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Growing Saffron flower

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M Nash starts with ...
Can anyone advise if this can be done?
What am I up against? I loves me Moroccan cooking.
where should I start at getting a plant/seed?
Can they be grown on the NSW Northern rivers?
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MNash1
Terranora Northern NSW
28th February 2010 5:09pm
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John Mc says...
Hey there M Nash,
I bought 20 odd Saffron corms from this ebayer:
inthelonggrass@bigpond.com

If you're quick she might have some left. I had to buy a second lot because the rats ate every one of my first lot of corms. From memory they were around $30 for 20 corms delivered, something like that.
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John Mc1
Warnervale NSW
28th February 2010 6:35pm
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Original Post was last edited: 28th February 2010 6:38pm
Diana says...
Hi M Nash,

You can buy saffron corms via the web from Green Harvest http://greenharvest.com.au/Plants/rare_food_plant_index.html> or Diggers. They say that this plant needs a dry mediterranean climate, and will not do well in northern NSW/ South east Qld coastal areas.

Diana.
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Brisbane
28th February 2010 6:47pm
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M Nash says...
Thanks Diana and John, Oh well. I suppose that is the trade off for being able to grow other wonderful fruit trees up here.
Thanks anyways.

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MNash1
Terranora Northern NSW
28th February 2010 7:32pm
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c taylor says...
I planted 10 bulbs in jan/feb in a large pot & today my 1st 2 flowers opened for me. Central Coast NSW but my block is in a hollow behind a highish street behind me, making like a sub tropical rainforest area. I used a large pot, rather than the ground, as I am old & no longer good for bending etc. No problems with native varmits as yet! And yes they do visit me, all varieties from the park across the road! Try using the pot idea to stop the critters from eating bulbs, also then you can put the pot(s), where they get the weather they like! Too hot - move 'em easy as! Have fun in the garden! Have attached a pic taken around midday today!
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c taylor
Kanwal NSW
17th April 2010 1:17pm
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M Nash says...
Thanks C Taylor,
Wow there not much of a plant are they? Just a wispy grassy thing.
Im going to give them a go. I have areas aoround the house that these plants may like.
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MNash1
Terranora Northern NSW
17th April 2010 4:41pm
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Evo says...
Mine have just emerged from the earth after the last couple of frosty nights. If you are planting now you may miss the flowering as I did last year. Yes. They are a wispy grassy looking thing. Very uninspiring...until they flower! My are also in a pot so I can bring them inside during flowering so the wind doesn't steal my crop! :>
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lionfish
 
17th April 2010 7:39pm
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John Mc says...
Do you think I'll still get a flower this late in the season? I took these photo's this afternoon.
My original set of bulbs were eaten by the rats. I got another set of 10 sent asap and here they are. What do you think?
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John Mc
 
18th April 2010 8:14pm
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Speedy says...
They could still flower John Mc,
depends on when you planted them.
I planted mine a couple of weeks ago (a bit later than I'd planned but not as late as some last year).

In NNSW/SEQ they could be ok if grown in a very well drained mix.
You'd probably have to lift them at the end of the growing season so they dont rot in the ground during dormancy over summer.
I guess they could be grown in a styrofoam box or a planter and shifted under the eaves of the house during summer dormancy.

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Speedy
Nth. Vic.
18th April 2010 10:17pm
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Charles cant spell says...
Good to see a hand that does a bit of digging Speedy, nice calouses.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
19th April 2010 12:05am
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John Mc says...
Yes speedy,
I planted mine out about a month ago. Fingers crossed I get a flower or two.

I might have to adjust the potting mix I made up for them for next year. Anything I grow in pots I grow in a soiless mix. I can tailor make it to hold water or drain very quickly. It's basically ph neutral flyash for the drainage and cocopeat for moisture retention. It depends on what I'm potting up determines on the ratio of flyash to cocopeat. Some mixes are 100% flyash and some are 100% cocopeat, Most plants are a mix of both.
For the Saffron bulbs, I made up a 50/50 mix. I will revise that next year and go 100% flyash, I'm thinking for pure drainage.
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John Mc
 
19th April 2010 12:29am
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Speedy says...
Thanks Charles cs ,
I'll take that as a compliment.
I dunno about the phone camera though , my hands look really very clean there, like ive washed them or something.

