Crocuses (70 photos): types and features of care
When the cover of snow finally leaves the earth, one of the first to pity towards the sun is decisive crocuses. They bloom early, are appropriate everywhere and do not need complicated care. It is enough to plant seedlings once so that for many years bright crocuses made their way through last year's grass in the spring.
Crocus is a perennial flower, very popular in decorative floriculture. It is to this genus that saffron spice, so beloved by cookers, belongs - just one of the types of crocuses. In nature, they grow in meadows and fields, on plains and highlands, in steppes and rare forests.
This is a winter-hardy flower that does not need shelter in the cold season. It generally requires a minimum of care and in its own way is very self-sufficient. A short plant extends a maximum of 10 cm, and almost all of this is a lush, dense inflorescence, which is protected by dense narrow leaves near the ground.
An interesting feature of crocus is the absence of a stem as such. A thick leafy outlet diverges directly from the ground and forms a kind of protective shell for the young shoot. The shoot immediately turns into a short peduncle without leaves, and crocuses bloom in bright sunny weather.
The rhizome of a plant is something between a tuber and an onion. In season, it gains useful nutrients that it will spend next year. Due to this, the tuber first increases in size, and then decreases.
Crocuses are natural and decorative, and they differ for the most part in color. Natural - yellow, orange, blue or purple, and sometimes - snow-white albinos. But cultural varieties can be almost any, including spotty and multi-colored.
This is one of the first garden varieties and the so-called large-flowered Dutch hybrids. It is common in the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Balkans and color in early spring. Spring crocus flowers are white, lilac or even two-tone.
This is a Crimean and Caucasian mountain variety, which is still found in some regions of Iran and Turkey. He has large lilac petals with dark vein patterns and a bright orange middle. Snow-white or even blue flowers are less common.
This variety is more common in the Balkans, in Asia Minor and in the Crimea, and tolerates the conditions of mid-latitudes better. It is relatively small and has elongated narrow leaves. The flowers of such a crocus are pale yellow, but sometimes the petals are painted in the likeness of a gradient from bright to faded.
Yellow crocus came to our latitudes from the countries of Southern Europe, and its main feature is obvious from the name. Yellow flowers are so bright and saturated that sometimes the shade goes into orange. Outside petals are decorated with grayish or purple stripes.
This is the same saffron that has been successfully cultivated for several thousand years. It is not found in the wild and has arrived in our latitudes from South-West Asia. Saffron is mentioned in ancient Greek manuscripts, and is supposedly a hybrid of three different natural species at once. It has purple, blue, yellow or white flowers with a long bright pestle, which are dried as a spice.
Golden crocus resembles yellow with a rich shade of flowers, but belongs to a different category. These are Chrysanthus varieties, which are traditionally smaller and brighter than Dutch hybrids. Golden crocus begins to bloom before the snow completely leaves the ground.
The peculiarity of this variety is a huge variety of shades, moreover, in natural conditions, without the experiments of breeders. There are even lilac, blue and lilac flowers with lilac or brown veins. In nature, two-flower crocus is common in the southeast of Europe.
Crocus is one of the best flowers for our middle strip, because it is ideally adapted to its conditions. You don’t have to make special efforts to make the flower feel good, grow, develop and even multiply.
Crocuses are loyal to the sun, but not too fond of excessive heat, so the maximum temperature for healthy development is 18 degrees. But they easily endure cooling to -7 and even -10 degrees. The recommended temperature regime is from 8 to 14 degrees, because it is not in vain that this is an autumn and spring plant.
Crocuses easily adapt to almost any soil, so they take root in high mountain meadows and in rocky gardens. They can be grown in home drawers or pots, if you take care of drainage in a timely manner. Ideal soil should be dry, loose and saturated with nutrients.
All crocus varieties love the open sun and easily tolerate even hot, clear days. But at the same time, they are quite comfortable in the shaded area. Therefore, they feel good at home on the windowsill and on the southern and northern sides.
Crocuses are not too moisture-loving flowers, so they do not need to be watered separately. Irrigate only plants that are grown in boxes or flowerpots. In open soil, they naturally have enough of the natural moisture that they receive from it. Watering the seedlings separately is only necessary if there wasn’t enough snow in the winter, and in the spring - it didn’t rain.
When landing, be sure to get acquainted with drainage from river sand or fine gravel. Some varieties cannot be grown at all in moist or clay soil. And they can not be too tightly buried in heavy soil, otherwise crocus will not rise.
Fertilizers and fertilizing
Crocuses need to be fed, especially if you breed them at home in a drawer. Most of all, they like conventional complex fertilizers for indoor flowers. But be sure to dilute them to a weak solution, otherwise the rhizome may die from concentrated fertilizer. Potassium and phosphorus are best suited, but an excess of nitrogen often leads to fungus.
Transplantation and reproduction
In vivo, crocus reproduction is a streamlined and self-contained cyclic process. At the end of the season, one tuber completely dies, but in the next, new young “children” emerge. They can be used for forced reproduction of crocuses.
To do this, remove the corms from the ground, dry and leave to be stored in a ventilated, dark and cool room until the next planting. If the rhizome is large enough, then the new crocus will bloom a year after planting, if small and weak - two.
Spring crocuses are planted in open soil in the fall, and autumn crocuses in the summer. In winter, they can be grown at home for distillation - it is very simple, as with all bulbs. We only recommend taking large-flowered varieties, for example, Dutch. After flowering, do not throw them away, but drink them with fertilizers, clean them from the substrate, wrap them with dry napkins and hide in a dark, dry place for transplanting into the ground in autumn.
Pest and Disease Control
Crocus is a groundcover that slugs and wireworms cannot pass by. Unfortunately, they will have to deal with them mechanically - to collect and set traps. The same goes for field mice, who are very fond of nutritious tubers and actively spread diseases.
The virus can be recognized by compressed, deformed, and painful colors that cannot normally bloom. In appearance, they differ from wilted and faded, so you definitely will not mix it up. Spring crocuses are more sensitive to various diseases and fungi than autumn crocuses, so affected plants need to be removed and destroyed as quickly as possible.
Fungal diseases are a common misfortune of a squat flower, especially if the root system is not yet sufficiently developed. This is Fusarium, and various types of rot, which will have to be mercilessly removed and destroyed. Do not forget about the preventive treatment of crocuses with fungicides!
Crocuses - photo
Crocuses have a unique property: they cope with almost all their problems themselves. Be it drought, sun or shadow, lack of minerals - the root system of the flower will survive and not so. But their advantages do not end there. Just look how beautiful they are!