Saffron

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by jackie c, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone grow it? Seems to be quite an expensive herb. I am wondering if anyone has any success with it.
     
  2. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

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    I planted some late this summer, and they are still coming up. I read that they usually don't bloom the first year, but several of mine did. I have harvested exactly 12 stigmas (3 to a flower) so far. It'll be awhile before I can make dinner, LOL.
     

  3. TennOC

    TennOC Member

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    Saffron does good here in zone 6, Tennessee. I originally planted mine when it came from http://www.Nicholsgardennursery.com in early Sept., then it came up and bloomed, every one. The tops stay green all winter, even frozen solid. They die down in April, so it's easy to lose sight of them. The old bulbs (mothers) die out after blooming, leaving a ring of "daughters", about 6 for each mother. You need to dig and re-set them because of this. They will not last long in dry storage conditions, so have the place ready and plant them when you get them.
     
  4. dare2b

    dare2b crone

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    Does anyone know whether saffron can be grown in containers?
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Yes it can, tho I have not tried it. There is a book you can look for in the library that tells how:

    McGee & Stuckey's The Bountiful Container
     
  6. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Australia
    Here's what I have on Crocus sativus, but none of it is from personal experience, as I've never grown it.

    Sow seed very shallow. Seeds germinate in 30-180 days, irregularly, at an ideal temperature of 13-18C. Once the leaves have died down, the corms can be lifted and separated for replanting. Seeds may also be sown in pots of sandy soil in the fall and placed in a cold frame. The seedlings grow very slowly, however, and will not bloom for several years. Plant corms in early autumn in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. If soil is heavy clay, create a raised bed. Leaf mould or compost (not animal manure) should be mixed into the soil when preparing for them. Set the corms 12cm deep and 7-8cm apart in the garden, or 2cm deep with 7-9 corms in a 125mm container. Plant in large masses for maximum production and ornamental display. Grass-like leaves will appear in the spring, and then disappear, with no further signs of life until the flowers suddenly arrive the following autumn. Will grow in full sun or partial shade, and light, well-drained soil. Flowers open widely on sunny days and close up when the weather is cold or cloudy. Heavy rain or excess watering when the plant is in flower will damage the flowers and reduce yields. Productive life of a plant is around 10-15 years, but commercially, plants are replaced after 5 years.

    Harvesting: Dig up corms and remove the bright orange stigmas in autumn, just as the flower opens. The flowering period may last only 15 days. Each blossom yields only 3 stigmas. Dry on absorbent paper in a dark place, and store in a tightly sealed dark container away from heat and light. You will need many plants to produce sufficient amounts of the stigmas. It takes as many as 4000 flowers to produce 30g.
     
  7. TennOC

    TennOC Member

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    "dig up the corms and remove the stigmas"? Dig them in spring, remove the stigmas in the fall...from the flowers!