The saffron plant is resistant to both low and high temperatures, adapts well to the Mediterranean climate but does not tolerate excessive rainfall. Therefore, when grown in the garden or in pots you should not over-wet it, because frequent watering could rot the bulbs. These are normally planted in summer and begin to be watered from September to allow the growth of the leaves and flowering.
In the winter months the irrigation is reduced, with the only care not to dry the soil, while in spring it resumes. As for the amount of water to be given, if the plants are exposed to rain this should be sufficient for their needs. If they are in a sheltered place, remember not to give too much water.
How to grow and care for saffron
The ideal soil for the growth of saffron should be well drained and sandy, in a sunny position. For cultivation in the garden, the bulbs are placed in the ground in August, at a depth of about 10 cm and at the same distance from each other. If saffron is grown in pots, each pot contains 4 or 5 bulbs. The pot must be at least 15 cm high and have a diameter of about 18-20, the bottom must allow the easy release of water.
flowering takes place by the end of October while from the following month of June the plant goes into vegetative rest: the leaves dry out and the plants must be extracted from the ground, the new bulbs that have formed are separated from the old ones and placed in bags to protect them from moisture.
In September, they are placed in the ground to give life to new plants, and the flowers are harvested between October and November: the ideal time is early in the morning, when the corollas are still closed. The separation of the pistils is done by hand, opening the flower and breaking the thread that joins the pistils themselves.
- It is a genus that has many bulbous (corms) originating in Asia and Europe, usually in autumn flowering, there are also species of colchic flowering spring. The corms are of a…
- Small flowers widespread in nature in Europe and Asia, and throughout the Mediterranean area, the crocus are grown for centuries, the genus has about eighty species, and countless cultivars, very widespread as well as the…
- To the genus sternbergia belong about ten species of small bulbous similar to crocus, originating in the Mediterranean area; the S. lutea has autumn flowering and summer rest: towards the end of the…
- Saffron: a crop that is becoming more and more popular in Italy, and in which more and more people are trying their hand at it. Let’s see how you can take care of these plants.
How to fertilize saffron
In order for the productivity of saffron seedlings to be optimal, the soil in the garden must be properly prepared and fertilized. While it has been verified that chemical fertilisers do not have any particular beneficial effects on plant productivity, much more positive results are obtained by using organic fertilisers, in particular very mature manure mixed with leaves and reduced to potting soil.
The ideal quantity for the cultivation of saffron is about 3 kg of fertilizer per square meter. The fertiliser must be distributed in the period before the bulbs are placed in the soil. Generally, for small plots of land, the manure is buried with a spade and a rake, which crush the clods of larger soil and mix it with the fertilizer itself.
Saffron cultivation: Exposure, diseases and possible remedies
Saffron is a very resistant plant that particularly loves the sun: if cultivated in foggy areas or with high humidity levels, its growth can be compromised. As far as diseases are concerned, saffron is subject to attacks by fungi that cause rottenness. The fungal pathogens are many, the one that causes the most damage is the purplish Rhizoctonia. A plant affected by this fungus has a bluish mold that spreads quickly from one bulb to another, causing the formation of small purplish warts.
It is the so-called “badly-wine”: if a bulb is hit, it must be extracted from the ground to separate it from the others. Even in the case of “soot”, a disease that occurs with the presence of black plates on the bulb, the best solution is the extraction of the bulb and the immediate removal from the others.
Watch the Video