Growing Saffron

| 9/18/2017 1:52:00 PM

Renee headshot

saffron flowers
Photo by Getty Images/FotoCuisinette

I love to try growing new things. I love to grow the tried-and-true things, too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I always learn something new. Recently, I started thinking about what new plant I could try that would work well for my climate and soil. I thought: "what grows well in a Mediterranean climate?" From my days of living on the south coast of Spain, I immediately thought of saffron. It's a wonderful spice that the Spaniards add to paella and other dishes.

Photo by Getty Images/Beli99

So, I just ordered eight saffron crocus bulbs from Amazon and I can't wait until they get here. I learned about saffron in researching what would grow well around here.

Saffron comes from the stamens in the flower of the saffron crocus. There are only three stamens, so you know it takes a lot to make enough to flavor a dish. This is why it is so expensive. That and the fact that it has to be harvested by hand. Saffron is known as "red gold," but surprisingly enough growing it is very simple. If you have the right climate and soil you can do it. You can also grow it in a pot, but I'm going to grow it outdoors because I live in the perfect climate and I've gotten my soil so it is perfect, too. 

In my locale you plant it from June to mid-September. It will flower throughout October the year after it is planted, so this is a long-term project for me .