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Saffron Farming Information Guide For Beginners

Saffron Farming Information Guide For Beginners

Saffron Farming Guide:

The following information is all about Saffron Farming.

Saffron Farming
Saffron Farming

Introduction of Saffron : – Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and it is derived from the dry stigmata of the plant “Crocus Sativus”. Saffron is popularly known as “Red Gold”. Saffron can be grown anywhere in the world and growing it is however very simple and accessible to anyone. Generally, Saffron price depends on the intense labour needed to harvest the crop, not because it is difficult to grow. Saffron plant is a bulbous, perennial with globular corms, having 15 to 20 cm height. This plant is native to Europe and grown in Mediterranean countries like Spain, Austria, France, Greece, England, Iran and Turkey. In India, Saffron is mainly cultivated in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Saffron belongs to the family of “Iridaceae” and commercial part of saffron is “Stigma”.

Uses and benefits of Saffron:- Saffron is being used in culinary as well as medicines.

Saffron is mainly used in culinary seasoning and to get colour, cottage cheese, Biryani’s, meats, liquors, cordials, cakes, confectioneries, breads and Mughlai dishes. Saffron is used commercially in perfumes and cosmetics.

When it comes to medicinal use, Saffron is used in fevers, Ayurvedic treatment to heal arthritis, impotence and infertility.

In India, people believe that women taking the saffron ( Kesar) along with milk during the pregnancy will result in good colour of baby to be born.

Major Production States in India:-  Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Saffron Local Names in India:-  Kesar (Hindi), Kong (Kashmiri), Jafran (Bengali), Keshar, Kesara (Marathi), Keshar (Gujarati), Kumnkuma Kesari (Kannada), Kumkuma Puvvu (Telugu), Kungumapoo (Tamil), Kunkumapoove (Malayalam), Kesar, Zafran (Punjabi), Zafran (Urdu),  Keshara, Kunkuma, Asrika, Aruna, Asra  (Sanskrit).

Soil and Climate Requirement for Saffron Farming:-  In Saffron Farming, the kind of soil is more important than the climate of the area where it is intended to be grown. Saffron thrives best in warm sub-tropical climate and can be grown at 2000 meters of mean sea level. An optimum period of 12 hours sun light is desirable. Low temperature coupled with high humidity during flowering season affects flowering of the Saffron crop and spring rains boost the production of new corms. When it comes to soil, Saffron grows well in acidic to neutral, gravelly, loamy and sandy soils. It requires well-drained soils and the optimum soil pH for Saffron Farming is PH 6 to 8 and heavy clay soils must be avoided as these soils are not suitable.

Saffron Crop Field
Saffron Crop Field

Propagation in Saffron Farming:- Propagation is done through corms (compressed underground stems).

Saffron Corms
Saffron Corms

Land Preparation, Spacing and Planting in Saffron Farming: – Land should be made weed free and enriched with organic matter. It requires couple of ploughings for bringing the soil to the fine tilth stage and soil loosening is required before planting the corms for better growth. The best planting season for saffron is from June to September and flowering starts in October from the year it is planted. Generally, winter will be the vegetative growth season and leaves will be dried out in the month of May. Saffron corms can be planted directly in the main field or in pots (indoors and out doors). Corms should be planted at 12 to 15 cm deep by maintaining 10 to 12 cm spacing between them. Irrigation is not needed, however in case of prolonged drought and hot season it can be carried out depending on the soil moisture content. Generally, Saffron corms multiply from one year to the next and 1 corm get 5 corms after 3 years of planting.

Weed Control in Saffron Farming:-  Mulching will control the weed growth to some extent. Plants should be mulched with saw dust. Weedicides can used to check the complete weeds in saffron field.

Fertilizers in Saffron Farming:-   Farmers should apply about 35 tonnes of well decomposed farm yard manure in the field before planting. Annual fertiliser application of 20 kg ‘N’, 30 kg ‘K’ and 80 kg ‘P’ per ha is beneficial in autumn and again immediately after flowering.

