Growing Saffron Indoors: Care Of Saffron Crocus In The Home
Saffron grows well in any climate. However, it prefers warm climates with moderate humidity levels. These include tropical areas such as India and Sri Lanka, but also subtropical regions like South America or Australia.
The most common place where saffron plants thrive are indoor gardens. They do not need much sunlight and they prefer temperatures between 60°F – 70°F (16°C – 20°C).
When choosing a location for your saffron garden, keep in mind that the soil needs to have good drainage. A potting mix made from peat moss will provide excellent drainage. If you choose to use sand instead of peat moss, make sure the sand is loose enough so that water drains out easily without creating silt build up.
The saffron plant thrives when it receives light during the day. It will grow better if there is plenty of indirect sunlight, especially in winter months. You can grow saffron outdoors if you live in a cool area with mild winters, but it may take longer to mature and produce flowers.
When growing indoors, you can start flowering earlier than usual because the weather will be warmer and less likely to freeze over.
The plant’s favorite temperature range is between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 21 degrees Celsius). Saffron flowers and leaves will wither if the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Saffron is very fragile and it bruises easily. Whenever you replant your corms, make sure the soil is packed firmly around the base without damaging the plant’s skin. Before you water your saffron plants, make sure the soil is dry to the touch at a depth of one foot from the base of the plant.
If the soil is too wet, the plant will not grow properly.
Saffron is sometimes grown hydroponically, but it needs constant pruning because it grows so fast and its flowers are so fragile. If you want to grow saffron hydroponically, do not prune the plant and keep the water at a constant level.
When planting your corms, do not place them deeper than two inches beneath the soil. Planting any deeper may cause them to rot or die. Once the plant is well established and has grown several sets of leaves, cut off all of its flower stalks so that all of its energy can go towards growing bigger bulbs.
Do not water your plants in the evening because the leaves will stay wet overnight and may cause fungal diseases like mold or mildew.
Grow saffron in a location where it will receive several hours of sunlight each day. Keep an eye on the plant and watch for signs that it needs more direct sunlight.
How to Dry Saffron
Like many herbs and spices, saffron does not keep well when dried. It must be stored correctly or it will quickly lose its flavor and aroma.
Saffron dries well and leaves you with an extremely compact storage option. Dried saffron is easy to carry around and quite light. You can take out just what you need for a recipe and then store the rest for use in future recipes.
Traditionally, people have dried saffron by hanging it in long threads or by placing it on a cloth.
Sources & references used in this article:
Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) strategies for enhancing productivity by M Ahmad, G Zaffar, SD Mir, SM Razvi… – Res. J. Med …, 2011 – researchgate.net
Studies on corm rot of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) by MA Wani – 2004 – krishikosh.egranth.ac.in
The Growth of Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in Aeroponics and Hydroponics by FF Souret, PJ Weathers – … of herbs, spices & medicinal plants, 2000 – Taylor & Francis