Learn how to Develop and Take care of Freesia Flowers

Freesia spp.

Freesia is a genus of about 16 aromatic flowering species within the Iridaceae household that additionally contains gladiolus and iris.

The blossoms are showy, with three higher petals and three sepals under, forming a tubular or funnel-shaped vessel favored by honeybees.

Colours embrace a putting number of lavender, orange, pink, purple, crimson, white, yellow, and bicolor combos.

A close up vertical image of purple freesia flowers and unopened buds pictured on a soft focus background. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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These most available to as we speak’s gardeners are hybrids. In Zones 9 to 10, they’re perennials.

Elsewhere, they could be grown as annuals to be discarded at season’s finish, tender perennials lifted earlier than first frost and saved over the chilly months, or grown indoors for winter blooms.

This information discusses all it is advisable know to develop and look after freesia at your home.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

Let’s begin with a little bit of background.

Cultivation and Historical past

Cool-weather freesia grows from a bulb-like tuber known as a corm and blooms from mid-winter to spring in its native South Africa, coming into dormancy when the temperatures rise above 70°F.

It’s winter hardy in Zones 9 and 10 however frost-tender.

A close up horizontal image of freesia buds getting ready to open, pictured on a soft focus background.

The foliage is grass- or sword-like, just like that of a gladiolus or iris.

Flowers seem in succession alongside one aspect of a leafless, arching raceme and bloom from the underside to the highest.

The typical mature dimensions are 12 to 18 inches tall and 6 to 12 inches large.

Cultivation dates again to nineteenth century England in the course of the heyday of plant hunters who found new species for British collections.

With six to 12 aromatic flowers per stem and longevity as a reduce flower, these thrilling species had been destined for slicing gardens and florist retailers.

A close up vertical image of Freesia refracta flowers growing in a garden border.

By the late nineteenth century, hybridization was underway in Europe.

The preliminary crossbreeding of species just like the greenish-yellow, yellow, or white F. refracta and creamy F. leichtlinii, with its slight lavender tinge and yellow blush, opened the door to a booming floriculture.

Different species that will make their means into improvement embrace the extremely aromatic, predominantly white F. alba, crimson and generally pink F. grandiflora, and “flowering grass,” F. laxa in varied colours, together with pink.

As we speak’s gardeners and floral designers have entry to hybrids that date to the Nineties, when species inside the Freesia genus had been crossed to create new flowers with options like disease-resistance, double petals, and taller heights than their wild counterparts.

Sadly, some cultivated varieties’ candy and heady perfume was misplaced within the course of.

Subsequent, we’ll discuss methods to begin crops.

Freesia Propagation

In its native habitat, freesia multiplies by self-sowing seeds and/or rising offsets or “daughter” corms.

We are able to begin new crops at dwelling by shopping for corms, dividing present clumps to acquire offsets, and sowing seeds. Let’s talk about.

By Division

We are able to additionally begin new crops by division.

To divide, wait till the crops have completed blooming and the foliage is withering, then dig up the clump of corms.

A close up horizontal image of a freesia bulb that has started to sprout, ready for planting, set on a gray surface.

Separate and take away withered mother or father corms and retain the contemporary, younger offsets that grew up beside them to sow in containers or different places.

From Seed

Whereas corms are available and quicker to sprout, you can even begin with seeds.

A close up horizontal image of green unripe freesia seed pods pictured on a soft focus background.

Some species, like F. laxa, self-sow, dropping seeds that assist to make sure the species’ survival within the wild.

Hybrids don’t at all times produce viable seeds. Once they do, the seeds don’t develop into clones of the mother or father however can range in traits like colour, type, and high quality.

When you begin crops this manner, remember to buy seeds or acquire them from a species plant, not a hybrid, after the inexperienced seed pods flip brown.

When you might have your seeds, soak them in water for twenty-four hours.

Use biodegradable seed starter pots with two to a few seeds in every.

Calmly cowl the seeds with backyard or potting soil.

Moisten the soil, however don’t oversaturate it.

Sprout the seeds in darkness at 55 to 64°F for greatest outcomes. You possibly can cowl the pots loosely with foil and use a warmth mat to attain these circumstances.

As soon as they sprout, skinny the seedlings to 1 per pot.

Preserve even moisture and a temperature between 41 and 50° F.

Permit six months for the seeds to germinate and one to 2 years for them to mature to corms that flower.