Pests and Diseases in Saffron Farming:-   There are three main diseases Fusarium, Rhizoctonia crocorum and Violet root rot found in the saffron Farming. For control measures, contact local horticulture department. It is recommended that the same field should not be used again for 8 to 10 years. Rabbits love the saffron leaves and one should have a secured fence to protect the crop from predators.

Harvesting in Saffron Farming:-  In Saffron Farming, flowering starts in the month of October and last for a month. Harvesting should be carried when the flowers are in full bloom stage and early morning picking is proffered. After harvesting the flowers, extract the red pistils from the flowers.

Saffron Extraction
Saffron Extraction

Drying in Saffron Farming:- Drying of filaments can be done by putting the pistils on a sieve in a well ventilated place between 45°C to 60°C for 15 minutes (well ventilated food dryer, in an oven with the door slightly open, under the sun outside). Generally, fresh saffron does not have any taste and it is recommended that dried Saffron should be placed in an airtight container away from the light for at least 1 month before it’s consumption.

Yield in Saffron Farming:- Generally, 150 to 160 Saffron flowers are needed to make 1 gram of dried saffron. Usually, during 1st year of plantation, 60 to 65 % of corms will produce 1 flower each and in subsequent years, each corm will produce about 2 flowers.

Read about Kadaknath Chicken Farming Project Report.

For Sheep and Goat Farming Information: Read here.

Last Updated: June 8, 2018
Author: Jagdish


  1. I want to now about herbal farming in hilly area.

    Which herbs plant is suitable to grow in distt shimla of Himachal Pradesh.

  2. I want to know about herbal farming in hilly area.

    Which herbs plant is suitable to grow in distt shimla of Himachal Pradesh.

    • Most of the plants require irrigation for better growth and yield. However there are some plants which can survive in drought/dry conditions. As you asking about herbal plants. I suggest Aloe Vera Farming as it needs miniaml water source and has an excellent demand.

      For growing Aloe Vera Plants: Read here.

  3. I have 7000 sq feet land in Pune. I want to do any kind of farming there. Polyhouse set up is much costlier. Please let me know about any other farming like alovera, kesar or mashroom with its initial cost and profit and market availability.

    • Why the polyhouse cost is more? you get up to 80% of subsidy in polyhouse farming. Contact your Local horticulture department for subsidy details. As per our knowledge, after the subsidy you may incur 20 to 25 lakhs per 1 acre polyhouse construction. You may also consider shadenet farming as it will be cheaper. However, if you are planning for polyhouse cultivation, capsicum (coloured), rose cut flowers, or any other vegetables will do well. If you don’t have much irrigation (water) facility and if the land is not that fertile, Aloe vera would be your best bet. Aloe vera has excellent demand due to its health and cosmetic benefits. Good luck!.

    • Soil is important than climate in case of saffron (kesar) cultivation:

      Saffron corms like a well drained soil. Heavy clay soil must be avoided.

      The ideal type of ground is a neutral clay-calcareous or silty soil (PH 6 to 8).

      For small areas like a vegetable garden or simple borders, one can easily improve the soil by adding sand, peat or compost.

      The saffron bed must be in a sunny place, notably in autumn during the flowering stage.

    • Saffron corms like a well drained soil. Heavy clay soil must be avoided.

      The ideal type of ground is a neutral clay-calcareous or silty soil (PH 6 to 8).

      For small areas like a vegetable garden or simple borders, one can easily improve the soil by adding sand, peat or compost.

      The saffron bed must be in a sunny place, notably in autumn during the flowering stage.

    • Well, using the same field for many years will loose the soil fertility. Some cover crops are used in rotation method to fix the nutrients in the soil. For any crop, not only for Safforn farming, you must practice crop rotation for fixing the soil nitrogen as well as other nutrients.

