Guide to Growing Chilean Crocus - Tecophilaea
Tecophilaea is usually grown as a hardy bulb by gardeners.
Tecophilaea reaches an height of 7 to 15 cm and blooms in the early months of spring.
When Tecophilaea bloom they carry funnel shaped flowers of blue, often with a white base.
A common name for members of the species is Chilean crocus.
The size of this crocus makes it an ideal plant for growing in a rock garden.
Tecophilaea cyanocrocus by Aardvark of Fnord.
How to Grow Chilean Crocus
It is easiest to grow Chilean Crocus and other Tecophilaea from corms; these should be planted about 7 to 12cm deep at the end of summer and early autumn. Chilean crocus should be spaced at about 10 to 15 cm apart and grown in a sunny part of the garden that has a dry and sandy soil.
Tecophilaea are not the easiest plant to grow from seed. If you want to try then sow the seeds into pots in the autumn and lightly cover. Then sink the pot into a shady part of the garden and cover with glass. Germination can take anything from one month to one years. Once the crocus seeds have sprouted remove the glass. Leave in situ for three years then transplant the corm at the beginning of autumn into its final location.
Caring for Chilean Crocus
Tecophilaea take a little bit of care. They require to be fed towards the end of winter, and need to be watered during (and just before) their growing season (late winter and spring).
At the start of winter apply a mulch to protect the crocuses from the harsh winter environment. As soon as the Tecophilaea/Chilean crocus corms start to sprout in the spring remove the mulch. If you require more Chilean crocus plants then they can be propagated by planting their offsets in the autumn.