Saffron is the most expensive spice having a purple flower which belongs to the Iridaceae family. It is mostly grown in the Mediterranean region. In this guide, we will try to make you understand every possible step for growing saffron. You will learn the complete method of planting saffron. We will cover the following aspects: the most essential conditions for growing saffron. Which is the best time to plant saffron? How to plant saffron? How to grow saffron and prevent this from different climates affects and pests? Most important and critical step after planting saffron is harvesting saffron. We will guide you when and how to harvest saffron?
Saffron is the most precious and expensive spice. It is obtained from the crocus sativus which is commonly known as saffron crocus bulb. It is actually acquired from the red stigmas of the crocus flower. Unluckily, each saffron bulb only produces one flower and every crocus flower grows only 3 stigmas. You have to be extremely careful when you collect saffron stigmas because there are vigilantly collected by hands. If you become negligent during collection, then you can lose the stigmas. Why we are asking you to be mindful because more than 50 flowers give only one tablespoon of saffron.
Cost for growing saffron is really extortionate. It is extremely difficult to grow. It is immensely expensive to grow. Harvesting saffron is a tremendously strenuous process. By reading all these things about saffron, you will be definitely worried about growing saffron that either you should grow it or not? You should and you can grow this on your own. Firstly, if you are growing this with your great effort then you should now that it is considered more worthy than gold. Secondly, although you will be able to produce a really small amount of spice during the first year, but after one year, a total number of crocus flower will be increased continuously. Double in most cases then you will be able to produce a slightly higher amount of the spice. Ultimately you will pay off your investment. You will learn complete method of how to grow saffron in this article.
Condition for growing saffron
It is extremely important to know different suitable conditions for planting saffron. If you grow saffron during the exact time span which is exactly matched with the conditions then you will obtain maximum saffron bulb for growing saffron flowers. Lets’ learn all primary conditions which are incredibly important for planting saffron.
Unlike many other plants, saffron can grow in varies types of soil. It can be grown at dry or semi-dry soil. However, it likes most calcareous and well-drained soil. It thrives when you provide different organic matters to the saffron. You should mix aged manure and well-rotted compost into the soil. Ideal pH for growing saffron is in between 6 to 8. You can grow saffron corms in semi-wet soil but make sure to prevent this from rotting or getting infected during the wet period.
Crocus sativus can be grown in both winter and summer with temperature approximately 35 to 40 degrees C and -15 to -20 degrees C respectively. So the good news for all gardeners is that saffron can be grown in cool, moderate and hot temperature that’s why it is cultivated all around the world. It is a bulbous and heat-tolerant plant. You should try to avoid this from extreme cold, leaves of saffron flower can be freeze and the result will be the shortage of corms. If corms are less then saffron will be produced less definitely.
When to plant saffron?
As we have described in details all essential conditions for planting saffron, you can plant saffron in both summer and winter as well. It can tolerate high temperature and even too cold climates. So you might think “Where is saffron grown”? It is mostly grown in India, Iran and different Mediterranean regions. Autumn is the best growing season for crocus so during this time period, try to keep moist your soil and prevent it from overwatering.
How to plant saffron?
Till now, you have learned different problem you can face while planting saffron. You have been also familiarized about all essential requirements for planting saffron. In this section, you will learn how to plant saffron?
- Select an appropriate spot where you want to grow saffron. It’s better if you choose a sunny spot.
- Purchase fresh crocus corms (similar to a bulb) from the well-known nursery. Corms are difficult to find so it’s better, try to purchase online for your own ease.
- Prepare your soil. Soil should be well-drained and have enough organic matter like compost and manure.
- Before the last frost of the season, plant the corms about 6 to 8 weeks prior.
- Try to plant them in a cluster rather than rows because flowers grow well in the cluster than in the rows.
- You should plant crocus approximately 3 inches apart and make sure the cluster contains 10 to 12 corms.
- By using a trowel, dig small holes and plant the corms about 3 to 4 inches deep.
- Autumn is the best season for growing corms and makes sure water it frequently during this season.
- Your corms will die if your soil becomes water-logged.
- There is no need for fertilizer during the first year but you should fertilize it once after every season.
- Be patient after planting saffron. You will take flowers the first time after 6 weeks. One bulb grows only one flower so production is slow.
By saffron plant care how to grow saffron?
Care of this precious plant is extremely important. Corms have sufficient distance between each other. Try to avoid water-logging. Luckily, these are insect repellent and disease resistant. Sometime, it doesn’t grow flower first year. So don’t worry about this. It’s a normal case. You will obtain the first flower in next fall.
How to harvest saffron?
Harvesting saffron can be a difficult process in most of the cases for a new gardener. Every crocus flower has 3 stigmas in the center. Don’t be so quick to pick those. Wait for a sunny day, when the flower is fully open then be extremely careful and pick these stigmas with your fingers. Put them on the paper and let them dry for 1 to 3 days. You can save saffron for up to 5 years if you want in an airtight container.