  4. hi, I am from Bangladesh I want to cultivate saffron flowers in Bangladesh I want some flowers of this how I collected this from Bangladesh?

  5. Hi…

    I am from West Bengal.I stay near kishanganj Bihar area. I wanted to know weather i can grow saffron in my small Roof garden, and if yes then what are the things that I should get for it…please suggest me.

  6. I want to know whether my farm is suitable for saffron farming or not, So how to get this info and from where.?

    I m from Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

    • Saffron requires different kind of climate which suitable to grow in Kashmir valley. I don’t think it’s suitable unless you set up a high-tech greenhouse where temperature/humidity is controlled.

    • I have appropriate land with suitable climate as I read and of course it is hilly region with abundant water for irrigation. would like to do saffron farming near Kathmandu valley Can I get technician and supports. Please suggest me.

  7. The government of Madhya Pradesh was reportedly planning for saffron plantation in Gwalior district. Where can someone get seeds to grow the saffron

  8. Hi i am from garhwal region of Uttarakhand. I am planning to start saffron farming. From where can i get proper training of saffron cultivation as soon as possible?

  9. Hi

    Can saffron framing done in Assam, there climate is not cold in winter it will go till 3-4 and summer it will go 30-40 degree Celsius

  10. is it possible to grow saffron in lower altitudinal region of Tamil Nadu? Some articles are informing that soil conditions decides the saffron cultivation possibility rather than the climatic conditions, is it correct??

    • Saffron plants prefer full sun with medium moisture soils. They don’t grow well under shade conditions though they can tolerate light shade. Usually, Saffron thrives well in a Mediterranean climatic conditions.However, If you plant to grow in a non-Mediterranean climatic conditions, you can still try growing this plant, but you should select the hottest, driest Summer location for your saffron plants. These plants can tolerate cool to cold Winters. Wet Spring & dry Summer is best and ideal for their cultivation. If your conditions are not good, the plant will not flower.

  11. Which is the best cash crop to be grown around Nainital (Uttrakahand) hills? Please also give the likely revenue /returns on 1.5 acre of land. I am open to polyhouse farming also,Thanks.

  12. Hi I have a farm near Hyderabad, Telangana state. it’s a red soil farmland. I would like to know, if we can cultivate Saffron in my farm and what will be the capital amount needed?? and what is the ROI for this crop??

    Please guide me.

  13. I am travelling to HP next month , I need some saffron for home use but that should be original. can you please provide me some plants name in Manali or Shimla. So that i can go directly to the plant and i can buy as per my requirement.

  14. Hi Team,

    I am planning to plant a Saffron in my farm. Can you guide me which seed should I use or if you have Saffron seed please share me more details.

  15. i want to cultivate saffron in my area(vijayawada)… vijayawada is hottest city… every time in winter also its maintain 35degrees hot waether… and prakasam district here also nearly 40degrees like summer…. every time…. land black soil…. in these lands now cultivating red chillies in prakasam district, in vijayawada( krishna district) cultivating vegetables…. is these climatic conditions suitable for suffron…….. or not suitable please suggest less water required plants except alovera….

    • Saffron needs cool climates like kashmir or himachal pradesh. However, in Gujarat farmers are trying to cultivate.If you can afford to establish a controlled environment like greenhouse or polyhouse you can grow saffron.

  16. Hello Sir,

    I am from Northern Areas of Pakistan. I want to cultivate Saffron in my area. First let me tell you about the environmental and soil conditions of my area. The weather is extremely cold in winter, temperature goes below -5 to -10 degree Celsius and in summer the temperature ranges between 20 – 27 degree C. Our irrigation source are Glaciers, and there is no shortage of water. It does not rain much here. There is no or very less humidity here. The elevation of my village is at 2359 Meters (7742 feet) above sea level. I have bought seeds from Iran and now I am curious to try. I will really appreciate your opinion please.

