Generally, the best time to plant saffron bulbs is between August and September, but other locations and growing conditions make a difference. While the plant likes warmer climates, most of the plant’s stem is only about two feet off the ground and thus requires a slightly cooler temperature than that of the outside.
For the plant to have a good chance of success growing bulbs, it should be able to tolerate cooler temperatures than the temperature of the room where plants are growing, especially in hot, humid zones where the plant is likely to be stressed. You can also make the plant more tolerant of heat by keeping it in a cooler location indoors than outdoors.
How long should saffron bulbs be kept?
Saffron bulbs are great for growing in the winter after a year of dormancy. As the plant dies back, you can harvest them to rehydrate or use them as compost. Since they are grown more frequently when it is chilly outside, grow them year round in a greenhouse-style container or container set with drainage built into the sides. You will have to keep the temperature of the water in the container from creeping too high because you will be using all of the water during the growth stage.
How long should saffron bulbs last?
If they are grown properly, the plants should last several years. Depending on the location and growing conditions, the roots become dormant. The buds, flowers, and leaves then bloom, which takes up to a year before they are ready to be harvested. The bulbs are harvested in a few months after they are fully developed, so harvesting the fruits before they turn orange and turning their tips golden makes harvesting time a lot more efficient.
When should I harvest saffron bulbs when they are ready for harvest?
Saffron bulbs are best when they are ready to be harvested. After they have been in the grower’s refrigerator for two to four months, they still have lots of nutrients in them and they can be picked early since you should be saving them for the next year.
For more information, see How to choose saffron flowers and how to grow saffron bulbs.
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