Freesia

ben10March 14, 2009

Hi all, new here and excited to finally have an outlet for my plant growing passion;) So there I was last week at my local grocery store up here in northern minnesota going through the whole plant section when low and behold I find these sad looking freesia plants, blooms obviously spent but still looking REALLY green and alive and on sale for a buck a piece!!!! I bought the last 2 they had and took them home....and after researching I see now that they are indeed entering their dormancy (leaves turning brown etc.). My question is this, they are in pots and obviously they can't be planted outside in this part of the country so how do I care for the bulbs while dormant and how do I get more flowers to grow in the spring of next year?? I can't thank you all in advance enough for all the knowledge you are willing to share with me! I am so happy to have found this place!!! Thanks in advance again!!! Happy gardening!

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Our Freesias are grown in the garden and are blooming at this time. They like our winter, wet cool temperatures, quite different from yours I am sure. They do well in 35 to 55 degrees with the winter sunshine. They go through summer dormancy with no problem if your soil is well drained they will not rot. I hope you can find a location to suit their needs. Al

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:20AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hi Ben10,

Welcome to Garden Web and The Bulb Forum.

I would leave them in the pot, keeping them lightly watered while the foliage withers. Once they are pretty well yellowed/brown, I would just store them pot and all in a cool dry place for the remainder of the year.

This winter you can then either force them in their pots, by bringing out of storage to a warm place, and start watering, or you can next spring, plant them in your garden at the proper planting time once the soil has warmed up. Since they are not a hardy bulb, you would then have to dig and then store them for the winter.

hth.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Freesia

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:43AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Sue, thanks for posting that link for growing Freesia. I just got a bag of mixed singles since butterflies are supposed to like them. Originally I read on bulb vendor websites they could be planted early spring. When I got home from store and searched found sites that said they have to be planted in Fall for warm areas and are for forcing indoors in the North.

I was going to pot them up and put under lights in the cool basement to give them an early start for bloom this year.

Linked article says "plant in mid-May in zone 4" for inground planting so I'm figuring I could ground plant here in zone 6 in mid to late April. Since planting in pots maybe I should wait til last frost date of May 15th? Start indoors and move outside around May 15th?

The Butterflies and Hummingbirds are really driving me crazy trying to attract and please them...LOL.

Leslie

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:07AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Leslie: if you can, pot up now into damp mix but wait until the leaves show before heading into regular watering.
Plant into the sort of mix you'd use for, say, Alstroemeria or Oxalis. No peat. Free-draining but firm. (Think 'loose silt' rather than 'airy' with big particles. So it holds moisture between waterings without being cluggy-damp.)

They usually start sending out roots (and leaves) in the later days of summer, to catch the warmth in the soil. Warm days and cooler nights and good light. Fresh air is also important. Rain sometimes. Then they grow on over winter as Al says. That's in z9.

If you can copy this where you are, to get them growing for spring, then you'll probably have flowers later this year. And, if you can put them under a cloche to protect them from bad weather, you'll have better flowers. You might need to support the stems as they can get to 18".

When it comes to the following year, I'd sort through the pot and refresh the mix. Freesias are a lot like Gladiolus - plenty of spawn which will take a while to grow to flowering size. Set them aside separately to grow on and plant up the bigger bulbs.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:02PM
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