Crocuses are bright and beautiful and a fantastic way to attract bees to your garden in early spring. They have low-growing, clump-forming colourful cup shaped flowers and are often mass planted in drifts. Crocus bursting open for the early sunshine is one of the true joys of spring. Crocuses don’t come in a wide variety of colours but they are bright enough to put on a show.
There are autumn flowering varieties known as ‘Autumn Crocus’ which flower in late summer or early Autumn and often flower before their leaves appear.
When should it be grown?
- Bulbs are planted in the autumn for spring flowering.
- Crocuses are prolific and will propagate themselves. New bulbs can be separated and replanted to grow new flowers.
- If transplanting crocuses, do so after they have finished flowering but when the plants are still green. This will give them time to establish themselves before they go dormant again.
Where should it be grown?
- Crocuses need direct sunlight to open reliably so choose a spot that gets as much sun as possible. If they don’t have enough sun they will only partially open which spoils the effect.
- They do perform well under deciduous trees because they bloom so early so there are few leaves on the trees to provide shade.
- Plant bulbs around three inches deep and space them out a few inches apart.
- Crocuses look best when they look natural. For a natural effect, scatter the bulbs on the ground and plant them wherever they fall. Or, plant large drifts weaving through the garden.
- They also work well in alpine or rock gardens.
Are there any particular varieties that are most suitable in Ireland?
Any other additional tips
- Beware of squirrels – they love crocus bulbs and will dig them up for dinner so beware if you live near woodlands. You can try sprinkling chilli powder over the soil above but bear in mind it will be washed away every time it rains. Pheasants and pigeons can get a taste for them too!