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Grow Your Own Saffron

One thing I love about gardening is that you are forever learning. There’s too much knowledge for one person to know everything so there’s always something new to find out.

I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about herbs until I found out from Suttons that you can grow your own saffron in this country. I wrongly assumed it was something only grown in India and imported. It’s also pretty expensive stuff to buy, I think more expensive weight for weight than gold. Luckily you only need very small quantities, one gram can flavour and colour 10 plates of food.

Now we’ve rarely used saffron, even when cooking Indian meals, due to the cost but that will change now I’ve found out it’s good for your vision. My spectacles are pretty strong to say the least! They say:

The University of Sydney has found that many patients had improved vision after taking a saffron pill.  It is believed that saffron affects the amount of fat stored by the eye, making vision cells ‘tougher and more resilient’.

Grow Your Own Saffron

Suttons have started selling Saffron Crocus bulbs so now you can grow your own saffron in Britain. Their bulbs are  unusual in the fact that you can plant bulbs in August and you will have beautiful blooms in only 4 – 6 weeks.  You don’t need a lot of space, as they will thrive in a well drained border, but can easily be grown in pots on the patio as well.  This species of crocus is also super tolerant to summer heat and winter cold as it originates from the Himalayas.

Harvesting Your Own Saffron



Harvesting your own saffron is easy.  Once your blooms have grown, look out for the red saffron ribbons dangling from the throats of the crocuses.  Just snip them off and then, once cut and dried, they can be stored for months.

Getting Your Saffron Bulbs

They recommend ordering before the end of June for August delivery and harvesting your own saffron in October. Each pack comes with growing instructions and recipe leaflet.

Posted in Tools & Stuff
10 comments on “Grow Your Own Saffron
  1. Chris says:

    I think saffron used to be grown a lot in the UK in C16-17. Hence the town name Saffron Walden!

  2. archibtbm says:

    There was a piece about saffron on Countryfile last year, grows well in the east of england

  3. Douglas says:

    Be aware you need about 150 flowers to get 1g of Saffron threads ( or 5lbs of flowers to get 1oz of spice in old money )

    On the other hand it is not a bad price ao I ordered some. Thanks for the link

  4. Vee says:

    Hey, just to give people a heads up, the URL from the above link doesn’t work no more. I think because the Saffron is now on offer at a special price.

  5. John says:

    Thanks Vee – I’ve updated the link to Suttons.

  6. David Hunter says:

    I have tried planting these bulbs in the last few days. Does anyone have any ideas about suitable companion plants for growing these in containers, preferably something that offers some Winter colour after the blooms fade.

  7. Ros Gibbs says:

    My father has just given me some saffron bulbs which I hope to harvest. I’ve just planted them in tubs in multi purpose compost. When the stigmas are collected what should they be dried on? Should it be plain paper or kitchen paper? None of the articles seem to say how to dry them.

  8. Haji says:

    It is very usefull to know that Saffron is very good for eye sight. One can grow in their own garden or house in a pot. Saffron is most expensive item.

    Difficult to get saffron bulbs.

  9. shadows mum says:

    my late partner made a trough on legs which faces South.we used ordinary potting compost with a small bag of gardeners sand, planted 30 bulbs and covered it with chicken wire to stop cats and squirrels. I have just renewed the soil and found at least 300 all sizes new bulbs after 2 yrs so my friends will get a few ,or maybe not .don’t forget to pick first thing in the morning.

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