It’s the season to plant Colchicum
A real favourite in an autumn garden is Colchicum, also known as Autumn Crocus.
This is one of those flowers that makes people stop and look, as it provides an unexpected vibrancy at that time of year.
A member of the lily family, Autumn Crocus grows in the wild in various parts of the world, including Russia and Iran. They first appeared in this country in the early 1900s.
How to grow
Colchicum is easy to grow. You’ll need good quality, fertile, moisture-retaining soil in your beds. If you have poor soil, add a good compost, and if the soil is heavy, some grit to improve drainage.
The best time to plant the bulbs is August, and after recent rainfall the ground will be workable and good for planting.
Plant your bulbs as soon as you get them. Opinions differ but generally you should plant them at a depth of three to four inches and around six inches apart.
An ideal position is a sheltered part of your garden that will get sunshine in the afternoon. This will help to prolong the flowering period.
Once the bright flowers have finished, the leaves begin to appear. These will often last until the middle of the summer, dying away for a dormant period before the flowers return the next autumn. Don’t be tempted to cut the leaves off; let them die away naturally as this will help strengthen the corm for the next flowering.
You can use well-rotted manure to top dress when the flowers have died towards the end of the year.
It is possible to divide Colchicum, and this is best done after the leaves have died in July or August every four years or so.
Where to buy
We currently have Colchicum bulbs in stock as a loose purchase, so you can buy as many or as few as you like. If you’ve never grown them before, why not give them a try? You’ll be pleasantly surprised by an array of colour just when your garden needs it. To find out where our branches are, click here.