Consider Adding Crocus to Your Landscape for a Splash of Color



Does your landscape need a little pizzaz for spring?  You can’t go wrong with incorporating crocuses into your landscape design for seasonal color.

You can almost hear them scream “Spring is almost here!”

Many landscape in Nashville feature these tiny little gems as they are perfect for the early spring garden and they are easy to grow.

Perfect in Zones 4 to 10, they produce wineglass-shaped flowers in so many color combinations that it’s hard to decide which color and variety to grow.

Below we’ve picked out a few of our favorite crocus varieties that you might enjoy adding to your landscape.


Crocus varieties to consider for seasonal color

The most common colors are shades of purple, white, yellow and striped.

There are about 30 different species available on the market today. The most common ones are the Giant Dutch Crocuses, Crocus chrysanthus, Crocus sieberi, and Crocus tommasinianus.

Below is a brief description of each of these.

giant dutch crocus for nashville

Giant Dutch – Photo credit:

Giant Dutch is the largest type of crocus. “Large” in the crocus world means only about 4 – 6 inches (10-15 cm) tall.

These are one of the most popular varieties to plant in large number (or drifts as mentioned above), containers, rock gardens, under trees and shrubs, in lawns or perennial beds. Great for zones 4-8

Common names for these that you may find in catalogs are ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ (white),‘ King of the Striped’( a gorgeous purple striped which dates back to the 1880’s), ‘Golden Yellow Giant’(sunshine yellow.)


snow crocus for seasonal color

Crocus chrysanthus – Photo by crocusbluepearl.html



Crocus chrysanthus smaller than the Giant Dutch,  is considered a snow crocus (which all crocuses are except the Dutch Crocus). It comes in colors of white, yellow, mauve, purple and blue and blooms about two weeks sooner than the Giant Dutch.

You will most likely easily find “Cream Beauty” with it’s creamy yellow flowers at your local garden center. These are perfect for rock gardens, sunny borders, grass, but may also be grown in pots for blooming                                                                                   indoors.



Prince Claus' crocus for seasonal color

‘Prince Claus’ crocus – Photo credit:

Good mail-order catalogs such as Brecks at,, will have a greater variety to choose from such as ‘Prince Claus’, which is white with deep purple on the outer sides, or even a ‘Tricolor Specie’. 

Crocus sieberi is another Snow Crocus that blooms very early.  It’s easy to naturalize (meaning it comes back every year and multiplies), grows to about 3 or 4 inches tall, and comes in shades of blue, mauve, and purple. Look for names like ‘Firefly’ (lilac), and ‘Violet Queen’ (light purple).

Crocus tommasinianus  also naturalize well, bloom early, and come in colors blue, mauve and purple. Look for names like ‘‘Crocus tommasinianus’ ( lavender), ‘Albus’ (creamy white), and ‘Rudy Giant’ (deep reddish solid purple).

Where to Plant Crocuses

These lovely little bulbs are in the iris family and grow from corms in a variety of habitats including woodlands and meadows. They are perfect for rock gardens or in the front of perennial beds.

Planted next to hellebores , also called Lenten rose, which also bloom early, makes a striking late winter/early spring planting.

They are prefer well drained soil and love being out in the open.

They also thrive under light shade of deciduous trees and shrubs. When selecting a site, look for a minimum of five to six hours of sunlight a day.

If you like, you may even plant them in a grassy area since they die back just about the time mowing season starts.

Since this bulb blooms when the weather is cool and when you are less likely to be out in your garden, we recommend planting them near a parking area or near the front of your home. Wherever you and your guest will see them easily.

You’ll love seeing them bloom and even thriving peeking-up through the snow.

Tips For Growing Crocus in Nashville

  • Buy firm dormant bulbs in late summer or early autumn. Ordering from mail-order companies early in the season allows you to find the best choices at the best price. Be sure to check your bulbs when they arrive. If they have mold, unpleasant odor, a soft feel, or blemished in any way, contact the supplier immediately.
  • Plant about 3 to 4 inches deep and about the same distance apart. For a naturalized look, plant in drifts with 50 to 100 or more bulbs in one area.
  • After planting, cover bulbs with soil. Water well and mulch with composted leaves or shredded pine bark. This not only conserves soil moisture, but keeps mud from splashing up on the tiny flowers as they are blooming.
  • If your site has poor drainage, drain pipes can be laid to help remove excess water. If this isn’t a good option, add organic matter to a heavy clay soil.
  • Our local extension service recommends adding 30 percent organic matter by volume by spreading a 4 inch thick layer over the bed and tilling it into the soil to a depth of 12 inches.  This will also help sandy soil which drains too quickly.
  • Since many bulbs set seeds quickly, deadhead once flowers are spent by cutting the flower stalk off at the base and leave the foliage.

Need more ideas for adding seasonal color to add a little pizzaz to your garden? Join the conversation on our Facebook page where we post many of our favorite, easy to grow annuals for the Nashville area as well as other timely gardening tips.

On Facebook we will also be posting about our upcoming gardening classes and hands-on demonstrations in the garden of  Acers’ co-founders Alfred and Julia Stewart.  With Alfred’s degree in Horticulture and his experience working in the landscaping business for over 33 years, and Julia’s Master Gardener Degree, you’ll be sure to pick up a tip or two to use in your own garden.

Not on Facebook? That’s okay!  Simply sign up for our newsletter below and you’ll get up-to-date information on the latest gardening tips, classes, and demonstrations the Acer will be hosting.

“Planting the good life”

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By | 2017-10-17T17:09:19+00:00 March 28th, 2016|Spring Bulbs, Uncategorized|

About the Author:

Julia is the Social Media Manager for Acer Landscape Services.