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Celebrating the Power of Plants for Conscious Living

How to Grow Saffron

Saffron is a delicious spice that's also been used a remedy for moderate depression, as well as a popular fabric dye. It's the most costly spice due to the labor involved in producing large volumes of it. However, if you're a casual gardener growing it in small quantities for yourself, the process isn't too difficult.

In this blog post, The Herb Gardener explains how to successfully grow saffron, and things to be mindful of. Here are the fundamental things to know:

Saffron (Crocus sativus) can be cultivated outdoors in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 through 9. It will tolerate snow and cold temperatures to around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. During summer and early autumn, it requires heat and bright sunlight as well as rich soil that drains exceptionally well.

Plants go dormant from about mid-April to August, give or take, and during that time should remain relatively dry (more on this in a minute).  The bulbs become active again in late August to September, and flower in October through November. Plants have narrow, grass-like leaves with a slim, white stripe at the center of each. After the leaves develop, a small lavender flower appears, sporting three bright red stigmas. These are the useful part of the plant.
In late August, plant new bulbs 4 inches apart to a depth of 4 to 6 inches Water sparingly until leaves emerge, which can take up to 4 weeks.

Harvest stigmas from new flowers, and retain plants in place until all leaves decline and turn tan in March to April.  Trim leaves away, and say goodnight to plants until August.

They go on to provide crucial tips, workarounds, as well as a description of their own setup. Read the full article here.