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Frequently asked questions

Please look through the FAQ section, here we cover most of the general questions asked about saffron and also some questions about saffron farming in South Africa. If you have any other questions please feel free to send us an email with your questions.

  • Can Saffron be grown in South Africa?
    Yes. The South African Climate is ideally suited to the cultivation of Saffron and requires far less water as compared to other traditionally grown crops.
  • How much water is required in the cultivation of Saffron?
    Saffron requires only a moderate quantity of irrigation water. Saffron requires between 250 to 300 milimeter of water per year. Watering is only required during the growing season (end February to October). Saffron does not require any water during the dormant period (November to Mid-February). If you plant Saffron in a high rainfall area it is essential to have well-drained soil.
  • Can Saffron be cultivated in a high summer rainfall area?
    Yes. It is however essential to have well draining soil.
  • Why can't you deliver Saffron bulbs now?
    Our saffron bulbs, which are imported from Europe are being uprooted every year in late June / early July (Northern Hemisphere) season, our farmers wash and dry them and give them a proper temperature treatment which will keep our bulbs dormant until the Southern Hemisphere planting season which starts during the first week of March the following year. After this treatment, the bulbs are being calibrated in different sizes and prepared for our sales. This whole process needs to be done carefully to guarantee our customers the best quality of Crocus Sativus bulbs and saffron.
  • When can I expect to get my frirst Saffron harvest?
    Our Saffron bulbs are given a temperature treatment to keep the bulbs dormant until the South African (Southern Hemisphere) planting season which start in early March. Since this treatment lasts from August to December/January and the corms do dry out somewhat during this period, no or hardly any flowering can be expected in the first year of planting. The corms will continue to grow and multiply and produce the regular expected flower yield in the following year.
  • Why do you list different bulb sizes?
    When Saffron bulbs are harvested, the bulbs come in different sizes. The bulbs are then calibrated in different sizes, we order the size of bulb the customer requires. The bulbs range from size 7/8 to 11+, the larger bulbs produce more flowers per bulb then the smaller bulbs. Our customers get the bulb size they order and know how many flowers per bulb they can reasonably expect.
  • What is the difference between the different bulb sizes?
    The difference between the different bulbs sizes is that the bigger bulbs will bloom better and will give more flowers in the first year after planting. Also larger bulbs are developing better and multiply faster than smaller bulbs. Bulbs of size 7/8 will give little or no flowering in the first year of planting, in the following season they will bloom better. The flowering percentage of bulbs of size 8/9 lies between 40 and 80 percent. Saffron bulbs of size 9/10 give 1 or 2 flowers per bulb in the first year, bulbs of size 10/11 about 2 to 3 flowers per bulb and bulbs of size 11/+, 3 or more flowers per bulb. The flowering rate will increase in all bulb sizes in the following years due to their multiplication and growth.
  • What is the difference between organic and non-organic bulbs?
    The difference between organic and non-organic corms is that organic corms are being cultivated completely organically, without the use of any chemical plant protection products. The non-organic corms are being cultivated in a sustainable manner, with a minimum use of chemical crop protection.
  • How many daughter corms does a mother corm produce?
    Normally the Crocus sativus propagation is two to three times the weight of the mother corm every year. Large corms will multiply into 2 to 3 flowering corms plus some smaller corms. Small corms will form a larger new flowering corm plus a few smaller corms.
  • Does a bigger size mother corm produce more daughter corms than a smaller mother corm?
    Normally yes.
  • How many Saffron bulbs can I plant per square meter?
    The quantity of bulbs that you can plant per m² depends on the bulb size. * bulbs of size 7/8 60 to 70 bulbs per m² * bulbs of size 8/9 50 to 60 bulbs per m² * bulbs of size 9/10 40 to 50 bulbs per m² * bulbs of size 10/11 30 to 40 bulbs per m² * bulbs of size 11/+ 20 to 30 bulbs per m²
  • When is the best time to plant your bulbs?
    The best time to plant our Saffron bulbs is from mid-March to the end of April (Southern Hemisphere) planting season. Bulbs planted before the end of April will flower in late May / early June.
  • Can Saffron be farmed on an urban scale?
    Yes, saffron can be grown on an urban scale. You need as little as 250m² to plant 15 000 saffron bulbs (corms), each saffron flower produces three saffron threads and because saffron costs around R250/per gram this could be quite profitable to farm even on an urban scale.
  • Why are the Saffron bulbs in your web shop cheaper than in many other shops?
    We procure our Saffron bulbs directly from European growers, we are therefore able to buy the bulbs at a lower cost and give this cost saving to our customers.
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