Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs

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WHY GROW CROCUS? There’s always room for crocus! You can squeeze hundreds into empty scraps of space. They bloom when you’re hungriest for flowers. They multiply quickly. And their thin, wispy foliage disappears quickly.

CROCUS HISTORY – Native from Spain to Afghanistan, crocus have been cherished in gardens since at least the 1500s. Learn more.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS – Though they love sun, crocus can thrive in light shade under trees, shrubs, and perennials, and even in the lawn sometimes. Learn more.

Page 1 of Heirloom Crocus Bulbs        1
CROCUS TAPESTRY        Web-Only & Sampler
Herald the new year’s renaissance with this tapestry of purple, white, lavender, gold, and striped crocus. You’ll get 25 corms – 5 each of 5 of our gems – all individually labeled. For zones 4a-7b(8bWC).

For 2, 3, or more of each, order additional samplers.

COF27SOLD OUT1/$192/$36.503/$524/$675/$82
C. angustifolius, CLOTH OF GOLD, 1587
Once known as the “Turkey crocus,” this small, early, vigorously multiplying charmer was grown in gardens by 1587 and appears in virtually every bulb catalog of the 1800s. Bees flock to it. Zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
CR01SOLD OUT5/$12.5010/$23.5025/$5450/$100100/$185
KING OF THE STRIPED, 1880
This long-loved Victorian king alternates mostly striped petals with mostly purple ones for a look that’s charmingly imperfect, like your grandmother’s patchwork quilt. C. vernus, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
CR20SOLD OUT10/$8.2525/$1950/$35.50100/$66250/$149
NEGRO BOY, 1910
Its name may be a troubling anachronism, but this old crocus is too special to let go extinct. It’s the world’s deepest, darkest crocus, with midnight purple petals set off by a heart of gold and a tiny edging of silver. All but lost, it was preserved by one far-sighted collector in Latvia. C. vernus, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
CR30SOLD OUT10/$12.5025/$2950/$54100/$100250/$225
C. chrysanthus SNOWBUNTING, 1914
“If I could have only one crocus,” the great Southern gardener Elizabeth Lawrence wrote, “it would be this.” She praised it’s “pearly” buds opening in January in Raleigh, it’s golden throat, and its “delightful, strong, and musk-like” fragrance. And it’s equally fine up North! Zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
CR03SOLD OUT25/$10.5050/$20100/$37250/$84500/$156
C. tommasinianus, TOMMIES, 1847
If chipmunks plague you, try tommies. These soft lavender beauties were rated “most rodent-resistant” by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Hardy to zone 5 (some say 3), they’re also the best crocus for the South, happy in light shade, and self-sow like wildflowers! Zones 5a-8a(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
CR12SOLD OUT10/$8.5025/$19.5050/$36.50100/$68250/$153
VANGUARD, 1934
The earliest-blooming Crocus vernus (and one of our favorite spring treats) this former Russian wildflower opens its platinum outer petals to reveal an exciting contrast – inner petals of luscious amethyst. Zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
CR29SOLD OUT10/$9.5025/$2250/$41100/$76250/$171

WHY GROW CROCUS? There’s always room for crocus! You can squeeze hundreds of them into empty scraps of space. They bloom when you’re the hungriest for flowers. They multiply quickly. And their thin, wispy foliage disappears quickly.

HISTORY – Native from Spain to Afghanistan, crocus have been cherished in gardens since the 1500s. Victorian gardeners planted entire carpet-beds of them. Species or snow crocus, though most popular today, were rare in gardens before 1940.

CROCUS ARCHIVES – For customer tips and raves, the stories behind the bulbs, links and books, history, news, and more, see our Crocus Newsletter Archives.

CROCUS IN THE LAWN – Though it’s never the first place we recommend planting crocus, in the right conditions some varieties can do well in lawns. For helpful advice from our customers (and the Missouri Botanical Garden), see our “Crocus in the Lawn” page.

PLANTING & CARE – For best growth and bloom, plant crocus as soon as the soil cools in the fall, giving them as long as possible to establish roots before soil freezes completely. If absolutely necessary, store briefly in open bags in a cool, dry spot.

Choose a site with well-drained soil (avoid or improve clay soil) in full sun to very light shade. Crocus often do well in the dappled shade of deciduous trees and shrubs or around the base of perennials such as peonies because they can complete most of their life cycle before these plants leaf out completely and limit their sun. Though they prefer neutral to slightly alkaline soil, they are very adaptable.

For SNOW OR SPECIES CROCUS, plant with the base 2-3 inches deep and 2-3 inches apart from center to center (or closer for a lush look).

For TRADITIONAL CROCUS, plant with the base 3-4 inches deep and 3-4 inches apart from center to center (or closer for a lush look).

Plant with the growing tip up. Scratch a little bulb fertilizer into the surface soil (slow-release 10-10-10 is ideal). Water and make sure the soil stays reasonably moist from fall through spring. During the summer, however, crocus do better if the soil is dry.

If animals dig your newly-planted bulbs, try covering them for a couple of weeks with chicken wire, plastic-mesh netting, old screens, etc. An airy mulch of straw, etc., can be helpful the first winter, but remove it in earliest spring.

Do NOT apply a thick mulch of shredded bark, etc. Crocus are too small to push their way up through a thick, heavy mulch.

After bloom, allow the foliage to yellow completely (to feed the bulbs for increase and future bloom) before removing.

To return to the beginning of Crocus, click here.

Page 1 of Heirloom Crocus Bulbs        1
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