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How can I influence when my container grown crocus will flower?

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Question from Leighton Nowell

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I am part of a Rotary International project which will be planting over 5 million Ruby Giant Crocus. This is part of our "Thanks for Life" activity promoting our efforts to eradicate polio world wide. My Rotary Club will be planting 15,000 Ruby Giant ,
mostly in the ground in public areas, but some in containers for our mobile display. I want to maximise the probability of these container grown crocus flowering during the third week of February. How can I best influence when they will flower? We have garage and probably greenhouse space available for the winter.

E.g. I could plant, say, 3 batches at different times, But will this make much difference? At what intervals? The bulbs have just arrived.

Can they be "forced" during January/February?

Any advice would be most gratefully received.

Thanks and regards.

  • Views: 726
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Wed. 15th September 2010 11:51

Re: How can I influence when my container grown crocus will flower?

Reply from Marissa Zoppellini

Hi Leighton, that's a lot of bulbs - don't tell the squirrels! I would plant them all at the same time then keep them in the cold until around 3 to 4 weeks before you want them to flower, when they need to be brought under cover and kept at around 12 degrees Centigrade. This is the bit you could vary - bringing them into the warmer conditions - and hopefully some should flower at the right time. I hope this helps and look forward to seeing pictures on Shoot next year! Marissa

  • Posted: Sat. 18th September 2010 09:15

Re: Re: How can I influence when my container grown crocus will flower?

Reply from Leighton Nowell

Marissa,
Thanks so much for your advice. I have kept many of the trays in my garage under the house where it is cold but not freezing. I have farmed out others to a friend who is keeping them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. I have taken them outside a few times and watered them so as to keep the compost damp but not really wet. I hope this approiach is OK. Early in the New Year I will start taking them to a warmer environment. Thanks for the advice on 12 degrees C. I have an offer from a local nursery to put them in their heated greenhouses after their Xmas rush on ponsettias!! Will let you know how it goes.
Thanks again, Leighton

  • Posted: Wed. 8th December 2010 12:53