Why You Should Grow Saffron
Saffron is hardy to zone 4, and has potential in some zone 3 areas. We have staff that grow saffron in Middlesex, Vermont as well as the Champlain Valley.
Each year more saffron corms will multiply from the original corm, producing more flowers each year. After 4-5 years of harvesting, the corms should be relocated, or soils should be amended to replenish fertility.
Saffron can tolerate a variety of soil pH (6-8), and prefer a dry, well-drained, full sun location. Saffron seems to enjoy fertilizer so don’t forget to add some compost to your planting to help improve daughter corm and flower development. We have staff that grow saffron in heavier Addison County soils with success. If planting in a raised bed, we recommend planting in one that isn't too high off the ground.
Plant your saffron corms as soon as you receive them in late summer/early fall. Plant 4-6 inches deep, and 4-6 inches apart. Mulch and plant corms deep enough into the soil to prevent frost exposure. Thoroughly water in your corms, and wait until you see growth above ground before you start watering them regularly. They should be watered during extreme drought or prolonged dry periods. They will flower first, during late October/early November, and remain vegetative through the entire winter. They will keep their foliage until May or June, when they will dry back and remain dormant until the fall. During dormancy they should not be watered. Natural rain or snow events shouldn’t be a problem.