Crocuses belong to the family of kasatikovye and in vivo grow in the Crimea and the Mediterranean. In autumn, crocuses need special care, and certain varieties are used for planting.
All species of spring-blooming crocuses in the suburbs are planted from mid-September to October. They will bloom next spring immediately after the snow melts. Autumn-flowering varieties are planted in early August, they can please bloom in the fall of the same year.
Land for crocuses in the open field should be selected correctly. They should be with well-drained soils, always without spring stagnation of moisture. If the site is swampy, preference should be given to the highest place on it.
Crocuses can grow on any type of soil, except acidic. But most of all they like loam. If the soil is too poor in composition, then before planting it is recommended to introduce organic fertilizers, for example, humus or compost.
Crocuses prefer places well-lit by the sun, but they also develop quite successfully in partial shade, in which case flowering occurs a little later. The duration of the flowering period varies. It depends on the variety, weather conditions, location.
Crocus bulbs are planted in autumn to a depth of no more than 7-8 cm, the distance between them is maintained at about 10 cm. After planting, the beds with crocuses should be mulled with peat. Also during the winter, you need to ensure that their bulbs do not eat mice.
Crocuses are unpretentious, even a beginner grower can cope with their cultivation. But over time, their nests grow, therefore every five years it is recommended to dig them out and transplant them. This technique contributes to their better growth and more abundant flowering. But you need to do this correctly. Bulbs are excavated in mid-summer when they are at rest.
After the crocuses have been dug up, they must be dried for two months. After that, in September, after all diseased bulbs are rejected, it will be possible to begin planting.
Of the care measures should also be noted fertilizer application. This must be done twice a year. The first - immediately after the snow has melted, nitrogen fertilizer is given to crocuses at this time, the second - during flowering, for this, a phosphorus-potassium group of fertilizers is used.
Crocuses propagate by daughter bulbs, the so-called children, who are separated from the mother plant in the development process. They bloom only after 3 years. Every year, children form around the mother's bulb, and there are too many of them. As a result, crocus flowers begin to fade. That's why once every five years, overgrown crocuses of crocuses need to be dug up and planted.
In rare cases, you can use the seed method of reproduction. It takes a very long time and therefore, for the most part, breeders use it to breed new varieties.
How to plant crocuses
The best varieties for planting in the fall
All varieties of crocuses can be divided into autumn and spring, that is, those that bloom in autumn and those that bloom in spring. In the garden culture, only large-flowered and botanical species of spring crocuses are mainly used, autumn ones are much less common.
Differ in plentiful blossoming and pleasantly smelling flowers. In height, they reach no more than 8 cm. They bloom, you can say right in the snow. The following varieties are distinguished among them:
- Blue pearl. It is characterized by flowers of a pale blue hue. Flowering begins very early, usually it is massive and friendly.
- Prince Klaus. The color of this variety is very original. Against the background of white petals, a purple stripe stands out very clearly. It blooms usually early and quite plentifully.
- Cream Beauty. Pale yellow glasses of flowers with bright yellow stigmas. Differs in very plentiful blossoming.
- Princess Beatrix. Flowers are blue with a yellow bottom.
The most common and famous group of crocuses. It differs from the rest in larger flowers and later flowering. Almost all large-flowered crocuses are Dutch hybrids obtained by crossing different species. They are characterized by a very wide variety of colors.
They bloom about a week later than botanical varieties, somewhere in the second half of April. Often, the timing of flowering depends on the weather conditions of a particular year. Below are the best varieties of large-flowered crocuses:
- Joan of Arc. It is the best variety of white crocuses. Flowers are pure white flowers with a lilac bottom, their height is not more than 4 cm. The flowering period falls on the second half of April.
- Pickwick. It has a very original color scheme. On a pure white background are purple touches. Due to its unusual coloration, it is a very popular variety.
- Flower Record. Flowers about 4 cm high, saturated purple with a darker base. It blooms in late April, can be used for group plantings and when creating a rock garden.
Varieties of autumn crocuses
The flowering period of these crocuses falls in the fall, but depending on the region, it can continue until December. In this group, only leaves grow in the spring, and peduncles appear in the autumn after they die. The following varieties are most common:
- Crocus is beautiful. He is the earliest of this group, blooms in early autumn. Its flowers have a rather diverse color, you can find white, purple, blue inflorescences. Valued for absolute unpretentiousness.
- Crocus Zonatus. It blooms from the second half of September or in October. Deep pink flowers with a yellow core. The size of the flowers is about 4 cm in height. The inflorescences of this variety are characterized by a slight sweetish smell.
- Crocus is pale ocher. It has rather small inflorescences of a milky color, unpretentious.
- Crocus long-flowered. Late-flowering variety, its flowering period is in November.
Diseases and Pests
The worst pests for crocuses are rodents and moles. In certain years, they can destroy up to 90% of landings. The bulbs damaged by them rot, as evidenced by poor regrowth in the spring and a depressed appearance. In this case, all planting material should be dug up and sorted out damaged, which is then dried and processed.
To prevent the appearance of mice and moles, you should not leave at a distance of 3 meters from crocuses of soddy areas or groups of perennials, in them mice most often arrange their nests.
To combat rodents, you can also use special loose baits, which are laid out in places of their appearance.
Of the insects on crocuses, caterpillars of the scoop butterflies are quite common. They damage the roots and bulbs. They are very easy to detect in the fall when weeding. Thick gray caterpillars are preparing for pupation at this time, they are collected and destroyed.
Crocus plantings are very rarely affected by diseases, but recently, viral lesions have been increasingly seen on them. They are characterized by the defeat of flower buds, which is expressed in white spots on the glasses and in deformed bracts. The carriers of viral diseases are insects that feed on plant sap. Affected specimens should be scooped up and destroyed.
Crocuses: early grades
Also during wet weather, an outbreak of fungal diseases can occur. Most often, corms suffer from this. They wrinkle and soften, colored spots appear under their shell.
Crocuses are beautiful early-flowering plants, they look very impressive in the form of small curtains, they also combine perfectly with other spring bulbs. They can be used to decorate alpine hills, they also look spectacular against the background of conifers. In the summer, annual beds can be planted on crocus beds.