(photo by Deborah Blowers)
And all the woods are alive with the murmur and sound of Spring,
And the rose-bud breaks into pink on the climbing briar,
And the crocus bed is a quivering fire,
Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring.
One of the first flowers to bloom in the new year is the crocus. The blooming crocus signals the ending of winter and the ushering in of Spring. What a welcome sight these cheery blossoms are!
The cheery, determined crocus will even bloom through the late winter snows, bringing much needed color to the departing winter.
Crocus symbolizes cheerfulness.
- Crocus, from the ‘Iridaceae’ family, are perennial, growing from corms or bulblets.
- Crocus, being perennial, will come back year after year, much to our enjoyment
- Crocus grow from zone 3-8. They need cold to bloom
- Crocus bloom in late winter to early spring, in February through March
- Crocus like well-drained, loose soil. The corms will rot if grown in water logged areas
- There are the early, or snow crocus and the later, giant crocus. Both can be planted for a longer bloom period
- There is also an ‘autumn crocus’, that is actually in the lily family, blooming in the fall. They are quite stunning to see
- There are the Saffron crocus where we get the saffron spice from
- Crocus grow best in partial to full sun, liking 6 + hours of sunlight a day to do best. Since they bloom so early, they can be planted under trees; they will bloom before the trees leaf out
- Crocus are low growing, from 2-4 inches and are great at the front of a flower border
- Crocus are perfect in the perennial bed, rock garden or mixed borders.
- Crocus colors are blue, purple, lavender, pink, orange, yellow, and white
- Crocus are fragrant and a wonderful early food source for honeybees
- Crocus require minimal care and will naturalize wherever they are planted
- Crocus are rarely bothered by deer, rabbits and squirrels
- To plant crocus, first work some compost into the soil, then plant the corms 3-4 inches deep with the pointy end up. They should be planted in the fall while the ground still can be worked, any time from 6-8 weeks before the first hard frost right up to frost. Water in well. This usually is September to November in my zone 6
- Since crocus are such dainty flowers, it works best to plant them in groups or clusters of at least 10, with the corms a few inches apart.
- Crocus can be planted right into the lawn area for a wonderful spring display. The first mowing is usually after the bloom time.
- Crocus do appreciate water when needed and regular fertilizer and mulch
- Once crocus are done blooming, let the grass like foliage die back naturally. The leaves will send food to the corms for next years blooms. Then the crocus will disappear for the year to greet you again in the early spring
- Crocus can be dug and divided after blooming. A great way to increase your plantings or to share with others
- Crocus can also be successfully grown in containers
The Story of My Crocus
This narrow bed along our carport is where I had my crocus planted, along with other summer blooming perennials and annuals . I wanted to see the blossoms every time I walked by in the spring. They really did cheer my heart after the winter, and I looked so forward to them.
Last summer was a big project of making a cement parking area on the area to the left of the bed. There originally was a sidewalk here, but the whole yard area was put into cement. I dug as many of the perennials as possible before the big equipment arrived and began digging the dirt up. Since the crocus were dormant at the time, I forgot about them and didn’t dig them. The mess you see in the photo below is the weeding that I did last fall. After the cement was poured, and the bed was backfilled, all these weeds came up. I thought I had lost all the crocus as the dirt was all moved around.
The dirt that was excavated out for the cement pad was all piled into the yard. This is the dirt that will be used to fill the new raised vegetable garden beds that will be built this spring. We have lived with this unsightly pile of dirt all year, but the soil here is too nice and I couldn’t bear to have it hauled off, since I would be needing it this year. (My poor husband-what he has to endure with a wife that loves to garden! I make him walk around regularly with me to see what is coming up-he could care less!)
Just a few crocus came back up in the flowerbed and I felt sad that most were gone.
This is not a good photo, but the yellow in the photo below is my crocus! Apparently, most of the crocus corms were dug and dumped on the dirt pile together. I was surprised to see them blooming this spring. They will be dug and re-planted back in the same bed soon. Shows you how hardy these little dainty plants are! What a nice spring surprise!
Praying for Ukraine