How to transplant crocuses
Crocuses (saffron) are unusually beautiful flowers of the iris family. They grow in the steppes, in meadows (even high mountains), and are found in forests. From their dried stigmas make the popular saffron seasoning. Species blooming in early spring are more common, but there are those that delight with vibrant colors in late autumn. Crocuses do not require special care and spread on their own, preferring sunny places. The article below describes how to transplant crocuses correctly.
Do I need to dig crocuses after flowering
There is no consensus on this. Dig bulbs for distillation, growing in pots in the winter or for propagation. In other cases, digging them out every year is not necessary.
If less than 3 years have passed from planting or the last transplant, and the land looks between the plants, the soil is simply mulched with peat or dry leaves. If there are many daughter bulbs (they can form from 1 to 10 per year), they begin to interfere with each other's development, the flowers are crushed. Now saffron just needs to be planted.
Did you know? Saffron — the most expensive seasoning in the world. To get 1 kg of saffron, you need to manually collect red stigmas with 200,000 flowers of a special kind of crocuses on the first day of opening the bud before sunrise.
When you can transplant crocuses from one place to another
Crocuses are ephemeroids with a short growing season. They are dug up during the dormant period, which occurs approximately in mid-June and lasts until mid-September. Species blooming in early spring are dug from July to September, and blooming in autumn from June to August. Immediately after the wilting of the buds, it is recommended to remove only the peduncles.
The plant itself is left in place until the leaves turn yellow and fade. After that, the mother’s bulbs are carefully dug up, small young onions are separated, washed under running water, carefully examined and discarded by the sick and injured.
Dead roots are removed, old flakes are cleaned. The prepared planting material is well dried in the shade for several days - this will protect crocuses from mold and reduce the likelihood of infection with fungi.
Important! For good flowering, it is necessary that the bulbs have a cooling period of 15-16 weeks.
Video: How to dig and store crocuses
For transplanting saffron, sunny places with sandy loamy soil are chosen. If bulbs are to be planted in clay soil, gravel or expanded clay must be added to a depth of about 20 cm, forming a drainage layer. If the soil is dense, coarse sand is scattered over the surface and dug.
When planting at home, use wide pots, light neutral soil, form a drainage layer of expanded clay.Before planting, the bulbs are carefully inspected. If there is doubt about the quality of planting material, the bulbs are rejected.
When transplanting, they try to arrange planting material with an interval of at least 7 cm to a depth equal to two diameters of an adult bulb. On light soils, they are buried by about 8-10 cm, on heavy soils, by 7-9 cm. This makes it possible for mother bulbs to actively overgrow with new scales.
Crocus planted for distillation in early October. Autumn-flowering varieties are planted in the soil in summer in the second half of July, spring-flowering varieties are planted in the second half of September.
Before planting, gardeners recommend keeping the bulbs in a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Fungicides are also used (for example, Fundazole, Vitaros, Skor, etc.). This procedure will increase the resistance of plants to gray rot and disease. The treatment of hyacinths with growth stimulants also gives good results: Epin, Kornevin, Heteroauxin, etc.
The manufacturer indicates the processing time and dosage in the instructions. Usually it is enough to withstand the bulbs in a solution prepared at the rate of 2 ml of the drug per 1 liter of water for 20-30 minutes.
Watering and fertilizer
Crocuses planted again are lightly watered. Plantings are mulched with a thick layer of coniferous litter. Subsequently, the amount of moisture affects the height of the flowers. However, they do not like waterlogging and stagnation of water. They are watered in the spring only if the winter was not snowy, and the weather is arid.
Especially you need to be careful when watering flowers from a hose - you can not only pour crocuses, but with a strong pressure, there is a high probability of leaching bulbs from the soil. It is safer to use a conventional garden watering can with a spray nozzle.
Did you know? Scientists discovered saffron pigment in cave paintings made more than 50,000 years ago.
During the distillation period, crocuses are rarely watered at home. Plants do not spray. During flowering, saffron needs watering after the soil has completely dried. Water is poured into the pan. After yellowing the shoots, watering is reduced, and after the death of the upper part, they stop completely.
The first top dressing is carried out in early spring on the last snow. During the period of active growth, flowers must be fed with mineral fertilizers. Phosphorus and potassium are especially useful to them, moreover, potassium should be 2 times more than phosphorus. This will help the bulbs grow healthy. Fertilizers are applied at the rate of 30–40 g per 1 m². An excess of nitrogen fertilizers, especially in rainy weather, can cause fungal disease.
Important! During autumn planting, fertilizers are not applied.
During the setting of buds, potassium and phosphorus are added in equal amounts, which contributes to the formation of buds and prolongs flowering. In the third and final feeding before the dormant period, crocuses are fed in a similar way. Good results are obtained with the use of Agrecol fertilizer.
Diseases and Pests
Crocuses are quite resistant to disease. And of the pests, rodents eating bulbs do the most harm. Mice and moles can bite them, which leads to decay and death of the plant. If the flower has a depressed appearance, it is worth digging it out and carefully inspecting the bulb. If damage is found, they are sprinkled with ash or crushed activated carbon and left for 2-3 hours.
If rotted places are found, they are cut off and the same procedure is carried out. In order to prevent damage by rodents, bulbs are planted in special plastic baskets, ultrasonic repellers are installed in the garden, mechanical “turntables”, etc.The larvae of the nutcracker beetle (wireworms) also like to feast on crocuses, eating holes in the bulbs. The best way to get rid of them is to make traps. At the end of spring, bunches of unripened grass, straw or hay are laid out over the site, moistened and covered with boards. Larvae creep into them. After 2-3 days, the traps are collected and burned together with pests at the stake.
If slugs are found on saffron, they are collected manually. For prevention during planting, the bulb is surrounded by a layer of coarse sand. Gray spots on incompletely opened flat petals indicate a viral disease. As soon as possible, such specimens should be scooped up and destroyed. The soil is disinfected with a hot solution of potassium permanganate.
Warm and damp weather can provoke the appearance of gray rot and fusarium, penetrating through the wounds in the bulbs. To prevent the development of fungal diseases, healthy bulbs without damage are chosen for planting. If, during planting, the bulb is scratched or damaged in another way, the wound is sprinkled with ash or crushed activated carbon and dried.
So, crocuses are beautiful spring corm flowers that do not require special attention. All that is needed is to drop them in a sunny place, protected from the winds. And with minimal care, they will bloom without a transplant for 3-5 years.