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02/03/2013 at 11:12

I've got 60 bulbs of saffron crocus in my back garden in pots with a gravel top layer. foliage is plentyful and they look in great condition. the problem I'm having is flowering.  I had about 10-15 flowers early december then I persume it became too cold, but should they not be flowering again now? Has anybody had a similar problem? Or can anybody offer some advice or info about what is going on?

Thank you kindly in advance.


Extra info. Bulbs purchesed from suttons.

02/03/2013 at 13:26

True saffron crocus flower in the late autumn. They will start to die down about now and will be dormant during the spring and summer and should be kept fairly dry, then in the late summer/early autumn start watering and they will form new buds and flower late autumn.

02/03/2013 at 19:07

my crocus have not flowered but I have leaves that's all.

02/03/2013 at 19:21

Flowering rose, are we talking Saffron crocus here?  If so the weather last year may not have helped - they need a dry summer .  Or it may be that the corms may have been a little immature.  Try to let them dry off over the summer and hopefully they'll spring into life next autumn  

03/03/2013 at 09:05

I've never succeeded with these. I lived in Saffron Walden for years, where it was grown on a commercial scale in the past, but still couldn't keep it. 

03/03/2013 at 09:21

I think summers were warmer and drier back then   If I were going to grow it in the UK I'd look for a free-draining south-facing slope.

07/03/2014 at 12:16

I grew them on a window sill in my flat last autumn, but have now moved to a house with a garden. When should I plant out the bulbs in the garden and should I just leave them drying out in the pots until then or should I continue to water them? Would be grateful for any advice!

07/03/2014 at 12:26

Have they started growing? If not plant out now. Saffron crocus are fall bloomers. They'll sprout foliage in the spring but it's in the fall that they flower and produce their valuable bounty.

07/03/2014 at 13:31

Planted mine about 2 or 3 years ago on the allotment.  Have only ever had one flower.

Thinking of digging them up and putting them in a big pot instead...

07/03/2014 at 14:41

They need to be baked by the sun to flower, they want full sun and good drainage and warm soil, people advise covering them with black chippings. Personally I'd feel I'd turned my garden into a graveyard if I did that but it is supposed to help. I've not had mine long enough to really comment from experience. I got mine from Parker bulbs, maybe it's nothing to do with me.  It doesn't look like any of us are going to be making it rich on Saffron anytime soon.

07/03/2014 at 19:49

I visited a saffron farm a couple of years ago - up in the mountains in the Pyranees.  The bulbs were grown on a steep slope facing the sun, in somewhat barren ground. As has been said already, they need to roast in the summer, then the autumn rains will bring them into growth, and flower.  The flowers were over quite quickly after which the plants quickly looked rather dejected.  Probably not the best bulb to grow if you're after nice flowers.

I planted some up in my garden, but lost them all after a year - too wet, I think.

18/03/2014 at 15:25

Mine grew well on a window sill last autumn. Beautiful flowers and saffron but each only lasted 4 or 5 days. I'll plant them out now and see if they do as well in the garden. Thanks all

18/03/2014 at 17:07

Nice one Naomi2

Never thought about growing them indoors. 

The yield would be very small in my place though.

You have definitely got the mind turning over.



18/03/2014 at 17:12

and the "saffron" that's worth a small fortune is the two or three red threads in the centre of the flower - quite sad to see a huge basketfull of petals pulled off to harvest a tiny amount of saffron!

18/03/2014 at 17:42

karma, I would say you are too far north to make a fortune on saffron out of doors.

18/03/2014 at 17:43

I used to live in Saffron Walden which had a major saffron industry in the past. I couldn't get saffron to grow there though.

I'm told that Gold Street, named for the saffron, was feet deep in discarded petals at harvest time. Might be a myth 

18/03/2014 at 18:29

have a look at this video

Might help


18/03/2014 at 18:33

In Roman times, globe artichokes were grown commercially in Britain; it was warmer then I believe and that would apply also to saffron, I think the climate became colder from the 14th century on.

18/03/2014 at 19:03

 well those are the petals...

and these are the flowers growing in stony ground in France

is this what you are expecting?


18/03/2014 at 19:23


Only 3 bits, tiny bits in the middle of the plant that is the stamen! that is saffron!  Do not get confused, do you see now? You have too nearly kill the plant to get your gold. Its the stamen that counts and that is why it is so expensive.

Apart from the colour, do you think it gives flavour? Is it worth it???????????????????

Kind regards


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