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Crocus brings early spring color to the landscape by popping out of the ground (sometimes through snow!) with petite, ground-hugging flowers. Large sections of crocus planted beneath deciduous trees create a spectacular sight. This plant also possesses the power to jazz up rock gardens, brighten the ground in front of shrubs, and line sidewalks with splashes of color.
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Part Sun, Sun
Under 6 inches to 12 inches
1 to 3 inches
garden plans for Crocus
Crocus Care Must-Knows
Crocus bulbs, like most spring bulbs, should be planted in fall as soon as the soil cools. Choose a location with well-drained soil where they'll get full sun or light shade. Plant bulbs 2 to 4 inches deep and 2 to 4 inches apart with their pointed tips facing the soil surface. Water them well after planting. Plan to ramp up spring color slowly by adding bulbs every year to the initial mass planting. Understand some bulbs will be lost to site conditions and animals over time; replace them with new ones each fall.
After crocus blooms, allow the foliage to remain in the garden or lawn until it turns completely yellow. This allows the foliage to produce nutrients that sustain the bulb for the next growing season. Crocus bulbs grow best in dry soil, so don't water plants after they bloom.
Some crocus varieties thrive in the midst of a lawn, creating a carpet of color in early spring. Don't shy away from planting the bulbs (also known as corms) under deciduous trees, beneath shrubs, or around the bases of perennial plants. The crocus will complete its life cycle before larger plants leaf out and limit its sunlight. Plus, trees offer growing conditions favorable to this plant beneath their canopies: drier soil and less grass than found in open areas of lawn. Crocus thrives in dry soil and areas with limited competition from grass. Delay mowing a lawn embedded with crocus until the plant's foliage turns fully yellow. In some areas this means delaying the first lawn mowing until mid- to late June.