Using Crocus In The Yard & Home

Crocuses are good for edging, under shrubs and foundation plantings, filling in odd corners or planting under trees. Plant them in the lawn where the grass is thin and can remain unmown until the flowers and leaves die back. They are perfect in masses or among other bulbs in rock gardens. Yellow and lilac crocuses are best set off by evergreens and ornamental grasses. Blue and white ones harmonize with the yellows and pinks of spring shrubs.

Crocuses grow well outdoors in containers also. Plant them in tubs or pots of all kinds in a soilless potting mix, but be sure the container has a drainage hole. For a splendid display, plant large pots in layers, with some later blooming bulbs such as daffodils and tulips on the bottom and crocuses nearer the top of the soil. See Growing Plants In Containers and Containers For Plants in Yardener’s Tool Shed.

Enjoying Crocus
"Force" corms to bloom prematurely indoors in February. Plant them in November in wide, shallow pots, “bulb pans” or other interesting containers that have drainage holes. Put 1 inch of broken clay pots or pebbles mixed with a little peat moss (for drainage and water absorption) in the bottom of the container. Add a 1 inch layer of moistened soilless potting mix then place a layer of as many corms, sides touching, points upward, as the pot can comfortably hold.

Cover the corms with the potting mix up to about 1/2 inch above their tips. Then place the pots in the garage or basement--wherever it is dark and the temperature is 40°F. Check periodically to be sure the soil is moist. If space is limited, set the pots outside in the ground and keep them covered with mulch to protect them from freezing.

After 8 to 12 weeks of this cold treatment, bring the bulbs inside where the temperature is 55° to 60°F to acclimate them for a few days. Keep the soil moist and then move them to a normally heated room to stimulate their growth. The best forcing variety is ‘Pickwick’.

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