Forcing Crocus

Forcing Crocus
Crocus blossoms are the first sign of spring. These are unpretentious little beauties that can chase away the winter blahs. Their bell shaped blossoms face upwards.

It is easy to force crocus in water. This is a good winter time project for both novice and experienced gardeners. For this, it is best to use the special jars that are made for small bulbs.

The jar holds the bulb up so that the roots can grow down into the water. Crocus that are forced this way should be discarded after they quit blooming.

On the other hand, crocus that are forced in potting soil can be planted outdoors in the garden after they have finished blooming. Frugal gardeners will likely prefer this method.

All of the spring flowering crocus are good for forcing. However, the fall blooming crocus species aren’t recommended for forcing since they will have already bloomed before the cold weather arrives.

The common crocus, which blooms in the spring, is the kind that is usually forced. These are sometimes called large flowered crocus. However, any of the spring flowering crocus can be forced.

Certain varieties of the common crocus are often forced. These include the following.

Flower Record crocus features lovely velvety purple blooms with silky petals. The petals are darker colored at the base. The tips of the petals are a deeper violet.

Only four inches tall, Flower Record crocus has very showy orange anthers that contrast beautifully with the white centers of the flowers.

Grand Maitre crocus is another variety of the large flowered crocus. Four inches tall, this heirloom has been around since 1924. The flower is a deep violet-lavender to blue covered with a silvery sheen. The petals are paler colored along the edges. Grand Maitre crocus has very showy orange centers.

Jeanne d’Arc crocus is an award winning heirloom from 1925. The petals are glossy white and are covered with vivid purplish lines. The flowers are four inches tall and have showy orange pistils.

Pickwick crocus is a popular, award winning crocus, six inches tall. The blooms are glossy blue-violet on a whitish-blue background and a dark violet base with white petals. The flower is accented with deep purple stripes.

The centers are quite showy. This is one of the taller crocus, four to six inches tall. Pickwick is considered the best of the striped crocus.

Vanguard crocus is an heirloom variety dating to 1934. It has received many awards. The blooms feature pastel blue-gray petals with light purple shading. The petals are thickly striped.

Other large flowered crocus for forcing include King of the Striped, Mammoth Yellow—also called Yellow Mammoth, Queen of the Blues, and Remembrance.

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