One of the plants whose flowers are known throughout the world is the Colchicum autumnal. It is known by the common names colquico, snack picker, wild saffron and bastard saffron, dog killer, and autumn daffodil. It is used as a decoration plant, since thanks to the dimensions of this plant it is ideal to have them in pots both on terraces, on balconies and in the garden itself.
In this article we are going to tell you about the characteristics, care and maintenance of the Colchicum autumnal.
This plant belongs to the genus of plants that always have perennial flowering and are timeless plants. It is native to the areas of Western and Central Asia, Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean. In the area where they develop naturally, it is usually high altitude. It is here where people use food as a condiment given its large area of distribution. It is usually grown mainly in areas with a temperate climate as it blooms when autumn ends. It does so around the end of September and the beginning of October.
We can find it quite easily having numerous short stems and large leaves. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate in shape and begin to sprout in the summer season with increasing temperatures. Although flowering normally occurs in the fall season, there are some varieties that reach spring in their bloom. As flowering takes place, the flowers sprout individually and acquire a funnel shape. They reach a length of approximately about 20cm as they move away from the ground.
They have a bulb with scales in the underground part of the plant from which slimy flowers sprout. The purplish calyxes are also blooming. One of the main characteristics of its leaves is that they are fine in texture, long in appearance and lanceolate in shape. They tend to clump together in tufts and have a fruit that sprouts in the center of each set of leaves. It can reach 25 centimeters in height and is pear-shaped in general.
The leaves that grow after the flowering season have a green color. When the warmer period ends, a bulb appears from which a shoot sprouts, which gives rise to the growth of several flowers. These flowers have a color between lilac and pink and at the top it takes the shape of a bell. This bud is characterized by having flowers but not leaves.
Caring for the Colchicum autumnal
In order to take good care of this plant we must take into account some essential aspects. First of all is sun exposure. The Colchicum autumnal needs a good continuous sun exposure. It can live well in semi shade although it is not ideal. It can survive in these areas as it becomes a perfect plant for both mild and temperate climates. In those areas with higher humidity and lower temperature it will be necessary to place them in direct sunlight. On the other hand, if the solar radiation that affects our garden is too high and the temperatures too, it may be convenient to move them to an area with semi-shade to protect the leaves and flowers.
It needs a loose and light soil that can supply it with a good supply of nutrients. It cannot adapt well to poor soils, so he needed a subscriber. We will see this later in the maintenance section. The planting as an autumn flower must be carried out during the summer. If we want it to be a spring flower, we will have to plant it during the fall.
It must be borne in mind that, no matter where it is planted, it must always maintain a certain degree of humidity. Once it sprouts on the leaves, watering must be reduced until it is completely eliminated. If the leaves turn yellow, these dead leaves will have to be pruned. The bulb must be kept dry at all times.
Tips for your care
A tip that is given in a general way to prepare the soil before planting is the following. You need a porous substrate that can keep moisture just long but without actually storing rainwater. This substrate can be composed of 70% black peat, 20% perlite and 10% volcanic clay. Once we have the ideal substrate, we are going to give some little tricks for irrigation.
If you have the plant in a pot, we can take it to touch the substrate and see if it is necessary to water again. To be able to check the humidity of the substrate, we must introduce a small stick or finger and if it has come out clean, it is necessary to water. If it comes out with adhering soil, it is best to base it in a few days until we water again. In these cases it is better to fall short in the irrigation that the plant suffers an excess of humidity that causes it to be attacked by fungi.
Maintenance of Colchicum autumnal
We are going to give some tips for the maintenance of this plant. We cannot forget that if we have poor soil or not too rich in nutrients, it will need fertilizer. Even if we use a new substrate, if it is fertilized from time to time it will have a better growth. One of the best fertilizers that is usually recommended for these plants is a chemical and organic fertilizer called guano.
Although the plant is only enjoyed during a few months of the year, at this time it can be affected by pests and diseases. The main pests usually be from snails and mites that come from excess moisture. To avoid these plans we must constantly control irrigation and humidity. On the other hand, it can also be attacked by mice and moles. For these it is better to use some type of repellent that is sold in nurseries.
Finally, an environment that is too humid can favor the presence of fungi from the Fusarium group.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Colchicum autumnal.