Saffron Bulbs Multiplication Method & Techniques

Saffron bulbs multiplication occurs every year and after the saffron harvesting process. Imagine you planted 10 tons of saffron bulbs for the first year, probably in the second year, you will have more than 20 tons of bulbs, and in the third year, you will have more than 30 tons.

Look at this information collected from 55 saffron fields in the world.

Year of planting

Saffron bulbs

Saffron planting year 10 tons
First-year 15 tons
Second-year 20 tons
Third-year 30 tons (highest saffron producing start)
Fourth-year 40 tons
Fifth-year 45 tons
Sixth and seventh year 55-60 tons (time to replace saffron bulbs)



Do you know what happens?


saffron bulbs multiplication

Saffron Bulbs Multiplication

Let’s check the process of saffron bulbs multiplication. Each of the saffron bulbs that we plant can produce saffron if it is more than 8gr, and each corm can multiply and produce 1-3 new corms or daughter bulbs.

So we have two main factors in this case. The time and process of saffron bulbs multiplication.

Saffron bulbs multiplication exactly starts after harvesting saffron, and it takes about 1 to 2 months. First, the initial bulb is divided into 2-3 new saffron bulbs, and then, step by step, new corms are small and lightweight (1.5-4 g).

So after two months of saffron harvesting, we will have large amounts of saffron bulbs that are small and need to be nutritious.

This process starts with initial decomposing bulbs and creating a new one. Mother saffron bulb feed and protect girl bulbs, and step by step disappeared, and after two months, we will not see any of the initial bulbs.


How Quickly Do Saffron Bulbs Multiply?

Each of the bulbs that be more than 12g can be multiplication and create 1-4 new saffron bulbs. So the rate of multiplying depends on the weight and nutrition of bulbs and is done once a year.

Nutrition of Saffron Bulbs

Imagine the propagation process is ended, and you have three saffron bulbs with an average weight of 5 grams. The minimum weight for producing saffron is 8 grams, so these new bulbs are not suitable for us. What can we do with them?

We must do something on bulbs to get bigger and can produce saffron in the next year.


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The first thing is saffron irrigation. Water saffron farms can help new bulbs grow and get bigger. We can do this 3 or 4 times in the last month of fall or during winter.


Fertilization is one of the most important things we can do for increases bulbs’ power and ultimately saffron products. This instruction is based on our experiences in multiple saffron farm management. Examine and customize it for your farm.

The first step is done immediately after saffron harvesting and is accompanied by irrigation of the saffron farm. In this step, we use a combination of N, Micronutrients, Chelating fertilizer, and Iron.

Depending on your location and your customers’ need, you can use a variety of brands. We prefer to use natural fertilizers such as seaweed fertilizers or animal manures. Also, Humic acid is a good chelator for increasing the absorption of nutrients in saffron farms.


Just use rotten animal manure and don’t use the fresh animal manner. Fresh animal manure can bring infectiousness to our farm, and we will face ticks, fungi, and weeds.

saffron bulbs multiplication

More Saffron Bulbs or Larger?

We have two choices;

  1. More and lightweight bulbs
  2. Less and heavy bulbs

The best choice is the second one, many light bulbs haven’t any profit for us and can’t produce saffron, while the big ones can produce saffron. Remember that if we want to have more saffron, we should have lots of bulbs that be more than 12g. So, what can we do to have good saffron bulbs multiplication?

Use Cow Manure

High nitrogen concentration in fertilizers can stimulate bulbs’ multiplication and decrease their weight. Cow manure has a balanced amount of nitrogen and is the best choice for saffron farms if you want to grow saffron it’s better to use this fertilizer.

Fertilizer program for a Saffron Farm

Every saffron farm needs a customized fertilizer program, and this program isn’t appropriate for all farms.

saffron fertilizing program

saffron fertilizing program

As you see in the program, the first step has more nitrogen to stimulate the vegetative growth of saffron leaves. If we have long saffron leaves, fertilization and foliar application will be more effective.

Also, you see amino acid fertilizers in all steps. Other than its benefit for saffron production, Amino acid fertilizer can increase element absorption from the soil, increasing the efficiency of fertilization. Also, iron can improve the quality of stigma and its crocin rate.

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