Colchicum Growing Guide

Colchicum autumnale


Crop Rotation Group



Average garden soil with excellent drainage.


Full sun in spring, partial shade in summer.

Frost tolerant

Good. Autumn-blooming colchicums (C. autumnale) are hardy to -32C (-25F).


Fertilise with a balanced organic fertiliser in spring, when new growth appears.


Colchicums make their green growth in spring, so they work well when grown with daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs. Flowers emerge in autumn on bare stems.


Single Plants: 15cm (5") each way (minimum)
Rows: 15cm (5") with 15cm (5") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out bulbs from mid to late summer, while they are dormant. Cover the bulbs with 8cm (3in inches) of soil.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Colchicum bulbs are expensive, but will persist for years in good locations. Colours include pink, white and lavender.


Despite their short stems, colchicums make good cut flowers. Harvest when the buds are just beginning to open. Allow unharvested flowers to remain in the garden until they set seed, if possible.


Mark the location of your colchicums with stones or a garden ornament so you don’t accidentally dig them up. In late spring, allow the foliage to die back naturally.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Colchicum