How to Grow Tecophilaea Plants

Guide to Growing Chilean Crocus and Chilean Blue Crocus

Tecophilaea is usually grown as a hardy bulb by gardeners.

Tecophilaea Plants reache an height of 7 to 15 cm (3 to 6 inches), and bloom in the early months of spring.

When in bloom, they carry funnel shaped flowers of blue, often with a white base.

A common name for members of this species is the Chilean crocus.

The size of Tecophilaea crocuses makes them ideal for growing in a rock garden.

Tecophilaea cyanocrocu
Tecophilaea cyanocrocus by Aardvark of Fnord.

Tecophilaea Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Chilean crocus, Chilean blue crocus.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy bulb.
  • Height: 3 to 5 inches (8—13 cm).
  • Native: Chile.
  • Genus: Contains two species: Tecophilaea cyanocrocus and T. violiflora.
  • Growing Region: Zones 8 to 10.

  • Flowers: Early spring.
  • Flower Details: Intense blue. Often with a white throat. Goblet/funnel shaped. One inch (2.5 cm) diameter. Six petals (three large lower ones, three smaller upper ones.
  • Foliage: Erect. Lanceolate.

  • Grow Outside: Seed grown plants typically take four years to mature
    Seeds Germination time: one month to one year. Cover seed. Fresh seed. Autumn. Sow in pots and sink in a sheltered area. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Grow in situ for three years. Transplant to their final location at the end of summer or beginning of autumn. Space at 4 to 5 inches (10—13 cm).
    Corms 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 cm). Towards the end of summer or in autumn.

  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight. Sandy. Lime free. Soil pH 6 to 7. Provide light winter feed. Light water in winter and spring, leave soil dry in summer and autumn. Winter mulch. Remove mulch as soon as sprouting occurs. Propagate: from offsets in the autumn.
  • Family: Tecophilaeaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Cyanastrum, Conanthera, and Cyanella.
  • Miscellaneous: Although a common rock garden plant the Chilean crocus is endangered in the wild, largely due to collection and grazing sheep.

How to Grow Chilean Crocus

It is easiest to grow Chilean Crocus and other Tecophilaea plants from corms. These should be planted about 7 to 12 cm (3 to 6 inches) deep at the end of summer or in early autumn.

They should be spaced at about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) apart, and grown in a sunny part of the garden that has dry and sandy soil.

Tecophilaea are not the easiest plant to grow from seed. If you want to try, then sow the seeds into pots in the autumn and lightly cover. Next, sink the pot into a shady part of the garden and cover with glass.

Germination can take anything from one month to one year. Once the crocus seeds have sprouted, remove the glass. Leave in situ for three years, then transplant the corm at the beginning of autumn into its final location.

Caring for Tecophilaea

Tecophilaea take a little bit of care. They require to be fed towards the end of winter, and need to be watered during (and just before) their growing season (late winter and spring).

At the start of winter, apply a mulch to protect them from the harsh winter environment. As soon as the corms start to sprout in the spring remove the mulch.

If you require more Tecophilaea / Chilean crocus plants then they can be propagated by planting offsets in the autumn.

Common Questions

How many members does the Tecophilaea genus have?

The Tecophilaea genus includes only 2 recognized species, both native to Chile.

Do members of Tecophilaea make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, the stunning blue flowers of Tecophilaea cyanocrocus, often called Chilean Blue Crocus, can be a breathtaking addition to a garden.

Which Tecophilaea species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Tecophilaea cyanocrocus is the most commonly grown species, prized for its striking blue flowers.

Are members of the Tecophilaea plant genus fragrant?

Tecophilaea flowers are not typically known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Tecophilaea?

Tecophilaea prefers a sunny location with well-drained soil and a cool, dry summer dormancy period.

Is Tecophilaea invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Tecophilaea species are not considered invasive in the USA. Always consult local regulations for the most current information.

How do I remove Tecophilaea plants from my garden?

To remove Tecophilaea, dig up the bulbs when the plant is dormant, usually in summer.


The Tecophilaea plant (Chilean blue crocus) consists perennial plants native to Chile. They are prized for their striking, deep blue flowers that bloom in early spring.

Plant Tecophilaea bulbs in autumn. They prefer a sunny location and well-drained soil. Regular watering is necessary during their growth and bloom periods, but the soil should be allowed to dry out during their dormancy in summer. As they are not frost hardy, they may need winter protection in colder climates.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Tecophilaea plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Chilean bell flower and Araucari araucana plants.