Bulb Fundraiser Idea: “Dead of Winter” Crocus Bulbs

Crocus flowers are among the first to herald spring, sometimes popping their bright blooms through the snow. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait till spring to enjoy these glorious flowers. Growing crocus indoors is easy to do by forcing them into bloom mid-winter. Start the process in fall — October is an ideal time.

A crocus bulb is actually a corm. Corms produce beautiful cup-shaped blooms in purple, lavender, white or yellow — plain or striped — each with a bright orange stigma. All have slender, upright leaves that are green and white striped. Dainty and lovely, they smell like a whisper of spring.

HOW TO PLANT: Crocuses need a cold treatment for 12 weeks to bloom.
-Choose a shallow pot (at least 4 inches deep) with drainage holes in the bottom.
-Fill the pot loosely with potting mix. Set several corms side by side — close but not touching — pointed end up.
-Set corms so that their tips are even with pot rim. Do not press the corms into the mix. It should be loose so the roots can grow through it easily.
-Cover with additional potting mix until just barely covered.
-Water thoroughly and discard extra water that trickles out.

-Move pot to a dark, cool, but not freezing, (40°F) location such as a basement, unheated garage or refrigerator. I like to use my empty crisper drawer for this. Avoid storing corms near fruit or vegetables which give off ethylene gas which can damage the corms.
-Keep them in cold storage for 12 weeks—mark your calendar.
-Keep the soil barely moist to the touch, sprinkling with cool water once every other week or so.

-Once your plants start to sprout, help them acclimate to your home. When shoots reach about 2 in tall, bring the pot out of cold storage and place it in a slightly warmer (50°F) location with low light intensity—a garage, a porch, a drafty window, a basement.

-Over the next few days, gradually move it toward a sunny window.
-You can turn the pot every day for even growth.
-Water sparingly until growth appears, then water enough to keep soil evenly moist. Flowering plants are thirsty, so check them often.
-When in full bloom, keep crocuses out of direct sun to prolong the blooming time…and enjoy!

TO PURCHASE CROCUS BULBS and support the Cortland Preschool Fall Fundraiser, CLICK HERE! All purchases are guaranteed, and orders of $40 or more get $10 in free daffodils!

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