Prepare to kick off spring by planting crocus. When it is time to start a new season in your yard and garden, crocus are certainly a welcoming splash of color. Blooming on the heels of an otherwise baron and dreary winter landscape, these harbingers of spring are uplifting to see, often popping their heads through the winter snow.
The crocus is a small plant that grows to three to five inches tall. Commonly they are referred to as bulbs, but actually are corms, a bulb-like stem. Their beautiful cups of color are usually purple, yellow and white. They can be seen as early as February, and may last through the month of March.
Plant your crocus bulbs plentifully. Your crocus will look rather lonely and pitiful if they are planted singly. Be sure to plant them boldly for an impressive display. They do very well when planted along side paths and walkways, or at the edge of flower borders for a more natural look. They even seem to sparkle in front of low growing evergreens. You should plant them where they may be seen from inside on days the weather is too unpleasant for garden rambling.
If you have larger beds, plant lots of crocus with companions like daffodils and tulips for a season-long show of color. Crocus have narrow grass-like foliage and are easily naturalized just about anywhere. They will add their bright color which is so appreciated in late winter and early spring.
Crocus are classified as a hardy perennial and hold up very well in colder conditions. They come back every year so that is another added plus to planting many crocus into your landscape. There is a large selection available. Crocus make excellent indoor container plants. Grow them outdoors and then bring them indoors when the color begins to show on the blooms.
Squirrels also love them and will dig them up, so beware. For those living in the Midwest, you already know that there are many challenges when dealing with squirrels in the garden. Mice may also be a problem in your area. If this is the case, place a wire net over the bulbs to keep them from being dug up.
If you find a sudden snow storm rolling in when your crocus are blooming are after their bloom time, then don’t worry because your crocus will be just fine.
How to Plant Crocus
Plant crocus in the fall like any other bulb, preferably before the first hard frost and while the ground is still workable. They perform well in a sunny location, although crocus can be seen blooming in woodland settings under deciduous trees that allow sunlight to warm the ground. Average, well draining soil is best. You should place them 2 to 3 inches deep and spce them about 2 to 3 inches aprt. Remember to plant many for a striking spring show.
Note that there are fall-blooming crocus varieties, as well. Your local garden center professional can provide the specifics about which are suitable for planting in the Midwest zones, when they are available for purchase and the details of planting. Many times you can purchase packages of crocus bulbs at some of the larger retail stores. They come with instructions on how to plant, and all the details that you might need to know.
Is it too late to plant?
There’s still time to get these little jewels in the ground. Some gardeners may tell you to plant even after the New Year. As long as the garden soil is not frozen, it is okay to plant them.
Prepare a strategy now for relieving those winter blues. When gardeners feel like winter will never end, a little spring signal seems to arrive just in time. Blooming crocus pop up to announce that warmer days are on the way.
Types of Crocus (Crocus Varieties)
Crocus can be purchased in several types: Chrysanthus Crocus, are early flowering crocus that are good for naturalizing and are multi-colored, Dutch Crocus (Crocus Vernus) which have larger blooms and will bloom later in the season.
Chrysanthus Crocus varieties-'Crocus Advance', Crocus Blue Bird', 'Crocus Blue Pearl', 'Crocus Cream Beauty', 'Crocus Goldilocks', 'Crocus Ladykiller', and 'Crocus Snow Bunting'.
Dutch bulb varieties-'Crocus Jeanne d'Arc', Crocus large yellow (x luteus)', 'Crocus Queen of the Blues', and 'Crocus Purpureus Grandiflorus', and 'Crocus Pickwick'.
*Tip- Plant many of these beauties in your yard and garden for a beautiful early spring show of color. You will definitely be glad that you did.