Snow Crocus: This Week’s Featured Plant


If you’re looking for a hardy flower that can survive even the harshest winter conditions, look no further than the Snow Crocus. This small but beautiful flower is known for its ability to bloom in the early spring, often before the last frost event. Despite its delicate appearance, the Snow Crocus is a tough plant that can withstand freezing temperatures and live through the winter.

The Snow Crocus, also called the “Saffron Crocus,” is a perfect addition to any garden or landscape. Its vibrant yellow blossoms stand out against the snowy backdrop, making it a welcome sight after a long, cold winter. The Snow Crocus is a low-growing plant that reaches only a few inches in height, and its delicate flowers are often crushed underfoot. However, it quickly bounces back and continues to flower throughout the springtime.

One of the reasons why the Snow Crocus is able to survive in cold climates is its hardiness. This flower is well-suited for USDA hardiness zones 3-8, where temperatures can drop well below freezing. The Snow Crocus is able to stay alive during the winter by protecting itself with a heavy cover of foliage. Beneath this protective layer, the crocus bulbs stay warm and safe from the freezing temperatures above.

To ensure the Snow Crocus thrives in your garden, it needs to be planted in well-drained soil. These crocuses prefer soil that is slightly acidic and rich in organic matter. They can tolerate partial shade but prefer full sun. Plant the bulbs in the fall, before the first frost hits, and cover them with a layer of mulch to provide additional protection.

Once the Snow Crocus begins to bloom, you’ll be treated to a stunning display of yellow flowers. The flowers have a sweet fragrance and can be used to create beautiful arrangements. Additionally, the Snow Crocus has a long history of culinary use. The dried stigmas of the flower, known as saffron, are highly prized and can be used to add flavor and color to a variety of dishes.

So, if you’re looking for a plant that can survive the coldest winter temperatures, look no further than the Snow Crocus. This resilient flower is a true marvel of nature and will bring beauty and joy to your garden year after year.

Source: Planting Guide

Can Crocus Grow in the Cold and Snow

When it comes to cold weather and snowy conditions, crocuses are the perfect plants that can thrive in such conditions. These beautiful flowering plants are often the first to bloom in the springtime, even when there is still snow on the ground.

Crocuses belong to the genus Crocus, and there are over 80 species of these lovely plants. One of the most popular varieties is the Snow Crocus, which is known for its ability to withstand cold temperatures and heavy snowfall. The Snow Crocus is a hardy flower that can even survive freezing temperatures, making it a favorite among gardeners in colder climates.

These crocuses are also known for their early flowering period, often appearing as early as winter’s end. This makes them great for planting in gardens that need a splash of color while the rest of the landscape is still waking up from winter.

When it comes to soil, crocuses are not picky. They can grow in a wide range of soil types, including heavy clay or sandy soil. However, they do prefer well-drained soil, so adding some organic matter like compost to the planting area will help to improve drainage. Crocuses are sun lovers and will do best in areas that receive full sun or partial shade.

One important thing to note is that crocuses are not bulbs but rather corms. Corms are essentially a modified stem, and they store their energy in the corm itself, unlike bulbs that store their energy in layers of fleshy scales. This distinction explains why crocuses require a different planting method than traditional bulbs.

When planting crocuses, it’s best to plant them in the fall, about 6 weeks before the first frost. You’ll want to plant the corms about 3 inches deep, with the pointed end facing up. This planting depth provides them with a protective barrier against freezing temperatures.

While crocuses can tolerate cold temperatures and even some snow, they will not fare well in areas with harsh winter freezes. In such cases, it’s best to grow them in containers or pots that can be brought indoors during the coldest part of winter.

In terms of hardiness zones, crocuses are typically suited for zones 3 to 9. However, some varieties, such as the Chrysanthus hybrids or the Dutch Crocus, have greater hardiness and can be grown in zones as low as 2.

If you live in an area where it snows frequently, crocuses may still need some extra protection. One way to provide this is by covering them with a layer of crushed leaves or straw. This mulch will help to insulate the crocuses and keep them warm throughout the winter.

So, if you’re looking to add some color and beauty to your garden during the winter months, crocuses are an excellent choice. Not only do they have beautiful blossoms that brighten up the landscape, but they are also quite hardy and can withstand snow and cold temperatures. Just remember to plant them in the fall, provide them with well-drained soil, and give them some extra protection in areas prone to harsh winter freezes.

What You’ll Learn

In this week’s plant profile, you will learn about the Snow Crocus and its unique characteristics. Discover why these plants are called Snow Crocus and what sets them apart from other crocus varieties. Explore how they grow and bloom, and why they are perfect for your garden during winter. Understand the hardiness of Snow Crocus and how they can survive in colder zones.