A corm, like a bulb, shops all the vitamins a plant must thrive.

In case you are rising in containers, they need to be eight inches deep to accommodate freesia’s lengthy taproot. Within the backyard, work the soil to a crumbly consistency to the same depth.

A close up horizontal image of stored freesia bulbs set on a gray surface before planting.

Set the corms two to a few inches aside, with the pointed finish dealing with upwards, located simply above the floor of the soil.

Freesia corms bought from backyard facilities or nurseries could also be heat-treated or untreated.

Warmth-treated corms are meant for planting in cool zones that have freezing temperatures and frosts. Plant them in early spring for a late summer season bloom, roughly 110 to 120 days later.

When you dwell in a zone that freezes, and don’t need to develop freesia as an annual or carry corms yearly, you can even develop them indoors for winter flowering. Plant them in early fall for blooming in 10 to 12 weeks.

You can too pot up corms to develop in a cool greenhouse in areas that freeze, for a slicing backyard by way of the winter. The best temperature is 41 to 50°F.

Untreated corms are appropriate for heat zones. They need to be planted in late summer season for spring flowers the next yr.

As soon as we now have our crops it’s time to handle cultural necessities.

Learn how to Develop Freesia

Freesia wants full solar to flower abundantly, although it’s going to tolerate half shade places, significantly in scorching climates.

The soil ought to be organically-rich, sandy loam that drains nicely, with a barely acidic to impartial pH of 6.5 to 7.0.

A close up horizontal image of freesia bulbs starting to sprout in a container.

When you backyard in containers, select a high quality potting soil that’s gentle, ethereal, and moisture retentive.

Two to three-inch spacing creates a swath of colour and allows crops to assist one another.

Nonetheless, it might improve the danger of fungal illness in moist climates as a result of buildup of moisture and humidity.

If extra moisture is a matter, you may house your crops extra loosely and set up round helps at planting time to keep away from floppy stems.

Half-Spherical Plant Help Rings

These assist rings are half-circles manufactured from sturdy, weather-resistant inexperienced plastic that blends nicely with inexperienced backyard foliage.

Place them round bulb groupings in the course of the rising season and reuse them once more the next yr.

Half-Spherical Plant Help Rings are out there from Zotuk by way of Amazon.

Present minimal moisture when you await the corms to sprout. As soon as sprouts seem, keep even moisture however don’t oversaturate the soil.

When buds type, fertilize bimonthly with an all-purpose, potassium-rich liquid product, like one formulated for tomato crops.

Keep away from fluoridated water and fertilizers that comprise phosphorus fluoride, as freesia reacts adversely to those chemical compounds.

After a complete stem finishes blooming, chances are you’ll snip it off close to the bottom or permit pods to type and self-sowing to happen. Keep in mind that seeds from hybrids is not going to produce true to the mother or father plant, so chances are you’ll not need them to go to seed until you’re curious in regards to the doable outcomes.

As soon as all the flowers end blooming, discontinue fertilizing and watering.

In case you are rising perennials or lifting corms at season’s finish to retailer them, permit the leaves to stay in place to feed the corm for subsequent yr’s flowers.

In case you are rising annuals to discard post-bloom, take away them completely to the compost heap when the flowers end. All the time clear all particles to keep away from harboring pests and pathogens.

Rising Ideas

With one of the best cultural practices, freesia thrives and delights with a spectacular show. Help its well being and sweetness by remembering to:

  • Use the suitable kind of corm on your rising area.
  • Present a location with full solar.
  • Use organically-rich, sandy loam or potting soil that retains ample moisture whereas draining nicely.
  • Sow corms at applicable distances to self-support in dry areas and keep airflow in moist circumstances.
  • Set up assist constructions at planting time as wanted.
  • Preserve even moisture with out oversaturation in the course of the rising season.
  • Fertilize bimonthly with a potassium-rich liquid product as soon as buds seem.
  • Cease fertilizing and watering when blooming finishes.
  • Elevate and retailer corms to reuse.

Now we’ll transfer on to upkeep.


When you dwell in a heat zone and luxuriate in rising freesia as perennials, upkeep contains digging and dividing corms, relocating divided offsets, and eradicating withered foliage at season’s finish.

A close up horizontal image of purple and white freesia flowers growing in the garden.

After blooming within the spring, chances are you’ll need to carry and retailer to keep away from rotting throughout wet spells.