John, my soil is not really very well drained.
I think that in Vic. where we get rain (if we get it) mostly in the winter the Crocuses are growing and it's not much of a problem for them.
It may be a problem in SE Qld during the wet and humidity of summer though, but a good potting mix should be ok.
I may have over emphasized it a bit before when I said 'very well drained' mix.
What you have them in now looks ok.
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Speedy
Nth. Vic.
19th April 2010 12:52am
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c taylor says...
I have now had 10 flowers from my 11 bulbs. Funny thing is 2 bulbs have produced none & one had 2 heads at once, 2 have repeat flowered, within a day or 2! A chef friend of mine, knew what the freshly picked strands were the second he saw them. Was very excited to see freshly picked saffron!. When you pick the flowers, I find if you remove 1 petal, then find where the base of the threads are, & take the whole piece in 1, then you don't have 3 threads trying to fall & get lost, from where ever you are drying them. Here is a link for a website with harvesting info, quantities are fascinating. 20 threads equals a PINCH of saffron mind you!!! http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Articles/Exotic-Herbs-Spices-and-Salts-639/saffron.aspx#5min
Take care with snails slugs & caterpillars.I found 1 flower yesterday all but consumed, only had 1 thread left on it. Today I picked the seemingly last 1, as an unopened bud. Cloudy day no sunshine so the bud stayed closed!I pulled a petal off & removed the whole thread system safely! Perhaps harvesting nearly opened buds is a better proposition than risking the critters getting to them! Just took the pics for this forum, 1st one is the freshly picked strands from today's bud, the other pic is no my whole harvest, minus the 3 thread set I gave to the friend!! Easy to see why they need 10,000 flowers to get 1lb of saffron Ha! Ha! Have fun guys!
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c taylor
central coast nsw
25th April 2010 1:17pm
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Steven says...
Hey everyone

I was at the nursery today and by chance i noticed they were selling saffron in pots. so i thought what the hey and bought one. ive never really tried saffron properly before and never thought about growing it before so i dont know much about it.

I did a quick search on the internet and didnt find much about when to grow it and how to look after it.

At the moment its growing in a pot with threads about 20cm long, can i just plant it in the ground with a little fertilizer and let it grow wild? should i plant it in summer in the vegetable garden? whats the best way to grow and care for saffron?

Thanks

Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
21st July 2010 10:38am
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JUJUBE FOR SALE IN MELBOURNE says...
Hi Steven,

You may be interested in these links:
http://www.easytogrowbulbs.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=98

http://www.gardenexpress.com.au/growing_guide/crocus_saffron/crocus_saffron.html

Happy growing
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JUJUBE FOR SALE
Melbourne
21st July 2010 11:43am
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Speedy says...
I plant in Feb-March and they're up in march-april and flowering soon after.
the leaves die off about oct-nov and are dormant over summer.
If you want to grow it for use in the kitchen, best value for money is if you get dormant bulbs and plant them out.
$50 worth would be a good start (eqivalent of about 4 vials of Aust. saffron).
you should get that much back in about say, 5yrs (depending on climate and how well you grow them) and then your ahead from then on.
If you did go that way, it might be best to place an order with a bulb seller before Nov. when they lift them and start selling them.
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Nth Vic.
21st July 2010 4:11pm
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Steven says...
Hey everyone thanks for the info. I might plant them out now then so they can grow and reproduce. Do you think its worth it to dig the bulbs out once they go dormant or just leave them in the ground.

They sound like they are pretty easy to look after


Thanks

Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
22nd July 2010 10:03am
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Brendan says...
Saw a cooking show on tv last week, they said that Saffron likes to grow in a Mediterranean climate (as Diana says above), silly question: Why do they grow it in Tasmania?

My dictionary describes a mediterranean climate has hot summers and warm winters. I didn't think Tassie had that type of climate?
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
18th October 2010 8:06am
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Jason says...
Well Tasmania has very warm winters compared to almost all of Europe (everywhere but the very South of Europe) and hot Summers also so thats fair enough. Even on a little island isolated from the mainland the potential Maximum Temperature in Hobart is higher than Mackay during Summer. That's just the way it goes with the very long days at high latitudes when you are underneath a hot desert.

Saffron is easy to grow here also, same climate as Tasmania pretty much with a little more heat in Summer

