imaginable. The do
flower a week or so later than C. crysanthus
so by planting
both, you can extend the bloom time in the spring.
Let me note that if you are going to try to force some crocus bulbs by
planting them in pots and plunging the pots in the garden, these
hybrids are the ones to choose. If you see crocus in flower
arrangements in the spring, these are the ones being used. You can
easily do this yourself.
You might also search out some C. vernus
bulbs. These are one of
the late blooming forms and extend the season another week or so. They
like a bit more water and slightly deeper planting than other crocus
bulbs and are well worth the effort.
Some people complain that their crocus bulbs never last very long in
the garden. The major reason for this is that they are getting too much
water during the summer. This bulb likes its summer soil dry and
hot while its spring and fall garden area can be a tad damper.
Never plant it in areas where you will grow summer annuals.
water the annuals enough to get them to bloom well, you are giving the
crocus too much water and shortening their life. The exception to this
is C. vernus
. Plant it under your annuals and both annuals and
crocus will thrive.
Crocus are a marvelous bulb for tucking into lawns or wilder areas
of the garden. If you can find some C. nudiflorus
favourite specialty garden store, they are one of the best for this
environment as grasslands are their native habitat. I have some of
these at the end of my driveway that have been there for twenty years
or more now. Every spring they pop up from the rocky, grassy area
before anything else has even thought about growing. We enjoy their
blooms for a week or so and then they fade away. The leaves get a
chance to grow and replenish the bulb before the grass starts to cover
it over for another year.
I find that some parts of my lawn have crocus still in them from an
enthusiastic planting twenty years ago.
I tucked a few here and
there over the farm to see how they would grow in different areas.
They've done well on the lawn. They bloom well ahead of the grass
starting to grow and by the time the grass is high enough to mow, they
are finished for the season. Mowing the grass gives the leaves a bit
more time to store sunlight and they have thrived in this spot. If
their leaves get a touch high, they get mown as well but this has never
hurt them. I expect they will start to fade away in the next few years
as the maple tree over them gets larger and shades them out. I'll just
have to look for another area to plant for the next twenty years of
dreaming and enjoyment.
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Crocus vernus 'Pickwick'
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