Plant cycle in the saffron cultivation (saffron corms)
Author : Hamed Biglari | 2023 Feb 23

Plant Cycle In The Saffron Cultivation (Saffron Corms)

Saffron corms undergo stages of activity, transitory and dormancy. The action begins when they are planted and grow roots, shoots, leaves, and flowers. The transitory period happens when the corms become mother corms and produce new bulbs or cormlets. The dormancy period is when the corms reach the mature stage and no longer make new bulbs. Wilted leaves and dried-up roots characterize the dormant period. The corms would need to be dug up, allowed to rest for some time, and ready for replanted of its.

As to the planting area, it is ideal to let a saffron field “rest” for at least ten to twelve years after a cropping cycle has been maximized to recover or be refreshing. Moving out to a virgin or restored field is best to start a new process. This method will ensure a robust plantation that yields well for another term.

Corm size

Corms are sorted and graded according to their sizes. The size of a corm will determine its yield. Many years of experience have concluded that the larger the mother corms, the more progenies it produces, and the higher the product of flowers and stigmas in the first year of planting.


The corms of the saffron crocus stay suitable for cropping for four years, and in the fifth year, they need to be grubbed. In Spain and Italy,  between June and July; in Greece, between May and June, harvesting is done respectively. Once the saffron leaves turn brown and wilted, the corms are dormant and ready for grubbing.

The fields are upturned using a hoe or a plow machine, and the corms are collected manually. The corm weeds are clean, and unwanted bulbs and new planting are classified according to size. The corms must stay in the sun for a maximum of a few hours. Then these sorted corms are stored in a dark, dry, but well-ventilated place until the next planting season.

Edited by Edited by Mrs. Khamooshi. M

Hamed Biglari

Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Engineering in Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Razavi Khorasan, Iran

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