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Jason10
Portland
18th October 2010 11:04am
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Original Post was last edited: 18th October 2010 11:09am
c taylor says...
I use the cheapest potting mix and if my plants like a well drained home I add riversand. NEVER SEASAND! Riversand has minerals etc and it does wonder. The Aussie plants love it. I also use it to make up sandier mixes for growing cacti and succulents, say 50/50. Natives I use 2/5 riversand to potting mix, other plants 1/4. Only foods my plants get are the sugarcane mulch breaking down & if they are lucky some worm farm liquid! Feel free to contact me if you wish dabtcat2@gmail.com
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c taylor
kanwal nsw
6th November 2010 12:37pm
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jacqui says...
hellow, i live in s.a and have just been given a dozen saffron bulbs. I lived in the dubbo area where saffron thistle grew and thought that was where saffron came from untill i was given these bulbs. This is the first timei have grown them so iam not sure what you are up against.I remember crocus flower growing when i was younger in the u.k and saffron is a crocus bulb/flower.If the thistle is usable,i dont know.I would like to know more myself. please keep in touch and let me know how you go. my bulbs are starting to shoot at the moment. :)
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jacqui3
s.a country
10th June 2011 9:29pm
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Haakon says...
My French next door neighbour gave me an envelope of crocus seeds from his mum. Apparently she gets all the saffron she needs from a couple of pots.

My crocus are doing great, I will post a photo. Is there any reason why I should be growing crocus from bulbs not seed?
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Fremantle
13th June 2011 11:50am
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JK says...
Could I get saffron plants in Perth?
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JK
Perth
13th June 2011 5:35pm
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Haakon says...
Jacqui,

If my crocus are a success you will be welcome to some seeds. Not sure when that will be but I suspect next autumn.

regards
Haakon
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Fremantle
15th June 2011 12:41pm
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Steven says...
Hey everyone saffron, like bananas is a mutation that doesnt produce any seeds. which for some reason results in the the flowers producing the stamens that is what saffron is. Thats why you need to grow them using the corms as you would garlic. But if they are healthy they can produce quite a few of them. Also to prevent them from rotting you should take them out of the pot during the summer months when the plant is dormant


Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
16th June 2011 6:08pm
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Haakon says...
Interesting Steven, I will have to have a word with my mate over the back fence who gave me the seeds.
So now I realise I have a couple of pots of crocus growing purely for their looks.
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Fremantle
17th June 2011 11:07am
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Brendan says...
Saw on SBS last night growing saffron what looked like a desert! I thought it grew well in Tassie? Should do well in WA.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
21st June 2011 8:11am
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Steven says...
Hey Haakon, it was to my understanding that saffron wont produce any seeds at all. the stamens dont make pollen. If thats true then you would most likely be growing the wrong variety. Look it up on the net just in case im wrong but im pretty sure thats the case.

It grows naturally on one of the Greek islands and made its way around the world from there via human hands. The reason they die off in summer is because it can get very dry during those times. But all in all Greeces climate is quite similar to most parts of Australia so I wouldnt worry too much about climate. From the looks of it, its basically a weed and will grow relativelty easily.
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
21st June 2011 11:33am
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avidgardener says...
Hi,
I'm from Melbourne. I've had some saffron bulbs growing in a terracotta pot for about 3-4 years but I've never seen any flowers so far. They have multiplied in numbers though.
The grassy leaves have come out and they are about 5-7cm high. The pot has been on the north facing deck near a brick wall throughout summer and it's been getting a lot of rain in the past couple of weeks.
What should I do to encourage flowering?
Thnx in advance...
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avidgardener
Lyndhurst
23rd May 2013 4:27pm
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Original Post was last edited: 30th May 2013 3:20pm
snottiegobble says...
Strange, I bought 20 bulbs from Diggers around Xmas, kept them in their packets until end of march then planted them out in sandy soil with a little added horse manure dug well in, full sun. They all sprouted & 4 of them produced flowers since end of April! Three plants succumbed to bulb rot. but the others are going great guns & starting to multiply. I wasnt expecting any flowers until Spring!
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snottiegobble
South of Bunbury
30th May 2013 12:45pm
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avidgardener says...
Thnx snottiegobble:)
Looks like you were the lucky one....still no flowers but the plants look very healthy and they are abt 10cm high.
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avidgardener
Lyndhurst
14th June 2013 2:10pm
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Love Veggies says...
Hi,

I was in for a surprise when one of the saffron bulb planted 2 weeks ago bloomed in early Nov in zone 6. I got bulbs from eden brothers.
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Love Veggies
Cincinnati
6th November 2015 6:49am
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Markmelb says...
Well Love Veggies it is Autumn where you are :) and thats when they pop back up and flower - did you get enough for a curry? I planted 6 bulbs around my palmer Mango this late winter here in Melbourne.
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
6th November 2015 9:05am
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Fouzia Qureshi says...
Hi I would like to know how to get some Saffron bulbs because I would like to grow some myself. What would be the best price to buy the Saffron bulbs and do I come and get them or they are sent through the mail
Kind regards
Fouzia Qureshi
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Fouzia Qureshi
Vermont, Victoria
12th April 2019 10:43pm
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