Right here’s how:

  • When the flowers fade, permit the foliage to wither.
  • Dig straight down about 10 inches and carry clumps of corms.
  • Take away the withered foliage and brush off the soil.
  • If you wish to divide offsets from the mother or father corms, accomplish that now.
  • Lay out the corms you want to retailer on newspaper in a single layer, ensuring they aren’t touching.
  • Examine the corms for indicators of illness, and discard any which might be discolored and/or delicate.
  • Mud the remaining ones with a fungicidal powder if desired.

Per the Royal Horticultural Society, retailer the corms in a paper bag in an 80°F location with excessive humidity of about 75 to 80 p.c for 14 to twenty weeks.

Word that with larger warmth and moisture, corms are inclined to fungal illness, so examine them frequently and eliminate any which might be affected.

You should definitely label the luggage, particularly when you’ve got totally different varieties.

Conversely, in case you are gardening in a zone that freezes, carry the corms to retailer them after they wither and earlier than the primary frost.

Right here’s how:

  • Dig up the corms when all the foliage finishes feeding the bulb and turns brown.
  • If you wish to separate offsets from the mother or father, now’s the time.
  • Lay the corms on a tarp or newspaper in a single layer with house between them.
  • Place them in a cool, dry location out of direct daylight to treatment for 2 to a few weeks.
  • When they’re dry, mud with fungicide if desired.

Retailer the corms in labeled paper baggage in a cool, dry location between 35 and 40°F.

Freesia Cultivars to Choose

There are quite a few forms of this broadly hybridized floriculture star out there. Listed below are some to whet your urge for food:

Double Combine

Freesia x hybrida Double Combine boasts double blossoms that trace of mint, honey, and citrus, and show assorted vibrant colours.

A close up square image of colorful double petaled freesias in a vase indoors.

Double Combine

Sow within the fall for perennial cultivation in Zones 8 to 11. Plant within the spring as an annual in Zones 2 to 7.

Crops mature to heights of 12 to 16 inches.

Double Combine freesia is out there from Eden Brothers.

Single Pink

Freesia corymbosa ‘Single Pink’ has vibrant crimson blossoms, wealthy yellow throats, and a peppery fragrance.

A close up square image of bright red and yellow single-petaled freesia flowers pictured on a green soft focus background.

‘Single Pink’

Plant in autumn in Zones 8 to 10 or within the spring in Zones 1 to 11. Count on mature heights of 15 to twenty inches.

‘Single Pink’ is out there from Nature Hills Nursery.

Single Yellow

Freesia corymbosa ‘Single Yellow’ is a buttercup yellow magnificence that emits a contemporary spring scent because it basks in full solar.

A close up square image of a yellow single-petaled freesia flower pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Single Yellow’

Sow it within the fall in Zones 8 to 10 and within the spring in different temperate zones. Crops mature to heights of 12 to 16 inches.

‘Single Yellow’ freesia is out there from Nature Hills Nursery.

Managing Pests and Illness

With high quality corms from a good purveyor and greatest cultural practices, you’re unlikely to expertise issues.

Nonetheless, there are a selection of pests and illnesses to concentrate on.


Pests to concentrate on embrace, night-feeding slugs and snails, and sapsucking aphids and thrips.

A close up horizontal image of a snail crawling on an orange freesia flower pictured in bright sunshine on a soft focus background.

When you discover the leaves chewed off, it’s probably slugs and snails have feasted upon them throughout moist climate or overwatering.

Inform-tale indicators of sapsuckers are leaf distortion, discoloration, and desiccation, adopted by leaf drop and a failure to thrive.

These pests are sometimes illness vectors that trigger intensive injury when infestations go unchecked.

As well as, herbivores like moles and voles might feed upon bulbs below the soil. Screening bulbs with a mesh enclosure at planting time is a preventative measure to think about.


Illnesses to observe for embrace:

Grey Mould

Grey mildew, attributable to Botrytis cinerea, happens with excessive humidity and seems as a grey fuzz on foliage, flowers, and buds. Black stiff or “sclerotic” constructions could also be seen.

Broken crops are most weak to softening, decay, and dying.

As there aren’t any efficient remedies, growers ought to take avoidance measures, like sanitary practices, the discount of humidity, and the elimination of broken or decaying plant materials.

