How to Grow Freesias
Table of Contents
- Written by Holly Hughes on June 24, 2022
One of the most fragrant and vibrant wildflowers to grow in South Africa, freesias are a wonderful flower to grow in any kind of garden.
Related Post: South African Wildflowers
These sumptuously perfumed blooms have long been associated with friendship, having gotten their name from a friendship between two botanists. And so to make your garden come alive with sweet-smelling platonic love, here’s how to grow freesias at home.
As these blossoms also make excellent cut flowers, once you start growing them at home you can begin gifting your favorite friends some hand-picked bouquets of these long-lasting and luscious blooms – what more could you ask for!
How to plant freesias
Freesias can be grown outdoors, in a greenhouse, or even in containers that can grow indoors during the cooler months. There are a couple of fundamental conditions you must satisfy in order to successfully grow these perennials.
The first is choosing the correct soil type to grow them in. The first step in a ‘how to plant freesias’ guide is always to ensure you have moist, well-draining soil that is fertile and has either a neutral pH or is slightly alkaline.
If growing your freesias in pots, mix some grit in with a loamy, rich compost (about one part grit to two parts compost) for a soil that is fertile and has good drainage.
Sunshine and warmth are also important when growing freesias. If planting outside, be sure to pick a location that has full sun or only light shade. South-facing plots are often best to grow these perennials.
Freesias also don’t enjoy cold or frosty weather so the best time to plant them outdoors is in mid-spring (around April or May) when risk of freezing weather has mostly passed.
For warmer climates (USDA zones 9 or warmer) or if growing your freesias in pots, you can plant them in September to November. Simply keep the pots outdoors until winter comes and then bring them indoors until the risk of frost has passed.
You can expect this flower to bloom roughly four months after they have been planted.
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Finally, due to the height freesias can grow to, it’s important to support them with poles, pea sticks, or canes that will help the stems and foliage to continue growing upright. Arrange your canes in triangles to achieve this.
How tall do freesias grow?
These plants are known for their height! This perennial can grow up to 60cm at maturity, with most plants growing between 30-60cm in height.
That’s why it’s so important to give growing freesia stems the support and structure they need to grow tall and strong in the planting stage.
How deep to plant freesia bulbs
Before you plant your bulbs, dig and loosen the soil to about 20cm (8 inches) in depth. From here, place the narrow corms in the soil with the pointed end facing skywards. These should be planted at a depth of approximately 3-5cm with about 5cm of space between each plant to ensure each will grow happily.
How to care for freesias
Once you have planted your bulbs, all that’s left to do is give them some tender loving care to watch them grow!
Though not particularly high-maintenance, freesias do need a little attention in order to grow to their fullest, most fragrant potential.
One of the most important factors in a freesia bulbs’ care routine is soil moisture. It is imperative to ensure your soil stays moist – without being overwatered – while the freesias are growing.
In fact, throughout a freesia growing and then flowering season, watering should be frequent to maintain soil moisture. It’s only when flowers wilt at the end of the blooming period that you should let your soil dry out.
Related Post:How to Water Plants While Away
Using a flower fertilizer in spring at the beginning of the growing season can also help to boost your freesia’s growth. After that, once you have taken care to plant your bulbs in a sunny spot, your freesias should grow tall, strong, and lustrous come summer.
Do freesias come back every year?
Many people wonder, ‘are freesias perennials?’ Yes, these plants are deciduous cormous perennials meaning that they come back year after year (with the proper care and attention).
They are similar to other perennials such as daffodils, hyacinth, and muscari, in that they not only come back year after year, they can multiply and self-propagate. So your freesia bed can grow bigger and brighter every summer!
While they are winter flowering perennials in South Africa, freesias can struggle to grow back each year in colder climates where winters are frosty. Their bulbs can freeze and rot in the ground if the weather gets too cold and so to keep your flowers growing back year after year you may need to dig up the corms before winter arrives and store them somewhere cool and dry before you replant them in the spring.
How long do freesias bloom for
One of the best things about freesia’s blooming season is that, with proper care and planning, it can last from spring right though until the fall. Typically, freesia bloom times are from June to September. However, by combining different varieties and staggering your planting times, you can see this beautiful and fragrant flower continue to grow in your garden as autumn begins to fall.
This long-lasting growing season is mirrored in how long fresh-cut freesias can last. As cut flowers – like the freesia arrangements you can find atSendFlowers – they can remain fresh and vibrant for up to three weeks. This makes them one of themost durable cut flowers you can put in an arrangement and thus the perfect addition to any summer bouquet!
To get the most out of your cut flower arrangements likethese monthly bouquet subscriptions from MonthlyClubs, read our guide to keeping flowers fresher for longerhere.
Easy to grow, a joyous symbol of friendship and deliciously scented to boot, freesias are the perfect perennial to grow in your garden. So go on, get growing!
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