  17. Sir, can you please tell me, whether I can grow saffron in my area? I’m from Patiala, Punjab. If I do, what are the conditions required to grow it.

  18. Hi i am Rajesh from pune we have farms near 50 k.m. from pune pl guide me which type of crops we can plan in open cultivastion and green house we are planing 1 acer green house pl suggest me high yeild and uncommen crops

    • In an open cultivation case, the preferred crop depends on soil fertility, water facility. Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic or grain crops like Toordal, green gram or black gram will fetch you good profit. But these crops are not suitable in waterlogged areas. When it comes to Greenhouse farming, you can get Greenhouse farming subsidies. Any cut flower and vegetable crops are good for greenhouse farming.

      You can read this some information about: Greenhouse Capsicum Cultivation Project Report.

  19. Dear Sir

    Let me know can we grow seffron in poly house because of its expensive rates it is not possible to grow it in open fields in Utter Pradesh.

  20. Hello Team,

    I am a working professional in government job. I want to start farming after leaving this job. Can you suggest some good profitable crops which are in demand and cultivation of these crops is limited. I have land in Palwal district of Haryana. Need help in starting agriculture as profession.

  21. Hello All,

    I’m farmer, I would like to start cultivating saffron framing in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Can anyone suggest me best way to start and what the investment needed in it.?

    Need help or suggestion Thank you..

  22. Hi

    I am resident of Uttarakhand a well known hilly regions and cold climate.

    I m interested in farming something rare.

    Kesar (saffron), aloe vera or any thing which has a high demand and can be grown in such hilly areas.

    What should be the ideal process?

  23. Hello sir.. I m from Karnataka Mangalore..

    4months Summer 4months winter &4months monsoon whether here in my state.. Any possibilities to farm saffron..!?

    & can I farm saffron in hydroponic way..!?

  24. Hi, I am in Africa, Rwanda and I am interested in saffron farming. How is it done and where can I buy suckers or seeds?

    Response thru email would be fine

  25. I want to know more about saffron cultivation , entire project report location Belgaum, ( Karnataka ),

    soil condition sandy loamy soil, pH 6.8 , Temperature min 10, max 38. whether Green House or Poly House

    is suitable ? Minimum viable land and cost effective project.

  26. Hi, I’m from Sangli, Maharashtra I have 1 acre of black soil farm which is dry, we used to take soyabean and jowari. Please give me suggestions what kind of cultivation I should do?

  27. Hi I’m from Sangli Maharashtra. I have 1 acre of black soil dry farm. which is used for soyabean and jowari. Could you please suggest me which cultivation should be taken.

  28. Hi,

    I am very much interested in farming, i have a small land of 3 acres where we used to grow paddy crops like rice. Due to water crunch we are not getting good yield. Could you please advise the best crops we can grow with minimal supervision and cost. We have problem with monkeys as well. I am much interested in medical/herbal plants. But do not have idea on marketing/cost involved in it. Our area (Mutharam Village, Palakurthy Mandal, Warangal) is very much hot during summer, goes around 44 to 47 temperature.


    VV Reddy

  29. I am from Karnataka (India) costal area.having sandy land.good irrigation is possible.problem is heavy rain and from june to September stagnant water.which commercial crop is suitable pls advise.from october to may it will be dried and water is available.

  30. I am from the democratic Republic of Congo. Is it this saffron suitable to grow in this warm and humid tropical climate. Besides this, the soil is a bit acidic. Is this type of soil suitable to cultivate. Does the plant require cold weather to initiate flowers. Thank you.

  31. Hi, I am epected to know about the farming practice of American saffron day wise.As we had temp in winter lies in 10 to 25 degree and our district farmer had successfully yield saffron in these conditions. May I know where to purchase seed and what’s the practice it had?

  32. Hello

    I am Niranjan, from District Nadia, West Bengal

    I am very interested to start organic firming.

    May I know which one would be best profitable and will be suitable for climate

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