How to Plant Saffron Bulbs

Saffron is one of the most expensive and luxurious spices in the world, with some claiming that an ounce is more expensive than an ounce of gold!

Thankfully, there is a way around the price. Crocus sativus is an autumn-flowering variety that produces this rare spice, and thanks to our easy to grow bulbs, planting saffron bulbs is a fuss-free process.

When to plant saffron bulbs

As crocus sativus is an autumn-flowering variety, the planting time will differ from the spring-flowering crocus. To see your bulbs bloom in October and November, start to plant your bulbs in late summer.

How to plant saffron bulbs

If your goal is to make the most of these bulbs and harvest your efforts once they’re in full bloom, then make sure you plant several handfuls of bulbs in the desired area of the garden. It’s estimated that you will need to plant around 150 crocus sativus bulbs to harvest about one ounce of saffron.

When planting saffron bulbs, dig a hole about 10cm and space your bulbs apart by 15cm. Find an area of the garden that reaches plenty of sunlight for them to thrive in the later months of autumn. Cover with soil and water well.

To harvest the saffron once the blooms have appeared, remove the bright red long stamens with tweezers. Be careful, as only one flower will produce three stamens. Dry out on a tissue in a cool, dry room for several days and then place them in an airtight container in the cupboard for future use.

Where to plant saffron bulbs

You can plant your saffron bulbs anywhere you’d like around the garden, given that you provide them with enough space apart to grow. This could be in beds, borders, containers, or even in the grass.

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How to Plant Crocus Bulbs

Crocus bulbs are great additions to your spring garden, contributing a display of small purple, white, and yellow flowers. Crocus are also wonderful pollinators and invite plenty of insects and critters to your beds and borders!

However, if this is your first time planting crocus throughout autumn, then you may feel a bit stuck on where to begin. We’ve written this guide with you in mind, to help you go from bulb to border in just a few easy steps.

How to Plant Crocus Bulbs

First, dig a hole in your desired area that is two to three times the depth of your bulb. Make sure they’re spaced twice the bulbs width apart. Plant with the pointed tip facing upwards, cover with soil, and water once done.

When to Plant Crocus Bulbs

When it comes to planting crocus bulbs, you should always aim to plant them in early autumn. This gives the bulb time to grow through the winter and appear in spring!


Once you receive your bulbs, get them in the ground as soon as possible. Avoid frosty conditions and plant your crocus bulbs in soil that is warm and well-drained.

Where to Plant Bulbs

Where to plant your crocus bulbs depends on the display you would like to achieve. For example, if you’re aiming for a uniform look, plant your bulbs among your beds and borders. If you’d like a more natural look, plant your bulbs informally through grassy areas of the garden.

Crocus bulbs can be planted just about anywhere, as long as they are in full or partial sunlight and have plenty of soil, moisture, and grit for drainage.

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When to Plant Crocus

The jewel-like tones of Crocus flowers are just one of the many reasons why these plants are loved by gardeners. Autumn crocus add a rainbow of colour to the garden as summer flowers start to fade, and Spring Crocus are one of the earliest plants to flower in late Winter. Since Autumn Crocus and Spring Crocus bloom during different seasons in the year, these corms need to be planted at their correct times. 

Discover exactly when and how to plant Crocus corms and fill your garden with stunning Crocus flowers for most of the year.

What are Crocus corms?

Corms are very similar to bulbs, but corms are specialised sections of the stem. The appearance of corms differs from bulbs as corms tend to have a flattened shape.

When to Plant Autumn Crocus:

The best time to plant autumn-flowering Crocus is late July to September. Plant the corms around 4 inches deep in gritty, well-drained soil. These plants are perfect for pots and borders and will flower from September into November.

Tip – Plant Crocus corms in drifts in grassy areas or around other plants for a naturalistic look.

Here are some of our favourite Autumn Crocus varieties:

Crocus ‘Sativus’
Crocus ‘Kotschyanus’
Crocus Sternbergia ‘Lutea’

When to Plant Spring Crocus:

Spring Crocus bloom from late February into spring, so the best time to get these corms planted is September-November, just before the ground freezes in Winter. Plant Crocus corms around 4 inches deep in gritty, well-drained soil.

Here are some of our favourite Spring Crocus varieties:

Crocus ‘Orange Monarch’
Crocus ‘Fuscotinctus’
Crocus ‘Grand Maitre’