The Q&A Archives: Planting Autumn Crocus

Question: I just ordered autumn crocus. I am about to plant them this week ( on cape cod, mass.) and I want to know if I can plant them in the shade covered area? Will they bloom this year? And do I have to dig them up or do they spread naturally?

Answer: Autumn crocus isn't a crocus at all, but an interesting plant with crocus-type flowers. The corms, if planted now, will produce long, broad leaves in the spring which will die back by summer. In the autumn a flower cluster will arise from seemingly nowhere. You can plant the corms, tips up, in 3"-4" of soil, in a sunny site. It isn't necessary to dig the corms up. In fact, they bloom better if left undisturbed for several seasons. The corms can be divided every 3-4 years, during their dormant season (July-August).

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