You have done everything right. You planted the tubers in the fall , loosened the soil and fertilized the root zone, but the crocus does not bloom. There are several possible reasons for a lack of flowering. These include improper soil conditions, planting errors, animal pests, or you just didn’t get good bulbs. We’ll explore the possibilities and find out how to get a crocus to bloom.
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No crocus bloom? These are the possible reasons
Along with snowdrops and wintercreepers, crocuses are among the most popular early bloomers of all. As true harbingers of spring, they can show off their beautiful blossoms even in snow and frost, reminding us of the coming spring. But what if you plant crocuses in the fall and eagerly await them all winter, only to see an empty field in front of you in February, March, April and well into May? Or maybe your crocuses bloomed perfectly the first year, but now they’re struggling to bud and bloom? Worse yet, maybe the tubers have pushed spiky green leaves out of the ground, but no buds have joined them. Any of these scenarios can be frustrating, so here we’ve identified some possible reasons that could be preventing your crocuses from blooming.
Crocus won’t bloom because of wrong soil
If you planted the crocus bulbs in unsuitable soil, then this may prevent them from blooming in late winter. Hardy bulbs need loose, well-drained soil to get through the top layer of soil and show off their impressive blooms. If the soil is too heavy and sandy or too thick and loamy, perhaps the spiky leaves will not be able to push through the soil.
Here’s what you can do now:
In a medium-sized container, mix topsoil and compost in a 1:1 ratio. Put on your gardening gloves and use a trowel or your fingers to carefully dig out the first two or three inches of soil above the bulbs. Try not to dig up the bulbs themselves. Then work the mixture into the soil. This should create a loose soil that absorbs and drains water well. The crocus leaves should now be able to push through the loosened soil and turn into bright flowers.
No bloom because of rotten bulbs
Sometimes a rotten bulb is the cause of your crocus problems. That’s why you should always check bulb tubers for signs of rot by pinching them between your thumb and forefinger before planting. They should feel firm instead of soft and squishy or dry and flaky.
You should also always plant onion bulbs as soon as possible after you buy them. If you wait too long to do this, the bulbs may rot, resulting in lack of flowering.
Animals in the garden can prevent the crocus from blooming
Mice and squirrels in the garden can be responsible for your crocus not blooming. Rodents can dig the planted tubers out of the ground and eat them. Even if not all of the crocus bulbs have been eaten, without contact with the soil, the early bloomers cannot form roots and will not come into bloom. To protect your bulbs and tubers from mouse predation next season, you can plant them in a special planting basket. A wire mesh over the bed can help against squirrels and other above-ground animals.
The tubers were planted too deep
Still planting in the fall, you need to be careful not to set the crocus tubers too deep into the soil. Just like other bulb and tuber plants, crocuses cannot form buds if they are too deep. This can cause the bulbs to rot or form foliage but no flowers because they have put a lot of energy into developing the tubers. However, it may also be that the bulbs simply take longer to emerge and you need to be patient.
In addition, you should avoid planting the bulbs too shallow. A rule of thumb is that the planting hole should be three times as deep as the bulb is tall. If you don’t plant your bulbs deep enough, they may be exposed to too much temperature fluctuation in the winter because they are not insulated by the soil. They will also be susceptible to pests, as mentioned earlier.
Crocus does not bloom because of climate change
One possible reason your crocuses aren’t blooming could simply be a change in weather from last year to this year. Climate change requires a shift in planting dates from early blooming plants to allow them to root well. If the tubers are planted in soil that is too warm, they may sprout too early and then freeze, preventing flowering in the spring.
Climate change can also shift the bloom time of early bloomers, causing them to bloom in March instead of February. Since crocuses can survive cold and snow, be a little patient and look for the bright flowers to sprout from the ground.
Here’s how to get a crocus to bloom
If you’ve ruled out everything else for crocuses that aren’t blooming, it’s time to remove the tubers. Over time, tubers and bulbs grow in. This means they will produce many more tubers and eventually the planting area will become crowded. Dig up the bed, separate the tubers and plant them individually in prepared soil.
The first step to ensure flowering is to select whole tubers that are free of disease. Select the healthiest and most robust to ensure beautiful flowering.
Follow soil preparation instructions and fertilize the root ends of the tubers when planting. Leave the foliage in place so that the tubers can gather energy for the formation of next season’s flowers.