Freesias are highly attractive, fragrant flowers that bloom in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, white and yellow. They grow in clusters on thin, leafless stems and are popularly used as cut flowers for vases and bouquets. You can grow freesias in pots or in the ground. These tubular beauties take about 12 weeks to bloom after you plant them, and the blooms last for several months. Best of all, freesias are extremely easy to grow. Here are some practical tips to help you grow and care for these gorgeous flowers in your home garden.
Types of Freesia
There are 16 different species of freesia with a total of about 1800 varieties across all species. Each variety has its own unique color. Usually, pink and red varieties have stronger scents. The various types of freesia you can consider growing include Alba, Allure, Ballerina, Blue Navy, Bordeaux, Clementine, Duet, Demeter, Figaro, Galaxy, Honeymoon, Laxa, Mirable, Oberon, Orlando, Snowden, Tahiti, Vulcano and Welkin. You can buy single and double bloom freesia corms for individual color flowers as well as a mixture of multiple colors.
How to grow freesias
You can grow freesias indoors or outdoors, but make sure you protect them from frost and water logging. They grow well in well-drained soil. Planting in autumn gives you flowers in late winter. If you want flowers in early summer, consider planting them in January-March.
Prepare the soil by digging about 8 inches deep and mixing the compost with the loosened soil. Plant the freesia corms about 1.5 inches deep in raised beds with the pointy end facing upwards. Maintain a gap of at least 2 inches between the plants. Freesias look more beautiful in groups instead of rows. Keep this in mind while planting. Also determine whether you want single colored flowers or a bloom of multiple colors. If you want to extend the blooming period, plant the bulbs at an interval of 7-10 days.
If you plant them in pots, keep the pots in a cool and dry place. For the best results, try to maintain a temperature of 5-15 degrees centigrade. Water well. You should start seeing shoots within a month. You can then move the pots to a warmer place.
How to care for freesias
Water the freesia plants regularly to keep the soil moist. It’s better to water them in the morning so that the roots do not stay in water during the night. You can apply potash-rich fertilizer twice or thrice a month. It’s also important to support the plants with stakes or mesh once they grow beyond half-a-foot in height. Check the leaves regularly for pests and mites like aphids and red spider mites. If you notice mottling or any other sign of pests, consider using a soap spray. You can also deter the red spider mites by improving humidity. After the flowers start to bloom, cut off the dead flowers regularly to encourage the growth of new ones. Cut them from the base of the stem without removing the foliage. Remove the foliage only when the leaves turn yellow and begin to die.