Saffron Crocus: An Amazing Guide

by Australian Flowers

If you’re lucky enough to have saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) bulbs, you can enjoy the delicate flavour of Saffron in your cooking. This guide will help you care for your saffron crocus so you can enjoy its taste for years to come.

What Is Saffron


This is a beautiful orange-red spice used for centuries in cooking and natural medicine. The crocus sativus is a fall-blooming plant producing spice. Each flower of the crocus contains three stigmas, the dried parts of the flower that are used to create the spice.

The crocus is a member of the Iris family and is native to the Mediterranean region. Each saffron plant will produce about six flowers. 


It is a spice from the crocus, a small purple flower. It is native to Asia and has been used in cooking and medicine for thousands of years. It is believed to have originated in Iran or India, and it was first mentioned in ancient Persian texts. The plant was then brought to Europe by the Arabs during the Middle Ages.

Today, Iran is the world’s largest producer of Saffron, followed by Spain and India. The plant is used in various dishes, from savoury stews to sweet desserts. It is also used to make tea, which is said to have many health benefits.

Growing Saffron

To grow, you will need a plant. These delicate flowers are a member of the iris family and are native to Greece, Spain, and Turkey. The plant is a fall blooming, so you will need to plant your bulbs in the late summer or early fall.

Condition Requirement

It grows best in full sun and well-drained, sandy soil. They are also quite drought-tolerant. If you live in an area with hot summers, it will appreciate some afternoon shade.

When it comes to caring, the most important thing is to ensure they are planted in the correct location. If they are not, they will not bloom. The bulbs should be planted in the fall, 4-6 weeks before the first frost. They can be planted directly in the ground or pots.

Water And Hardiness

The plant is a very drought-tolerant plant, needing only about 10 inches of water per year. It can survive in arid climates with as little as 5 inches of yearly rainfall. In areas with high rainfall, it will need to be grown in well-drained soils to prevent the corms from rotting.

The plant is hardy in USDA zones 6-10. In cooler climates, it can be grown as an annual; In areas with frigid winters, the corms should be dug up and stored indoors over winter. They can be replanted in spring once the danger of frost has passed.


It needs lots of sunlight to grow well. If you live in an area with long, sunny days, your plant will do well outdoors. If you live in a room with shorter days and less sunlight, you can grow them indoors under grow lights.


To grow, you will need a minimum of 4 inches (10 cm) of well-drained soil. If you have bulbs, they should be planted about six weeks before the first frost date in the fall. The ideal pH range is between 6.0 and 7.5. If your soil is too alkaline or acidic, it can be amended with lime or sulphur to adjust the pH.

Care Guide

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when caring:


To plant, you will need a saffron bulb. These can be bought from most plant nurseries or online retailers. When choosing a corm, make sure that it is not dried out and that it is plump.

To plant the corm:

  • Dig a hole in well-draining soil about twice the size of the corm.
  • Place the corm in the hole with the pointed end facing up.
  • Cover it with soil and water well.


After it blooms and the flowers fade, the plant will die back and go dormant. At this time:

  • You can cut away any dead or damaged leaves.
  • In early spring, before the plant begins to grow again, prune away any remaining dead leaves. This will help encourage new growth.
  • When trimming, use sharp, clean shears or scissors.
  • This will help prevent the spread of diseases.


To harvest, you will need to wait until the flowers have bloomed and gently pluck the three stigmas from each flower. It is essential to be careful when doing this, as it is a delicate spice. Once you have collected the stigmas, you can dry them before using them in cooking.


It is typically propagated by corms, which are small bulb-like structures. Each corm can produce one to two plants.

  • Plant the corms in well-drained soil to propagate in a sunny location.
  • Space the corms about 4 inches apart.
  • Water the plants regularly, especially during the flowering and fruiting seasons.
  • Harvest the flowers when they bloom.

Seasonal Precautions

When it is in season, it’s essential to take some precautions to ensure that your crop is protected. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • They are susceptible to frost damage, so ensure to protect your plants if there is a risk of frost in your area.
  • If you live in an area where they are not native, make sure to plant them in a protected area so that they don’t get eaten by animals or damaged by weather.
  • Make sure to harvest your flowers as soon as the flowers start to fade. The saffron threads will deteriorate and lose flavour if you wait too long.

Finding Saffron

You can find them at your local grocery store in the spice aisle, or you can purchase them online. When looking for them, you want to ensure that you get the highest quality possible. It should be a deep red colour and have a strong aroma. It will not be as flavorful if the Saffron is light in colour or has a weak scent.

Pests And Diseases

Some pests and diseases can attack the plant. The most common are:

Corm Rot

Corm rot is a saffron-specific disease caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. croci. The pathogen affects corms, causing them to rot and die. Infected corms will produce fewer and smaller saffron flowers the following season and may break entirely. Symptoms of corm rot include brown or black lesions on the corms and the plant that fail to flower. The disease is spread by water, soil, and infected plant material. It can also be spread by bulbs that are not disinfected adequately before planting.

Corm Scab

Corm scab is a fungal disease that affects crocus. The fungus infects the corm, or underground stem, of the plant and can cause the plant to produce fewer flowers. The disease can also cause the corm to rot, killing the plant.

The symptoms of corm scab vary depending on the stage of the disease. The early stages of the disease may cause small, brown spots on the surface of the corn. These spots may eventually enlarge and turn black. In severe cases, the entire corm may rot and die.


Aphids are tiny insects in the plant. They are usually green or black and gather on the undersides of leaves. Aphids suck the sap from plants, weakening the plant and making them more susceptible to disease.


Rodents are tiny animals with long tails, furry bodies and sharp incisors. They belong to the order Rodentia, which includes mice, rats, squirrels, beavers, porcupines and guinea pigs. There are more than 2,000 species of rodents, making them the largest group of mammals.

