Crocus is a genus of flowering plants in the iris family found in northern and central Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
They are found in woodland, scrub, and meadows from sea level to alpine tundra.
Crocus flowers appear in autumn, winter, or spring. There are several varieties, and the bloom color is white, mauve, lilac, lavender, yellow, and striped.
Crocus Facts for Kids
- Crocus is a light bulb flower that looks like a grass-like ensiform leaf.
- Crocuses are among the first flowers to bloom each spring.
- Crocus bulbs contain food energy that fuels plant growth.
- In rock gardens, Crocus bulbs bloom early and are easy to tuck in flower beds.
- Crocuses thrive almost anywhere.
Crocus, derived from the Latin adjective crocatus, meaning yellow, has the largest blooms of all the Crocuses.
A crocus flower has three stamens, while a toxic plant, colchicum, has six stamens and three styles. Saffron is obtained from the stigmas of the autumn/fall-blooming species Crocus sativus.
Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used the flower’s fragrance to dispel the fumes from intoxicating liquors. The Romans were so fond of the flower’s fragrance that they used it in banquets to inspire love.
Crocus is one of the first flowers to bloom in cold climates, opening with cheery blossoms that come in Easter egg colors.
Start with a Bulb
Crocuses are corm-like plants that grow from bulbs. The larger the bulbs, the stronger the plant will be and the more flowers it will have. You can buy crocus bulbs at garden centers and nurseries, but you may also find them growing wild in your neighborhood.
Planting a patch of crocus bulbs in your yard will provide an instant show of springtime color. The best way to start planting crocus bulbs is by digging holes about 1 inch deep and 2 inches wide. Plant the bulbs about 3 inches apart, filling the hole completely with soil. Water well until the roots begin to emerge.
The bulbs should sprout within two weeks
Plan for Success is Key
The bulbs should be planted in full sun or partial shade. They need a cold winter in order to bloom properly. If you live in an area where winters are mild, you can plant your bulbs outdoors as soon as the soil warms up in spring.
When planting bulbs, make sure to dig them deep enough so that the top 6 inches of soil are covered
Where do You Plant Crocus
Crocus bulbs are easy to grow in rock gardens because they grow well with good drainage and warmth from nearby stones.
Combine crocus bulbs with other spring-blooming bulbs in flowerbeds and pathways for an extra two weeks of blooming.
Plant crocus bulbs around the yard, beneath trees and shrubs, and even right in the lawn to bring spring to the yard early.
How do You Plant Crocus
Plant crocus bulbs in groups of 3 to 9 bulbs, 3″ deep, and within a month of receiving them.
Crocus will grow in well-drained soil and don’t mind competition from neighboring plants.
Squirrels and chipmunks can eat your newly planted crocus bulbs if they are not protected by screening or scent deterrent.
What Can You Expect
Crocus flowers appear quickly, and the bulbs produce several blossoms in quick succession.
Crocus bulbs provide a rich source of pollen for bees and will fill your garden with flowers.
How do Look after Crocus When They Bloom
After crocus bulbs have finished flowering, simply allow the foliage to continue growing. Leave the bulbs in place until the foliage begins to yellow, and then pull the foliage away from the bulb.
Crocus may become overcrowded and produce fewer flowers over time, so divide the bulbs and plant them in new places.