The Saffron Experiment, Part 2: We Have Sprouts!

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Saffron crocus sprouting outdoors, November 2007

As I mentioned last month, I’m attempting to grow saffron crocuses (Crocus sativus) so that I can have my own supply of saffron. I ordered bulbs and they arrived within a week, but I was unable to get them into the ground for another week. By then I was worried that too much time had passed and the weather was no longer warm enough for the plants to sprout, and I decided to put 10 bulbs in pots indoors and the remaining 40 bulbs outside. I planted them and crossed my fingers, and then I waited.

Last week the indoor plants started to sprout, soon followed by the outdoor plants. I’m keeping the potted bulbs in my kitchen under a grow light until they are fully sprouted and seem hardy, then I’ll try to get them in tune with their natural growing cycle by moving them outdoors for the winter. Because they are in pots, I am a bit concerned that they will not have enough natural insulation like the plants in the ground, so depending on how cold it gets at night I may have to bring them into the garage or at least cover them .

Saffron crocus sprouting in a pot, November 2007

So far the experiment seems to be working, but I’m just getting started. Keep an eye out for more saffron crocus photos in the coming months!

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  1. says

    I’m very interested to see how they come along. You could try insulating the pots with bubble wrap and then some decorative fabric tied around so it didn’t look so unsightly. Can you also use straw? I’m sure I used to see things covered with straw in my grandfathers garden over the winter. Maybe that was the strawberries. I need to do some research. Good luck anyway

  2. says

    That’s nice that you can actually see them growing and this adds excitement and anxiety (in my case), when I grow something I have to check it all the time!

  3. says

    Freya, I agree. Growing your own is the best way to know what you are getting!

    Amanda, good idea for the bubble wrap! I’ll have to give that a try.

    Cris, the boys check them every morning as soon as they wake up! I’ve had trouble keeping The Little Man’s fingers out of the dirt, though… :-)

    Gift of Green, hopefully this little experiment will yield some results next fall!

    Nika, so far it’s been easy. Hopefully the squirrels will leave the outdoor bulbs alone this winter!

  4. says

    The smell of crocuses is one of the few things which took a big place on my childhood memories… And one of the flowers I love the best!

    I love them wild , but also it must be marvellous to have them blooming in the kitchen!

    Best wishes from Istanbul…

  5. says

    Hi BaL! The crocuses haven’t bloomed yet as I just planted them a few months ago. I’m crossing my fingers to have some beautiful flowers and saffron stems in the fall!

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