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Saffron

Use our zone-based planting guide to know when to plant saffron.

Plant name Zone Start seeds indoors (spring/fall) Start seeds outdoors (spring/fall) Plant seedlings/transplants outdoors (spring/fall) Plant spacing # plants per person
Saffron 3a Not recommended Aug. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 3b Not recommended Aug. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 4a Not recommended Aug. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 4b Not recommended Aug. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 5a Not recommended Aug. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 5b Not recommended Aug. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 6a Not recommended Aug. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 6b Not recommended Aug. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 7a Not recommended Sept. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 7b Not recommended Sept. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 8a Not recommended Sept. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 8b Not recommended Sept. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 9a Not recommended Sept. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 9b Not recommended Sept. 1-30 Not recommended 2-3 inches 24-48 for the household
Saffron 10a Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended
Saffron 10b Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended
Saffron 11a Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended
Saffron 11b Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended Not recommended

* Saffron grows from a particular type of crocus bulb, the saffron crocus, that is native to the Mediterranean. Direct-sow corms, not seeds. They are a perennial in zones 6-9, but in colder climates need to be brought in for the winter. Not recommended for hot, humid climates. It takes a large number of saffron bulbs to produce even a tablespoon of saffron, hence the high quantities.