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Saffron Crocus Bulbs - Rare Spice - Crocus Sativus  ,Grow One of the World's Most Expensive Spice In Your Own

Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, but not because it is hard to grow – it is the hand harvesting of the thread-like filaments that makes it pricey. Even if you don’t intend to cook with saffron, add some crocus sativus to your garden for fall blooms in a rock garden or other sunny spot that has well-drained soil.
Saffron_Crocuses
Get out your favorite Spanish or other ethnic cookbook and begin to dream! Soon you'll be growing your own supply of saffron, that painfully expensive spice that is called for in so many delicious recipes including Seafood Paella, Golden Saffron Cake, and Mushrooms and Leeks with Saffron Rice. And keep in mind, just because you've found the source, now's no time to forget your culinary buddies. Share.
It begins blooming in September and continues through October! The purple flowers have deep purple veining! It's orange-red stigmas are the source of saffron, the worlds most expensive spice! Plant in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. In cooler regions the Saffron Crocus can be grown in containers. You can harvest the saffron when the flowers are blooming
Saffron, used by Gourmet Chefs in many dishes, is the spice derived from the flower of the Crocus sativus or saffron crocus plant. Saffron, native to Southwest Asia, has long been among the world's most expensive spices by weight! It takes 150,000 orange-red stigmas of the flowers of the saffron crocus to make two pounds of saffron spice.

PLEASE NOTE:
Plant the bulbs as soon as they arrive so you can harvest the saffron in the fall. These beautiful purple crocus bloom in the fall but should not be confused with the autumn blooming crocus (crocus colchicums) which are not edible.
I suggest you plant and mark the location of the bulbs because after the autumn blooming the leaves will disappear. You will need at least 20 bulbs for a first year harvest but if not all the bulbs bloom this fall just wait until next autumn for an increased supply.
To harvest saffron, visit the flowers on a sunny morning when the petals are wide open and pull the long red filaments or stigmas off with your fingers.
Dry the threads indoors and store in an airtight container. Add these to a cup of hot broth or milk and let steep for 20 minutes. Now you have golden saffron for paella and Indian food or add this golden broth to mashed potatoes for a Midas touch at the holidays.
Grow One of the World's Most Expensive Spice In Your Own Garden
(And remember, these babies flower in the fall, not in the spring with the rest of the crocus clan.)
Outdoor Beds
Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Saffron Crocuses will not thrive in water logged soils.
Site your bulbs where they will get full day sun or very light shade. Saffron crocuses prefer average amounts of moisture in the spring but do best dry sites in the summer when they are dormant. If your region experiences wet summers the crocuses can be planted under the eves for summer dryness and given supplemental moisture in the spring.
Dig holes and plant the crocuses 3-4" deep and 2-3" apart. The bulbs are small and rounded, with slight pointed tops - plant with the points facing upwards. If you can't tell which side should face up, plant the bulbs on their sides; root action will pull the bulbs into the right position.
After planting, water crocuses well, gently soaking the soil and settling it around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. In warm areas some foiliage may also develop in the fall. Buds and flowers are produced in the early spring.
When in bloom feel free to trim the colorful stamens for cooking and drying for later use. This will not hurt the plants.
After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate.
If, late in the season, the leaves yellow and die back, the foliage may be removed at this point. Your bulbs will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle. In warmest areas the foliage may stay green until mid spring when it will yellow and die back. When leaves are absent and the bulbs are dormant, withhold water.
Pots, Barrels, Tubs & Urns
Find a large container and fill it with a commercial potting mix that drains well. Saffron crocuses will not thrive in water logged soils.
Site your bulbs where they will get full day sun or very light shade. Saffron crocuses prefer average amounts of moisture in the spring but do best dry sites in the summer when they are dormant. You may want to move your containers seasonally to accommodate this.
Dig holes and plant the crocus bulbs 3-4" deep and 2-3" apart. The bulbs are small and rounded, with slight pointed tops - plant with the points facing upwards.

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