  • Learn about the Latin name of Snow Crocus, Crocus chrysanthus, and its significance.
  • Discover the appearance and size of Snow Crocus blossoms, including their yellow color.
  • Understand the foliage of Snow Crocus plants and how it adds beauty to your garden.
  • Explore different hybrids of Snow Crocus and their unique characteristics.

Growing and Hardiness

  • Find out where Snow Crocus thrive best and how to provide the ideal growing conditions for them.
  • Learn about the hardiness of Snow Crocus and how they can withstand cold winters.
  • Discover tips for planting Snow Crocus bulbs and taking care of them during the winter months.
  • Understand the benefits of planting Snow Crocus in your garden, including their ability to bloom early in the year.

Plant of the Week and Winter Gardens

  • Explore why Snow Crocus is the Plant of the Week and the significance of this event.
  • Learn about Snow Crocus’ role in winter gardens and how they add color and life to otherwise dormant landscapes.
  • Find out about other plants that can be grown alongside Snow Crocus to create a lively winter garden.

Crocuses and Cold Soil

Crocuses are known for their early spring blooms, often seen poking through the snow. But did you know that they’re able to survive and thrive even in cold soil? That’s because crocuses have a surprising hardiness, allowing them to grow in colder climates than other flowers. If you live in an area with heavy freezes and cold temperatures, crocuses are a great choice for your springtime garden.

When it comes to growing crocuses, one thing they need is well-drained soil. If you have heavy clay soil, you can mix in some sand to improve drainage. Crocuses prefer soil with a pH level between 6 and 7.

Another important factor to consider when planting crocuses is their need for sunlight. Crocuses love full sun, so make sure to choose a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

If you’re concerned about your crocuses freezing during wintertime, you can provide some protection for them. Many gardeners like to apply a layer of mulch or cover the area with a frost barrier to keep the soil and corms (the underground bulbs of crocuses) insulated. This extra layer of protection can help prevent damage from harsh freezes.

When it comes to planting crocuses, the depth is important. Each corm should be planted about 3-4 inches deep in the soil. If you’re planting in lawns or grassy areas, you can use a bulb planter to create holes and then place the corms inside. Once planted, they’ll remain dormant until the soil warms up in spring.

One interesting fact about crocuses is that they’re sometimes called saffron crocuses. This is because the spice saffron is derived from the dried stigmas of Crocus sativus flowers. While saffron crocuses can be grown, it’s important to note that the production of saffron requires a large number of plants, and it takes a significant amount of time and effort to harvest the spice.

In summary, crocuses are a beautiful flowering plant that can thrive in cold soil. They’re a favorite among gardeners in colder climates, as they bring color and joy to early spring days. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, growing crocuses in your garden is sure to please both you and any passerby who takes a moment to stop and admire their delicate flowers.

Can Crocuses Stay Alive Through Deep Freezes

When it comes to crocus plants, some varieties can actually withstand deep freezes. The Snow Crocus (Crocus chrysanthus) is one such type that can survive in cold temperatures. This petite plant, also known as the Saffron Crocus, is commonly found in gardens and lawns, especially in colder zones where winter temperatures can be quite harsh.

Snow Crocuses are incredibly hardy and able to endure freezing temperatures and even snow. They have the capacity to go dormant during wintertime and can survive beneath a thick blanket of snow. The snow acts as a protective cover, insulating the plant and shielding it from the harshest cold. Once the snow melts away, the crocuses emerge unharmed and begin growing once again.

Like most crocuses, Snow Crocuses grow from corms, which are little swollen underground stems. These corms are naturally designed to withstand winter conditions and can remain alive even in extremely cold weather. However, it’s worth noting that crocuses planted in pots above ground are more vulnerable to the cold than those planted in the ground.

In addition to Snow Crocuses, there are other cold-hardy crocus hybrids like Crocus sativus, which is well-known for producing saffron. These crocus hybrids are also capable of enduring freezing temperatures and thriving throughout the winter months.

So, if you live in a region with heavy snowfall and freezing winter temperatures, you can still enjoy crocuses in your garden come springtime. With the right planting and care, these sturdy little plants can come back year after year to add a touch of color to your winter garden.

If you want to keep your crocuses safe during winter, here are a few tips:

1. Plant your crocuses in an area where the snow will not be piled up by plows or other heavy equipment.
2. Mix some crushed leaves or mulch around the base of the crocus plants to provide additional insulation.
3. Ensure your crocuses are planted in a well-drained location to prevent waterlogging during winter.
4. Even during winter, your crocuses may still need some watering, especially during dry spells.
5. Remember that some varieties of crocuses are more cold-hardy than others. If you live in an extremely cold zone, opt for the hardiest varieties.

By following these tips, you can help your crocuses survive and thrive even in the harshest winter conditions. Enjoy the beauty of these resilient plants and look forward to their colorful blooms every spring!

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.