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How To Grow Freesias

Freesias are one of the worlds most popular cut flowers, loved for their broad range of colours, long stems, and strong scents. Freesias are deciduous cormous perennials, native to South Africa where they are winter flowering plants. The foliage grows in pointed straps giving way to elegant stems which make a beautiful display in sunny borders near seating areas where their fragrance can truly be appreciated.

This is the Hayloft guide on how to grow Freesia to get the best out of this wonderful plant.

Choosing The Right Freesias

Container or Ground?

Although it is often easier to plant corms in pots it is often better to plant freesias in the border where they can be supported discreetly and show their truest colours when all other plants are resting.

 

Climate

In the UK, Freesias are best treated as annuals as our winter temperatures drop too low for the bulbs to survive. Hayloft’s Freesia Corms are heat treated to guarantee flowering and only available in the spring to ensure you have the best summer display possible!

Where & When To Plant Freesias

Freesias love growing in the front-middle section of borders where they have plenty of support from the neighbours but also thrive in containers on the patio or balcony. Freesias prefer moderately fertile but well drained soils in spots where they will receive much of the day’s sunlight.

The best period for planting Freesia bulbs is around March and April for flowering between June and August.

Choose a sunny spot with free draining soil that is warm in the summer when Freesias should be dormant and cooler in the Spring when they flower. Easterly walls make perfect spots due to the shelter they provide from frosts and winter winds.

If you choose to grow under cover, such as a green house or cool conservatory, shade the corner with your Freesias.

Here at Hayloft we only release our bulbs at specific times of the year to guarantee you are getting the highest quality bulbs and corms available.

Find out more about soil types and how to determine your soil type by clicking here.

What To Plant With Freesias

Ranunculus

Pair with Spring flowering Ranunculus for a truly vibrant display. Plant on masse interspersed with evergreens that need a little colour boost to show off their unique topiary shapes. Ranunulcus would work well in a mixed planter on the patio or in the border where their zesty colours pop out.


Dianthus

Dianthus are evergreen perennials with a clump forming habit, available in a range of heights and spreads depending on which variety they choose. The Dianthus should be just ramping up by the time your Freesia. Dianthus would work well with Freesias as part of a mixed planter or border.


Pulmonaria

Pulmonaria are beautiful, gentle additions to the border and never fail to bring a smile. They ease into any open gaps and are a magnet for bees. Pulmonarias typically come in shades of blue and white and flower when all the other plants in your garden are just thinking about waking up.


How To Plant Freesias

1.

In April, lightly fork the area over and mix in horticultural grit

2.

Create a series of shallow trenches around 5cm (2in) deep and 5-8cm (2-3in) apart. If you are on heavy soils it may be worth dusting some sharp sand and grit into the trenches for a little extra drainage, so the corms won’t sit in water for extended periods of time.

3.

Place the corms in the shallow trenches and using gloved hands or hand-tools, gently cover the corms until the tips are only just showing to the surface.

4.

Support new growth with twiggy branches or a structure like our half-circle supports.

How To Care For Freesias

 Pruning & Deadheading

 

As Freesias are not fully hardy, their leaves will begin to yellow and die back in the Autumn. Clear any discarded foliage from the area so you can see where the corms are clearly and avoid ‘chopping’ the corms by accident when lifting them out. Leave the corms in a dry corner in the greenhouse for a few days before trimming off any further foliage. You want to make sure as much of the nutrient content in the leaves has gone into the corm as possible to give you the best results for next year.

To trim the corms of their foliage, use a pair of sharp, clean secateurs and make decisive snips for the best results.

 Watering

 

Water Freesias in pots on a regular basis to keep the soil moist but not wet. We would also recommend keeping the pots in a shaded area to reduce the compost’s moisture levels from fluctuating too much.

When the corms begin to sprout, move them out into the sun to really get them going. If you plant your corms in good quality compost or soil you should not need to feed them.

 Cold Protection

 

Whether your Freesias are planted or in pots, it is considered best practice to lift and store corms in the Autumn and winter when temperatures drop too low. Discard and older, shrivelled looking corms and retain pump fresh and firm corms, storing them in dry sand.

 Pests & Diseases

 

Freesias are susceptible to Red Spider Mite, Aphids and mice who nibble on the new shoots.

How To Propagate Freesias

1.

5 weeks after flowering, lift the corms out of the pot or the ground and clean off as much of the soil as you can.

2.

Trim off the leaves and stray roots.

3.

Use the knife to separate the plump fresh corms from last season’s (the season that has just ended) slightly wrinkled tough-looking corms. Try to make a single decisive cut to aid the healing process.

4.

Fill the tray with dry sand and lay the corms on top. Store in a cool dark place ready for the planting in the spring.

Common Freesia Questions

How long do freesias take to germinate?

It should take Freesia bulbs 2-3 weeks to germinate, sometimes a little longer if they are too cold.

Can you grow freesias indoors?

For growing Freesias indoors, corms can be planted between August and December to flower January- April. Alternatively, you can plant your corms in October to flower in March for roughly four weeks, sometimes a little longer if they are kept cool and well-watered. Compost should be a mix of 1 part sand, 1 part grit and 2 parts compost for best results.

Are freesias hard to grow?

Freesias can sometimes be a little tricky to get going. They typically require a cool period of 5®C for 3 to 4 weeks in a frost-free spot to break their dormancy. After that, it is best to keep them in a cool greenhouse for the winter where temperatures should average between 10®C and 15®C.

Try to give them as much light as possible to ensure the leaves and flower stalks do not become soft and spindly. Compost should be a mix of 1 part sand, 1 part grit and 2 parts compost for best results.
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If, for any reason you are not delighted with your purchase, just return it to us within 21 days.

We promise to exchange the item or return the price you paid for the item in full. This is in addition to your statutory rights.

Hayloft Plants will not agree to refunding the costs of returning the parcel to us.

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