Other Uncommon Pests Or Diseases

There are also a few other uncommon pests or diseases that could potentially affect your plant. These include the following :


Mites are tiny spider-like creatures that can infest. These pests are difficult to see with the naked eye, but they can cause damage to the plant by sucking out its sap. This can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to disease. Mites can also cause the flowers to drop off prematurely. If you think your plant has mites, you’ll need to take action to get rid of them. 


Nematodes are small, cylindrical worms that saffron plants rely on for pollination. Each flower has male and female reproductive organs, but self-pollination is rare. Instead, nematodes transfer pollen from the male organ to the female organ as they travel back and forth between flowers feeding on nectar. This relationship is known as mutualism because both the nematodes and the plants benefit from it.

Common Problems

There are three common problems that the growers face:

Why Are The Leaves Turning Yellow On My Saffron Crocus?

There are several reasons why this may be happening.

  • One reason may be that they are not getting enough water. They are drought-tolerant plants, but if they do not receive enough water, the leaves will start to turn yellow. If you think this may be the case, water your plant more frequently.
  • Another reason the leaves may be turning yellow is due to a nutrient deficiency. They need certain nutrients to grow properly. If they are not getting enough of these nutrients, the leaves will start to turn yellow. Make sure you are fertilizing them regularly.

What To Do With Saffron Crocus After Flowering

You could leave the corms (bulbs) in the ground and let them multiply. One saffron corm will produce 2-3 saffron bulbs after 2-3 years. This is the most common way that saffron farmers get new saffron bulbs.

You could also dig up the saffron corms after flowering and replant them. This is an excellent way to get more saffron bulbs if you have the space to replant them.

How Often Should I Water Saffron Crocus?

The plant is delicate, and special care must be taken when watering it. It must be watered about two or three times a week, ensuring the soil is moist but not soggy. If the soil is too dry, the bulbs will start to fade. If the soil is too wet, it will begin to rot.

What Are The Small Brown Spots On The Leaves?

They are saffron flowers! The flower has three stigmas, which are the female reproductive organs of the plant. These stigmas must be hand-picked and dried to be used as a spice. The plant is the most expensive spice in the world because it takes around 75,000 flowers to produce just one pound of spice! The small brown spots on the leaves of saffron crocus are its flowers, which contain the saffron spice.


These are the lists of facts about Saffron:

  • Saffron is a member of the Crocus genus and the Iridaceae family.
  • It is native to Greece, Turkey, Morocco, and Iran.
  • Saffron crocuses grow best in full sun and well-drained soil.
  • They are fall-blooming flowers that produce saffron threads.
  • Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.

Saffron Crocus care is not complex but requires a bit of attention. So get your saffron crocus bulbs, and let’s get started!

Frequently Asked Questions about this Flower 

What does saffron taste like?

It has a unique flavor that is difficult to describe. It is slightly bitter and metallic, with a hay-like fragrance. Some people compare it to ginger or turmeric. It is also very expensive, so it’s generally used sparingly in recipes.

What is saffron used for?

It is a spice that comes from the Crocus sativus, or “saffron crocus” flower. The stigmas (the female part of the flower) are harvested and dried to make saffron. It has a bitter taste and is used as a seasoning in food. It’s also used as a natural dye. The plant is high in antioxidants and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antidepressant properties.

Why is saffron expensive compared to other spices?

Because it is a spice derived from the stigmas of purple crocus, it takes a lot of labour to hand-pick each stigma, which is why it is one of the most expensive spices in the world. It also has a long shelf life, so it can be stored for up to two years. This makes it more valuable than other spices, which often spoil quickly. Lastly, it has many health benefits, such as being an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. All of these factors contribute to making the plant one of the most sought-after spices in the world.

Will saffron expire?

It has a long shelf life, and will not expire. However, it may lose its potency over time. It should be stored in a cool, dark place, and should be kept in an airtight container.

Can saffron be harmful? 

There is no evidence that it can be harmful in any way. In fact, it has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of conditions. Some people may be allergic to it, but this is rare. It is always best to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, just to be sure.

Are saffron supplements safe?

Yes, saffron supplements are safe. However, it’s important to purchase a high-quality supplement from a reputable source in order to ensure that you’re getting the most benefit from the supplement. It has been shown to have many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, fighting depression, and improving cognitive function.

How to know if saffron is real?

Real saffron threads will have a deep red colour and a slightly bitter taste. They should also release a characteristic aroma when crumbled. If you’re not sure whether the saffron you’re considering buying is real, you can perform a simple test.

What is saffron tea good for?

Saffron tea is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, saffron tea has been shown to improve mood and cognitive function, and may be helpful in the treatment of depression.

How fast does saffron multiply?

Saffron doesn’t actually multiply; it propagates through cloning. Each saffron crocus bulb will produce two or three new saffron crocus bulbs the following year, and those new bulbs will produce two or three new bulbs the following year, and so on. So a single saffron crocus bulb can theoretically give rise to hundreds of new saffron crocus bulbs in just a few years. However, reality is a bit different. The number of new bulbs that each original bulb produces depends on many factors – such as climate, soil quality, etc. – so it’s hard to say exactly how many new bulbs a single bulb will generate in a specific year. But if you’re lucky

Who uses the most saffron?

Iran is the world’s largest saffron producer, accounting for 90% of global production. However, Spain is the world’s largest consumer of saffron, using about 75% of the global total.
Saffron has always been expensive because it is a labour-intensive crop to grow and harvest. The stigmas (the threads that make up the spice) must be hand-picked and then dried. Saffron is also very susceptible to pests and diseases, which can further drive up the cost.

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