Natural Dye Plants: Crocus

Crocus is a natural dye plant that yields a yellow color. Plant these in your gardens for early springtime flowers.

Are you planning to grow crocus, I would highly recommend that you do grow them as they are the best known of the extra-early spring bulbs. The plants that are seen in American gardens are named hybrids and were produced by Dutch nurseymen during past centuries from some of the more than 75 species native to Europe and to Asia.

The name is Green and is derived from one of the yellow species used for making saffron, a dye once greatly esteemed.

There are many named kinds of Crocus offered in catalogues. Some people just prefer the beautiful yellow varieties and feel they are more suitable to their early spring gardens. If planted along with Scillas for contrast, they are lovely. I would plant the Crocus in groups of solid colors, rather than in mixtures for more of a showing but



then this is a personal preference.

Don't make the mistake I did one year of planting my Crocus in the lawn because the lawn mower is bound to cut some of thee foliage no matter how careful you are around the Crocus. Remember that no bulb can endure very long it the foliage is cut before it ripens naturally as the plants will become weak and they will just disapear into the soil. I would think that it is best to plant Crocus on the edge of a herbaceous border, on the edge of a woodland or in grass that won't need any cutting till spring. In those places your Crocus will return every spring to provide your

home with lovely flowers, now if a colony of mice don't discover these tasty plants or if rabbits

don't eat their tops.

Most of the wild species of the Crocus are very small and are not adapted to garden culture. Some like the C. imperati and C. tomasinianus, however are very well suited to a rock garden.

I tend to plant my Crocus in clumps because I feel that one bulb in bloom doesn't make a good display and I plant at least a dozen bulbs, or even two dozen, three or four inches apart and also three or four inches deep. As the new corns grow on top of the old ones they have a tendency to work out of the ground so for this reason I replace the bulbs every three years. At lot of people don't take the time, effort and the expense of doing this but I do and I think it is well worth replanting as I always have such

beautiful early spring flowers. I find that buying new bulbs is not expensive and its easier to buy new bulbs than to try to transplant and move those that are already in the groud.

Now you'll need to remember one important thing in planting Crocus and also other early spring blooming bulbs if that thier earliness depends largely upon their position. A sheltered location should be chosen, planting just south of a house and protected from north winds, will sometimes

cause them to open earlier than ones planted in other areas of your home as the others may be more exposed.

I do hope my information about the Crocus and planting will help you to decide to grow these lovely early spring bloom flowers.

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