Are you looking for the best guide on how to grow crocus flowers for your spring bulb garden? This week I am talking all about crocus! Why? Crocuses are petite little flowers that appear in the late winter to early spring. They are a sign of hope that spring is on its way as soon as the ground has thawed.
They often sprout up through patches of snow creating splashes of color before any other flowers begin to bloom. Crocus attracts bees providing them with nectar and pollen to start their season off right. These spring bulbs come in a wide range of colors from pure white with yellow centers to purple, and yellow.
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I first planted crocus in the fall two years ago, as an edge border, in my bulb garden. I absolutely fell in love with these tiny beauties the following spring! I had only planted solid yellow ones that I had found in a local Dollarama. Since then, this small patch of 10 has doubled in size. Last fall, I decided I wanted more of what the crocus has to offer. I purchased a number of different crocus colors and planted them as a lawn planting (keep reading for details!!) for a dermatic effect come spring.
1. How To Grow Crocus Flowers In Your Spring Bulb Garden
First, you will want to wait long enough for the soil to cool down in the fall (about 60 degrees Fahrenheit/ 15 degrees Celcius). Here in Eastern Canada, the time is perfect by mid-October, although they can be planted later if the ground is still workable.
Crocus like well-draining soil and full sun. If too much water is allowed to collect, your crocus bulbs can rot in the ground. So, it is very important that the spot you choose is in a well-draining area. Well, they do like the full sun they can be planted in an area that is partially shaded in the summer months due to the fact that they will be in bloom well before the leaves are on the trees.
After you have chosen the best spot in your spring bulb garden, it is time to dig your planting holes. Crocus bulbs need to be planted 2 – 3 inches deep and about 3 inches apart with their pointy ends up. I recommend checking out the various tools designed for bulb planting on Amazon. Be sure to check the instructions on the back of the package. Adding a bit of compost to your planting holes is always a great idea! Water well after planting.
Come later in winter or very early spring, you will see your crocus start to sprout. Crocus will bloom within a couple of weeks from sprouting, perfect for the impatient gardener. After the crocuses have bloomed, don’t cut off the foliage just yet. Leave it until it’s completely yellowed.
2. How To Grow Crocus Flowers In Your Lawn For Naturalizing
Spring crocus has much to offer and shouldn’t be restricted to a spring bulb garden. What about dressing up that ugly lawn before it turns green with blooms of color like purple, white, yellow, pink, or pale lavender!
First, you will need to find the perfect location on your lawn to start your carpet of early-spring crocus color. If you have a perfectly manicured lawn that has incredible get up and go come spring, turns nice and green really early on, this may not be the best method of planting crocus for you.
You will need to wait to mow this patch of lawn till the foliage turns yellow and dies off in order for your crocus to put energy into the bulbs so they live to see another year. Crocus does not like to compete with lush well-fertilized lawns, they are ideally suited for areas where grass does not grow well like spotty patches or underneath an evergreen tree.
You will want to plant your crocus bulbs in much the same way as in bulb gardens as noted above. You can plant crocus bulbs in existing sod by lifting the turf and rolling it back carefully. Add a little compost or manure into the soil before planting the bulbs. Roll the sod back into place and tamp it down so it makes contact with the ground. I suggest scattering your bulbs and planting them where they fall in groups of five so that you steer clear of perfect rows.
3. How To Grow Crocus Flowers In Containers
Just like when you are planting Crocus or any other spring bulb in your garden bed, you will want to be sure to wait until fall when the temperatures are cooler (about 60 degrees Fahrenheit/ 15 degrees Celcius).
The container that you choose will need to be well-draining. Fill it with loose soil and be sure water will not collect at the bottom. Be sure the container’s final resting place is in a location that it will get full sun or at least partial sun throughout the day.
To grow crocus flowers, they need to be planted 2 – 3 inches deep and about 3 inches apart with their pointy ends up. Depending on the size of your container, you may have limited space. Try experimenting by placing them closer together, but remember to never let them touch! Water well once all bulbs are planted.
As when you grow crocus flowers in a garden bed or in your lawn, once your crocuses have bloomed don’t cut off the foliage. Leave it until it’s completely withered and yellow, then you may cut them back.
Resources For Planting Your Spring Bulb Show In The Fall:
- Spring-Flowering Bulbs to Plant in the Fall
- 8 Gorgeous Spring Bulbs to Plant this Fall
- How to Plant Fall Bulbs for Long-Lasting Color
Common Questions/FAQ About Growing Crocus Flowers
Do crocuses multiply?
Crocus flowers will multiply or spread once they have established themselves. If you want to propagate your own groups of crocuses, you can dig up a large clump or a few clumps for that matter. Be sure to do it in the autumn!! Split these large clumps into smaller ones, and plant where you would like to grow crocus flowers.
Is crocus poisonous to dogs?
Crocus that are planted in the fall, but bloom in the spring are non-toxic, but they may cause gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs. You must be very careful, as autumn blooming crocus are extremely poisonous! Different varieties of crocuses bloom at different times of the year, so the season (spring or fall) is not a safe identification method.
When can I mow over Crocus?
In order for crocuses to bloom year after year and continue to multiply, their foliage absorbs the rays of the sun and turns them into energy. This being said, DO NOT mow until the foliage has turned yellow and is dying back!
Do Crocus like sun or shade?
When you grow crocus flowers, it is best to plant in full sun, but since crocuses bloom in late winter to very early spring it is safe to plant in areas that get partial shade in the summer months. Remember the leaves will not be on the trees yet at this point in the year!
Will crocus grow through the grass?
When you grow crocus flowers directly in the grass it is the perfect way to naturalize your lawn! Crocus will thrive for years if planted in the grass with fast-draining soil. If your lawn is maintained to perfection with lots of nitrogen, it may stop the blooming process of these delightful little crocus flowers.
The Last Thing You Need to Know to Grow Crocus Flowers
I absolutely love the anticipation of waiting for these tiny beauties to appear as the snow is disappearing. From the time they are set in the ground during the fall, I look forward to the moment!
There are so many different spring bulbs to be planted in the fall. I’d love for you to comment below and tell me what you will be planting in your spring flower garden this fall.
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