Crocus are the heralds of spring, often blooming when there's still snow on the ground. Their cheery flowers come in Easter egg colors of purple, yellow, lavender, cream and white. Crocus are carefree bulbs that naturalize and multiply to produce more and more flowers every year. Their beautiful blossoms are magnets for hungry bees, who are drawn to the rich, golden pollen inside each flower.
START WITH A BETTER BULB
When you compare two crocus bulbs side by side, it’s easy to see differences in quality. Larger bulbs, like the one shown on the far left, contain more food energy to fuel the future plant's growth. They produce stronger plants with more flowers than smaller bulbs.
PLAN FOR SUCCESS
SUN & SHADE: Crocus bloom best when they are grown in full sun, but they'll also grow well in partial shade.
ZONE: Crocus are hardy in zones 3-8. To find your growing zone, click here.
WHEN TO PLANT: Plant crocus bulbs in fall, once the weather has cooled down and before the ground freezes.
WHERE TO PLANT CROCUS
PERENNIAL GARDENS: Crocus bulbs are small and easy to tuck into flower beds. Plant them near the front edge when they’ll be easy to see. After the flowers have faded, the foliage will quickly disappear, making way for other plants.
ROCK GARDENS: Crocus grow well in the spaces between rocks and in gravel gardens. With good drainage and warmth from nearby stones, they’ll bloom extra early. Plant both species crocus and giant crocus to extend the show.
FLOWERBEDS AND WALKWAYS: Combine crocus with other spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips, muscari and hyacinths. Crocus will bloom early and add an extra two weeks to the show. Nestle a few crocus bulbs near the edge of a walkway, pathway or steps and enjoy their delicate blossoms every spring for years to come.
LAWN AND LANDSCAPE: Get a jump on spring by planting crocus around the yard, beneath trees and shrubs and even right in the lawn. Crocus bulbs are small and only need to be planted about 3” deep, so it’s easy to plant a lot of them in a very short amount of time. All bulbs look best when planted in clumps or drifts, as they would be found growing in the wild.
PLANTING IS EASY AS 1-2-3
1. Loosen the soil to a depth of 4" to 6" and then dig a 3" deep hole
2. Put one or more bulbs into the hole, spacing them 2 to 3" apart
3. Cover the bulbs with soil and water only if the soil is very dry
PLANTING TIPS FOR CROCUS BULBS
Crocus are not fussy and will thrive almost anywhere you plant them. They grow best in well-drained soil but will also tolerate both sandy and clay soils. Unlike some bulbs, crocus don’t mind competition from other plants. These early bloomers have usually flowered and faded away before other plants start to grow.
Squirrels and chipmunks sometimes dig up and eat crocus bulbs. If these pesky critters are a problem in your yard, you can protect newly planted bulbs by covering the area with screening or spraying the soil with a scent deterrent.
CARING FOR CROCUS AFTER THEY BLOOM
Once crocus bulbs have finished flowering, their foliage withers away very quickly. This means there's no need to remove the spent flowers or leaves. Within a few weeks, both will have disappeared entirely until next season.
When growing crocus in a lawn, hold off on the first spring mowing until the bulb foliage has yellowed. This gives the bulbs time to absorb the nutrients they will need for next season.
Over time, large clusters of crocus may become overcrowded and produce fewer flowers. If this happens, dig up the bulbs shortly after they finish flowering (so you still know where they are). Divide the bulbs into small clusters and replant the same area with at least 6” of space between each cluster of bulbs. Plant extra bulbs in new places areas or share them with friends.