How to plant autumn flowering crocuses

How to plant autumn flowering crocuses

These gorgeous bulbs will lend a shot of faded colour to your late autumn garden. Their leaves appear after the flowers so let the whole plant die back before tidying or mowing the dead remains.

The three varieties need to be planted as follows:

Autumn Crocus:

Autumn crocus bulbs prefer gritty, poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.

Unpack on arrival and plant between early August and the end of October at a depth of 8-10 cm allowing 75-100 per square meter.


Plant colchicum bulbs in deep, well drained, moist, fertile soil. They are best planted in open to lightly dappled shade.

Plant around 10 cm deep and 10-15cm apart allowing 30 to 40 per square meter.


Sternbergia bulbs are also known as winter daffodil because of their bright yellow colour!

Sternbergia requires excellent drainage with protection from strong winds and hard frosts. Give them well-drained chalky to moderately fertile soil in full sun where they will happily naturalise.

Plant around 10cm deep allowing 75 to a square meter.

Getting the most out of your autumn flowering crocus:

If the weather is very dry in autumn provide additional water, you can cover the corms after flowering with light mulch to help seal in moisture and protect from severe winter weather. If your soil is poor add organic matter and grit to aid drainage and, ideally, apply a winter mulch from late November/December. Feed with a high potash fertiliser such as organic liquid seaweed.  

Take care!

These bulbs are poisonous and should not be eaten as they contain compounds which can cause stomach discomfort and nausea. Wear gloves when handling and planting autumn flowering crocus bulbs. The bulbs can also be poisonous to cats and dogs.

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