Crocus Sativus is the spice, saffron, and is sometimes called saffron crocus, but it is all the same spice that is used in a variety of dishes. When purchased from the store, this spice is relatively expensive, so growing your own supply is not only convenient, but it saves you money in the long run.
Locate an ideal area where you would like to plant the crocus sativus. The bulbs should be planted in the summer, between July and August, and harvested in the fall. The soil should be a rich, well-draining, sandy soil mix and the area should receive a full day’s worth of sun each day or have very little shade.
Dig spaces for the bulbs to be planted. They should be spaced 2 to 6 inches apart from one another and the holes should be 3 to 4 inches deep.
Place the bulbs in the holes making sure the points on the bulbs are pointed upwards. Planting bulbs indoors require the same directions.
Water the area thoroughly as soon as you have planted the bulbs. They will not need to be watered again until the leaves start to appear. At this time, they need to be watered regularly preventing the soil from becoming dry but not allowing the soil to become soggy. Continue watering until you replant the following summer, then do not water until the leaves appear again.
Apply liquid fertilizer in the fall once per year as this is all that is needed.
If your soil collects standing water, you may be better off growing the plant indoors from a container. If you are planting your bulbs indoors, make sure that the container is placed in an area that receives adequate sunlight.
If you must grow this plant outdoors and the soil is not well-draining, improve the drainage by incorporating organic material, such as compost, ground bark, peat moss or decomposed manure. This will help raise the level of the soil by 2 or 3 inches and improve the drainage.
Plant the bulbs in containers or line with hardware cloth if there are mice and gophers in the area.
Mark the place that you have planted the bulbs so that you do not accidentally dig them up when you decide to plant another crop. The leaves that result from flowering only exist for eight to 12 weeks before they wither off until the following fall. When they fall off, they do not leave a trace of where they were planted, so marking the area is very helpful.
Remove the flowers for harvesting as soon as they have bloomed and use immediately or store in an air-tight container.