How to Plant Saffron


Saffron provides both a spice and a dye, imparting a bitter, honey flavor to food and a deep yellow-orange color to both food and fabrics. Saffron comes from the saffron crocus, a fall flower that grows from a bulb-like structure called a corm. While it takes thousands of these flowers to produce even a small amount of saffron, only a few of these flowers are necessary to brighten up the late summer and fall garden bed.

Step 1

Spread 2 inches of compost over a well-drained garden bed that receives full sunlight. Dig the compost into the top 6 inches of soil with a spade, or work it in with a power tiller.

Step 2

Sow the saffron corms so the top sits 4 inches beneath the soil surface. Plant the corms so the pointed side is on top. Space corms 4 inches apart in clusters of five to seven corms.

Step 3

Water the soil thoroughly after planting, moistening it to a 6-inch depth. Water once weekly thereafter to maintain the moisture level in the soil.

Step 4

Spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch over the bed, with a mulch such as bark chips. The mulch helps retain moisture in the soil and provides some winter protection to the saffron corms.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Spade
  • Power tiller
  • Mulch


  • Yale University Extension: Fall Blooming Crocus
  • University of Florida Extension: Saffron
Keywords: planting saffron, growing saffron crocus, flwoering saffron bulbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.