fall and winter blooming crocus

Should these be planted in spring, summer or fall? I have not bought any yet and I notice that the bulb sites I have visited do not have any listed for spring sales, but I had assumed that since they are fall blooming they would be planted in spring. I want to buy some when they are available, but also a friend offered to give me a few of hers and I want to know when the best time to dig up a few of those would be.
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spring crocus are offered at the end of summer for fall planting. Colchicums are offered mid summer, but I could be wrong. I know you have to get them and plant them immediately because they are bad about blooming right off the bulb. I still would love to have about 20 colchicums for various areas under choice blooming shrubs. madgardener hoping this helps a little bit (try Dutch Gardens for spring crocus when they're available)
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Because of the customer expectation that autumn is the time to plant most bulbs, even the autumn crocus are prepared for sales at that time. So the best time to plant them is almost a moot point since they're sold mostly in autumn so have to be planted in autumn. Whether you mean Colchicums or autumn-blooming true crocuses like saffron crocus or Crocus speciosum, they would very likely be most happy to be gotten into the ground between July & August; but if you can get them in the ground in early September (when they're more apt to go on sale) they'll still bloom that very first autumn (here in the Northwest anyway), but bloom even better for autumns thereafter. If you get them in the ground as late as November it'll do them no harm, though they'll be well sprouted & will need a delicate touch to get them in the ground, & may not bloom much if at all until the following autumn. In zones further south, heat-tolerant bulbs like autumn crocus & freesia should probably be planted March & April, but again, the mass marketing won't be until the end of summer, & fortunately they're forgiving of being planted at that time.
-paghat the ratgirl
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On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 18:25:14 -0600, Dread Rhubarb

Colchicums, which bloom in fall aren't really crocus, and are poisonous, are often sold as being amazing because you can just leave them on a windowsill, naked, and they'll bloom! Of course they're not cheap, so it's better to plant them. ;-)
There are the true fall blooming crocus that are the source of the "spice" Saffron, and I've seen them offered for sale in various bulb catalogs at the same time as regular crocus, but I don't know that they are shipped at the regular times. It's the anthers/stamens .. pollen bearing organs, that are dried and are the "most expensive spice in the world" . I had some but I think they ended up having a whiskey barrel planter placed over the spot they were growing..
You could just do a search for fall crocus or saffron crocus, and see what comes up.
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