Iris Leaf Spot

Mycosphaerella (syn. Didymellina) macrospora fungus causes iris leaf spot. It might have an effect on the foliage or buds and first seems as rounded, yellowish lesions.

The lesions dry, and the desiccated patches enlarge till the leaves flip brown and curl up. Untimely leaf dying leads to a failure to nourish the corms for subsequent yr’s flowers.

Proactive measures to keep away from iris leaf spot embrace:

  • Rising in full sunshine
  • Utilizing organically-rich, well-draining soil that isn’t overly acidic
  • Avoiding low-lying panorama areas with poor airflow

Destroy all affected foliage and deal with remaining flora with a spray-on fungicide.


Freesia Mosaic Virus (FreesiaMV) spreads by way of the potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphoribae, and the inexperienced peach aphid, Myzus persicae.

Freesia Sneak Virus (FreSV) is the results of a soil borne fungus, Olpidium brassicae, and is related to the little understood Freesia Leaf Necrosis Illness (FLN).

Frequent viral signs are the event of yellow or “chlorotic” spots that unfold, merge, dry, wither, and result in general decline and dying.

Sadly, plant viruses are usually not treatable. Their presence requires the elimination of affected flora, sanitization of instruments, and rotation to a brand new location subsequent yr.

Finest Makes use of for Freesia Flowers

Showcase aromatic freesia in cottage backyard beds among the many cosmos, dahlias, geraniums, and ranunculus.

A close up horizontal image of freesia flowers growing in a mixed border, pictured in bright sunshine and a white picket fence in the background.

Pair it with candy alyssum in sunny borders and containers for aromatic variations in peak and type.

A close up horizontal image of purple and white freesia flowers growing in a mixed garden border.

Fill a piece of your slicing backyard with lots of cheerful stems for bouquets and vase preparations.

A close up horizontal image of a gardener cutting yellow freesias to display in a vase indoors.

Scatter bulbs for a naturalistic show that can enlarge over time.

A close up horizontal image of a field of naturalized freesia flowers.
Photograph by muffinn, Wikimedia Commons, by way of CC BY-SA.

Interplant freesia with gladiolus and iris. Their comparable heights and sword-like foliage present continuity punctuated by various and crowd pleasing blooms.

Fast Reference Rising Information

Plant Sort: Tender herbaceous perennial Flower/Foliage Coloration: Bicolor, lavender, orange, pink, purple, crimson, white, yellow/inexperienced
Native to: South Africa Tolerance: Some shade
Hardiness (USDA Zone): 9-10 Upkeep: Reasonable
Bloom Time: Mid-winter-spring (perennials), late summer season (annuals) Soil Sort: Organically-rich, sandy loam
Publicity: Full sun-part shade Soil pH: 6.5-7.0
Time to Maturity: 110-120 days Soil Drainage: Properly-draining
Spacing: 2-3 inches Attracts: Honey bees
Planting Depth: Tip of corm above soil degree Companion Planting: Cosmos, dahlia, geranium, gladiolus, iris, ranunculus, candy alyssum
Top: 12-18 inches Makes use of: Annual, beds, borders, containers, cottage backyard, slicing backyard, naturalized plantings
Unfold: 6-12 inches Household: Iridaceae
Water Wants: Reasonable Genus: Freesia
Frequent Pests and Illnesses: Aphids, slugs, snails, thrips; grey mildew, iris leaf spot, viruses Species: Alba, armstrongii, grandiflora, laxa, refracta

Fabulous, Aromatic Freesia

Whether or not you develop it as a perennial or an annual, freesia is certain to appeal.

A close up horizontal image of white and red freesia flowers growing outdoors in the garden.

For container gardening, bear in mind to make use of a top quality potting medium that’s gentle and well-draining.

Within the backyard, develop in organically-rich, sandy loam that’s barely acidic and drains nicely. Keep away from overwatering to stop the corms from rotting, and carry them in locales that freeze within the winter.

The slender, arching racemes might have a fragile look, however freesia is sturdy sufficient to last as long as three weeks in a vase, supplied you give the stems a contemporary reduce and alter the water day by day.

It’s time so as to add freesia to your backyard planner as we speak for a strong show of fabulous, aromatic seasonal blooms.

Do you develop freesia? Have you ever any tricks to share within the feedback part under?

When you discovered this text informative and need to examine different frost-tender flowering perennials typically cultivated as annuals, we suggest the next guides subsequent:

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