All About Cleeve - Plant of the Month - Crocus
The name ‘Crocus’ is derived from the Greek word "Krókos" meaning thread, as in golden threads of saffron and symbolises new-beginnings and rebirth. Crocus are hardy and versatile growing at alpine heights and meadows to woodland and by the sea.
These low-growing petit perennials may be small but make a big impact. Plant en mass in groups or drifts naturalising through a lawn or trees, crocus pop their heads above ground when we are most in need of cheerful colour, paving the way for the spring bulb-fest!
They are particular easy to grow. Corms are planted in autumn and flower from late winter to spring, requiring no maintenance, simply patience whilst waiting five weeks or so for their foliage to die back so the nutrients can re-absorbed into the corm, as an energy store for next year’s display.
Perfect for sunny or partial shady pots, lawns and rockeries, crocus are easily squeezed into tiny spaces, so ideal for window boxes, terraces, urban or sprawling country gardens. Shallow roots allow them to happily grow under trees. Crocus require sun to open up their faces so avoid spots that are densely shaded, although Crocus tommasinianus will grow in part shade.
They rarely suffer from pests but corms are a favourite feast for squirrels!
If you fancy something completely different try growing your own saffron with autumn flowering C. sativus, planted in late summer.
All photos © Debi Holland 2022