Tips for Caring for Freesia Flowers

By Shannon C , last updated August 25, 2011

Freesia plants originally hail from South Africa, and their fragrant, funnel shaped flowers have propelled them around the world. Freesia flowers grow in a zygomorphic pattern, which means that blossoms will appear on only one side of the flower stalk in a well behaved single file row. Locating the right growing environment for the freesia growth pattern can be a key to success in cultivating and caring for these lovely blossoming plants. Freesia plants will produce blossoms in a great variety of colors, from white, yellow, red, orange, mauve, pink, lavender, purple, and variegated. Learn from freesia experts how to care for these delicate blossoming plants in your own home or garden landscape setting.

Preparing to Plant Freesia

Freesia plants prefer to be placed in a location with access to plenty of sunlight and nutrient rich, enriched soil that has an excellent drainage system. For most climates, freesia bulbs should be planted in the fall, but for warmer climates planting can be done in the spring, and in just mere weeks freesia will start to germinate and grow.

Planting Freesia

Before planting, turn up and work through the soil to remove soil clumps, rocks, and air pockets. Next, add peat, manure, compost, and mulching to enrich the soil. Plant new freesia bulbs in a hole with the rounded end of the bulb pointing down into the earth. Leave at least a few inches between each bulb. As soon as planting is complete, thoroughly water the bulbs and allow the soil to drain. A protective layer of mulching can be applied to the soil surface, taking care not to make the layer too thick to bury the bulbs underground.

Caring for Freesia

As the flower stems begin to erupt out of the soil, begin to offer fertilizer. A liquid fertilizer is best, and can be applied according to the package instructions. Additionally, as freesia grows, the plants appreciate frequent pruning to encourage new blossoms to appear. As fall approaches, the foliage will begin to fade and die back. Experts recommend leaving the foliage in place at this point rather than pruning it back, as it still gathers sunlight to provide nourishment to the bulb underneath. When temperatures turn colder, it is time to dig up the bulbs and store them in preparation for winter.

When and How to Dig Up and Store Freesia Bulbs

After the first hard frost has passed, locate each bulb, and dig in a perimeter around the bulb location, taking care not to harm or inadvertently pierce the bulb with the spade or shovel. When all the bulbs are exhumed, discard any that are decaying or no longer viable. Gently wipe away excess dirt from the viable bulbs that remain and then wash each bulb in clean water, setting them out to dry for a few weeks thoroughly before storage. Next, pack each bulb away in a paper bag in a cool, dry, well ventilated place to sit out the winter season. It is always a good idea to label the paper bags as well.

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