I am looking to buy some saffron bulbs (spice) I live in Ajax, Where and how can i get them. Thanks.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.
Saffron comes from Crocus sativus which is not the standard crocus you will see blooming in gardens in the spring. Crocus sativus corms are usually planted in the late summer or fall and bloom in the fall. During the summer it remains dormant and does require a dry period during this dormancy. It is Hardy in zones 6-9 (USDA zones) and can tolerate up to -26 degrees Celsius in the winter.
Saffron comes from the stigmas or Female portion of the flower. It takes 50-60 flowers for one tablespoon of Saffron. Fortunately the corms do naturalize so the saffron yield should increase over time as the corms multiply.
Toronto Master Gardeners do not recommend specific stores or sources for purchases. A quick search does, however, show it is more of a specialty item. It may be available at specialized nurseries but is often bought on line from a reputable source.
As with any bulb or corm, storage is important to maintain their viability. Keeping them in a cool, dry location helps to keep them disease free until they can be planted. When planting them in moderately rich soil, they should be 10-15 cm deep, with 10 cm between corms. They should be in an area that is well drained and sunny. The plants are dormant over the summer and will need a dry spell to produce properly. Make sure they are not in an area that is watered frequently. After several years when they naturalize they will need dividing to remain healthy and productive.
Good luck with your future crop.