Crocus Planting Guide

It's Spring, It's Spring, Hear the Crocus Sing
Yes, we know. Crocuses don't actually sing. But their oh-so-welcome colors call out in almost audible tones after a long, dreary winter. Easy to pop into the ground, inexpensive, happy to naturalize into large patches and available in shades from both the cold and warm side of the color wheel, crocuses are simply delightful. You can't make spring come any sooner than Mother Nature allows, but having crocuses ready to pop into bloom at the mere mention of warmer weather guarantees that you won't miss a moment of the upcoming gardening season.
PLANTING
DEPTH

2-3 Inches

WATER
QUANTITY

Light to Moderate

SUNLIGHT
QUANTITY

Full sun to light shade

PLANTING
PROXIMITY

3 Inches Between Planting

Outdoor Beds
  1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure work well and are widely available. Crocus won't thrive in water logged soils.
  2. Site your crocuses where they will receive full to half day sun. 
  3. Dig holes and plant the crocuses 3-4" deep and 2-3" apart. The bulbs are small and rounded, with slight pointed tops - plant with the points facing upwards. If you can't tell which side should face up, plant the bulbs on their sides; root action will pull the bulbs into the right position.
  4. After planting, water crocuses well, gently soaking the soil and settling it around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. In warm areas some foiliage may also develop in the fall. Buds and flowers are produced in the early spring.
  5. When in bloom, enjoy the colorful little flowers. They're simple, bright and cheerful.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate. 
  7. During the early summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your crocuses will rest until next spring's show.


Pots, Barrels, Tubs & Urns
  1. Find a large container and fill it with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes; crocus bulbs must never sit in water logged soil or they will rot. 
  2. Site your crocuses where they will receive full to half day sun. 
  3. Dig holes and plant the crocuses 3-4" deep and 2-3" apart. The bulbs are small and rounded, with slight pointed tops - plant with the points facing upwards. If you can't tell which side should face up, plant the bulbs on their sides; root action will pull the bulbs into the right position.
  4. After planting, water crocuses well, gently soaking the soil and settling it around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. In warm areas some foiliage may also develop in the fall. Buds and flowers are produced in the early spring.
  5. When in bloom, enjoy these bright little beauties. You've made it through another winter! 
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate. 
  7. During the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your crocuses will rest for until next spring's show.
Note: For container plantings we recommend overwintering pots in an unheated garage. This helps mitigate the effects of both very cold nights and the big temperature swings that can come with sunny winter days and bitter nights. Pull the pots outside in February or March and watch for little crocus sprouts to appear.