Colchicum Growing Guide

Colchicum, also known as Autumn Crocus

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Average garden soil with excellent drainage.

Position

Full sun in spring, partial shade in summer.

Frost tolerant

Good. Autumn-blooming colchicums (C. autumnale) are hardy to -32C (-25F).

Feeding

Fertilise with a balanced organic fertiliser in spring, when new growth appears.

Companions

Colchicums make their green growth in spring, so they work well when grown with daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs. Flowers emerge in autumn on bare stems.

Spacing

Single Plants: 15cm (5") each way (minimum)
Rows: 15cm (5") with 15cm (5") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out bulbs from mid to late summer, while they are dormant. Cover the bulbs with 8cm (3in inches) of soil.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Colchicum bulbs are expensive, but will persist for years in good locations. Colours include pink, white and lavender.

Harvesting

Despite their short stems, colchicums make good cut flowers. Harvest when the buds are just beginning to open. Allow unharvested flowers to remain in the garden until they set seed, if possible.

Troubleshooting

Mark the location of your colchicums with stones or a garden ornament so you don’t accidentally dig them up. In late spring, allow the foliage to die back naturally.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

< Back to All Plants

Pests which Affect Colchicum