How to grow saffron | Gardening On

The saffron It is a spice, they say that the most expensive in the world, coming from the stigmas of the flower of the plant bulbous Crocus sativus. Although its origins are unclear, it is said that it could come from Persia or southern Turkey.

Do you want to know how saffron is grown? Keep reading!

Saffron care and cultivation

Crocus sativus

The Crocus sativus is a bulbous plant that must be planted in autumnas it blooms in spring. The substrate you need can be composed of black peat mixed with perlite or clay pellets to facilitate drainage and thus avoid puddling and subsequent rotting of the bulb. Generally large bulbs are sold, and due to the size, I advise planting one for each pot of about 12cm in diameter, or at a distance of about 10cm if we plant them in the ground or in a planter. It is also important to respect the ideal depth: if the bulb is 3cm high, we will plant it at a depth of 5 or 6cm.

As for irrigation, we must water once a week or even every fifteen days. Better to fall short than go overboard. And it will depend a lot on our climate; In other words, if we live in a dry climate, it will be advisable to water more often than if we live in a humid one. Several tricks to water at the ideal time are the following:

  • One of them is to insert your fingers into the substrate. If we see that a lot of substrate has “stuck” to us, it is because the plant has all the water it needs, and we will not water.
  • Another is, if we do not want to get stained, introduce a thin wooden stick. And, the same, if we take it out and see adhered substrate, it is because it does not need water.
  • In the market there are humidity meters, which are introduced into the substrate and tell us the degree of humidity there is.

Saffron harvest


About 500.000 flowers are necessary to obtain 1kg of saffronsince the flowers only have 3 stigmas each. They are collected as follows:

  1. They will be collected early in the morning.
  2. The flowers are collected one by one, below the insertion of the stigmas.
  3. They will then be placed in esparto or wicker baskets, taking care that the flowers are not compressed too much.
  4. The stigmas taken out will be placed on sieves of fine metallic cloth or silk cloth, over a heat source (brazier, hot stove,…).
  5. Some people wrap saffron in black cloth to protect it from the effects of the weather.
  6. In the third year it is advisable to raise the saffron, at the end of spring.
  7. After this, it is convenient to wait about 10 years to re-plant crocuses in the same field.

The life expectancy of the plant is about 15 years, although when it comes to producing saffron, they are usually discarded after 4 years.

Saffron uses


The collection and manipulation of the stigmata of the call Kitchen red gold it is very laborious work, which takes a long time. This is why it reaches very high prices. In fact, it is ten times more expensive than vanilla and fifty times more than cardamom. The uses for this spice are numerous. Some of them are:

  • In Spain, it is used as a condiment for paella.
  • Various liqueurs, such as Chartreuse, contain saffron.
  • In England it was used to make sponge cakes.
  • In Italy it is added to risotto.

Do you dare to have a spectacular and coveted flower at home?

Source – the info garden

Image – RECEPTY,

How to grow saffron | Gardening On

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