Guide To Growing Crocus Bulbs

Crocuses bring joy and colour to your garden after a dreary winter. Flowering early in the year, they are also a great source of pollen and nectar for pollinating insects.

Whether you are a novice or an avid gardener, crocuses are easy to grow from bulbs and are ideal for planting in pots or borders or naturalising in grass.

To help you successfully grow beautiful crocuses that continue to bloom year after year, follow this guide to growing crocus bulbs.

Selecting crocuses

There are many varieties of crocuses, with different shapes and colours available. However, species are typically white/cream, yellow, orange, or purple.

Before making your choice, be sure to look at photos of different species of crocus so you know what they look like when they are in bloom.

For striking tri-colour crocuses, go for Sieberi Tricolour or Blue Pearl species. If you want to have pops of yellow in your garden, consider Yellow Mammoth or Fuscotinctus crocus bulbs. You can also get mixed crocus bulbs to add a beautiful mix of colours to your garden.

Best conditions for crocuses

Moist but well-drained soil that is gritty and moderately fertile is the ideal soil type for crocuses.

If you have any deciduous trees, consider planting your crocuses under them, if possible, as they thrive in leafy soil.

Full sun is usually best for crocuses, but some species will also grow in partial shade.

If growing crocuses in pots, they can be grown on their own or with other spring-flowering bulbs. Just make sure you add plenty of grit to allow for adequate drainage.

When and how to plant crocuses

Most species of crocus should be planted between September and December. Early autumn is typically the best time as it allows the bulbs time to grow new roots before winter.

If you are planning on naturalising, be sure to mow the grass before planting crocuses, and plant the bulbs around 10cm (4in) apart.

As a general rule of thumb, bulbs should be planted three times their depth beneath the surface, in this instance around 8-10cm (3-4in) deep.

Plant your crocus bulbs with the pointed side facing upwards then cover. If it is not obvious which is the pointed side of the bulb, plant them on their side.

Caring for crocuses

Be sure to water well when planting. If planted in outdoor pots or soil, you should not need to keep watering as long as there is sufficient rain. Soil should be moist but not wet as this may rot the bulbs.

When it comes to crocuses that have been naturalised, it is important that you do not cut the grass until the flowers have died and the leaves have gone. The foliage should have died back by May.

Recently planted bulbs are prone to being scouted out by squirrels. Protect your bulbs from squirrels by covering pots or areas with netting after planting your bulbs.

Please be aware that crocus bulbs can be toxic to animals and humans if ingested, so it may not be wise to plant these in your garden if you have pets or young children.

For expert advice on selecting or growing crocuses, please contact our team at Boston Bulbs on 01775 769333 or email

The Boston Bulb Company has over 40 years of experience in supplying only the finest quality horticultural products from farmers and growers throughout the UK and Europe.

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