Growing crocuses at home
Undoubtedly, it is crocuses or primroses - these are the flowers that are the very first and tender evidence of a full spring coming. It is they who, with the appearance of the first rays of the still rather cool spring sun, delight us with bright, blooming buds.
This perennial plant, which is most often found in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Asia, is ideal for growing at home. Crocuses belong to bulbous plants and rarely reach a height of more than 25 cm, however, they are rightly considered to be one of the most beautiful ornamental flowers.
At home, crocuses are grown with forcing, that is, special conditions are created in which the plant starts to blossom even at a time when in nature it should be in a state of complete rest.
In principle, even the most experienced grower will be able to achieve the appearance of crocus flowers, although some efforts will still have to be made,in particular, if you want to achieve flowering by a certain date, for example, the New Year or March 8.
In total, there are about hundreds of different types of crocuses in nature, however, in the conditions of an apartment or house, not everyone can please you with a really bright and lush flowering. For example, the usual crocuses, which you can see on city beds or in the garden, are not the best option for homemade forcing, as the flowers grow weak and quickly fall.
Dutch hybrids, such as Jeanne D'Ark or Remembrance, are best suited for homemade forcing. They make it possible to get the largest and most spectacular flowers at home.
In addition, the size of the corms, which you choose for planting, is of great importance: the larger it is, the more flowers you get at the output, and the larger the bulb, the faster it will bloom, which is very convenient.
If you buy planting material in a store, then it is best to do it in mid-August or early September, be sure to choose dense specimens in intact shells, without sprouts and roots. The condition of the bulbs directly affects the quality of flowering and the rate of growth.
How does crocus cropping begin?
After you have decided on the view and picked up a couple of pretty bulbs, it is necessary to provide such conditions under which crocuses will still bloom ahead of time, for example, on the New Year. Do you imagine such a beautiful winter-spring miracle on your window?
To grow such flowers at home they need to provide conditions that are very close to natural, especially if you dream of getting the same pretty little bouquets, as in pictures and photos on the Internet. The algorithm is simple: the corms, before they please us with flowers, must go through three main processes, among which drying, cooling and rooting.
If the bulbs were purchased in the store, then usually they have already passed the drying stage, but the tubers from the garden plot need to be dug in June, thoroughly dried in the fresh air and select the largest specimens.
Then they are stored for storage: during the first week they can be at sufficiently high temperatures, then it is reduced to 20 °, and after two weeks to 17 ° and maintained at this level until mid-August. Usually from the second decade of this month the cooling process begins, which can be carried out in a dry and dark room at a temperature of 3-9 °, which simulates the "winter" for the tubers.
The cooling process is best carried out in the basement or in the refrigerator on the lower shelf, where a certain level of temperature is constantly maintained. The cooling period can last up to a month, after which the bulbs are usually planted in the ground.
In principle, the cooling process should be planned depending on the planting period, which is directly related to the desired flowering period. For example, to make crocuses bloom for the New Year holidays, they must be planted in early September, but in order to achieve spring flowering - in November or October.
As a soil, a rather loose and water-permeable soil is usually used, it can even be ordinary sand or expanded clay. However, if crocus is planned to grow as a perennial home flower, and not as a miracle for one season, then it is better to plant it in the nutrient substrate and periodically feed it.
Terms of care
In soil for quality rooting crocus should be planted 2.5-3 months before the planned flowering. At this time they must be placed in a cool and darkened room, the temperature of which should be about 6-8 °.
The immediate forcing of the plant begins in the last 10-15 days, while the bulbs must have strong roots, which is easily determined by the presence of dense and strengthened shoots from 5 cm in height.
Sprouts ready for flowering should be installed in a cool place in the room, usually the window sill of a balcony or loggia. Illumination should be bright enough, but diffused, air temperature is about 14-16 °. It is important to remember that at higher levels crocuses very quickly fade and instantly lose their decorativeness.
It is necessary to water them 2-3 times a week, the main thing is to prevent the soil from completely drying out, it is not necessary to spray the leaves. After flowering, crocuses are either thrown away or left for the next year, but their care will have some peculiarities.
As already mentioned, they are planted in a nutrient soil, watered only in the pan, and after the leaves have fallen and have fallen, watering is stopped altogether. At the beginning of the next season, crocuses are again planted in a fresh substrate, and the growing process is repeated again.
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