How to Grow Saffron Crocus Bulbs


Saffron crocuses are beautiful flowers that can also be used to harvest saffron, a spice commonly used in Asian and Mediterranean dishes. Saffron crocus bulbs are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9 and are typically planted in the fall so the bulbs can become established and grow roots during the winter months. The next spring, saffron crocuses usually grow green leaves and in late summer and fall, they bloom.

Step 1

Choose a location that is in full sun or partial shade. The soil should be well draining so prepare the planting bed by raking the top 12 inches of the soil and then mix in about 4 inches of humus (e.g. peat moss or compost).

Step 2

Plant the crocus bulbs about 2 to 3 inches deep. Space multiple bulbs 3 to 4 inches apart. The tips should be facing up, however sometimes it's hard to tell with saffron crocus bulbs, so if that is the case, lay them on their side and the bulbs will turn the right away themselves.

Step 3

Backfill the soil and pack it firmly down with your hands or feet. This will remove any air pockets. Then water the area well and cover the planting bed with a couple inches of mulch such as wood chips or bark.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not confuse saffron looking plants that have the genus name Colchicum, which are poisonous.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe, garden rake or tiller
  • Humus
  • Water
  • Mulch


  • Tulip World: Saffron Crocus
  • Colorado State University: Fall Flowering Crocus
Keywords: plant saffron crocus, grow saffron, grow crocuses

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.