We are so excited to have a supply of these beautiful little bulbs available at the Garden Center. These small crocus Crocus sativas produce the most valuable spice in the world, Saffron, which is the dried stigmas from the flower.
This gardening season has certainly been unusual but what better time than now to introduce these small crocus into your Fall planting plans? These bulbs are a fun and unusual crop that you can plant now and enjoy the flowers in October before you go on to planting bulbs for Spring time flowering.
You can dry the Saffron threads at home and have an incredible gift to give out this winter or to savor them in your own home dishes, like the Perez Family Paella from Food52.
Below is some more great info from the premium quality Saffron bulb supplier ROCO on this incredible flower that produces what is known in the spice world as ‘Red Gold”
- Only Crocus sativus provides saffron
- A delicate, highly valued spice with interesting medicinal qualities, prescribed in homeopathy
- Crocus sativa is a sterile plant making its lineage pure for over 3,000 years
- Crocus sativus has a reversed vegetation cycle, leaves come out in September and the plant flowers in October, then dries up in May-June of the following year.
- The saffron flower is composed of 6 purple tepals.
- The pistal is made up of 3 stigmas which when dried gives the spice saffron.
How To Grow Saffron
- Grow in well drained soil, avoid heavy clay.
- Saffron must be grown in a sunny place, especially in autumn during flowering.
- Prepare the ground by tilling about 8″ deep and add some compost or manure, like our Coast of Maine Lobster Compost or Composted Cow manure.
- Plant bulbs in rows or beds, 6″ deep and 6 bulbs per square foot.
- Plant from July until Mid-September as a 6-7 year crop. *Plant on the deeper side for protection from frost as the crop will move upwards over the seasons as new corms grow on the top of older ones.
- Keep your bed weed free; especially after planting.
- Keep soil moist, water if weather is dry in September
- Pick and collect in early morning when the flower is still closed. * Try to pick before flowers open to preserve quality
- Separate the stigmas and dry the saffron threads completely to maintain quality, dry an oven on the lowest heat setting for an hour, dehydrator or shallow baskets.
- Vegetative development occurs over the winter and spring, leaves will dry out by May