freesia, sparaxis, etc from dept stores

aniya(z5 IN)April 21, 2009

I succombed once again and bought a pkg of freesia and a pkg of tigridia from a home improvement store. Does anyone ever really have success with these? I have very rarely gotten decent germination and yet I continue to fall prey to the pretty packages. Any advice on growing the lesser known bulbs? I dream of bouquets of sparaxis, ixia, freesia, ranunculas, tigridia... you get the picture! I know that none of them are hardy in my area but if they would come up once I would gladly store them over winter.

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Freesias tend to be grown in greenhouse conditions for the florist trade. Although, from surfing around, it seems the really warm zones and Californians have good luck with these and the others mentioned.

But, according to the literature, plant freesia outside in full sunshine so the tops of the bulbs are one and a half inches deep. Plant two to three inches apart in a good soil. Plant in late May in zone 4 or anywhere when the ground is warm enough to plant corn. Flowers should form in mid-to late summer.

Tigridia bulbs are subject to rot with too much water or bad drainage - a sunny dry spot would be best for those.

Ixia, plant in spring in a spot with good drainage.

I always thought sparaxis was a fall planted bulb - wouldn't have a prayer here in zone 4 even though I do see them at Menard's and the other home improvement stores... in the spring.

I've failed and given up on the more "exotic" little bulbs that are sooo tempting with their gorgeous package pictures. Nothing really exotic in my gardens, but the claim to fame is that everything is reliable year after year.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 3:35PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I grew Freesia and Ranunculus successfully in Phoenix AZ as perennial bulbs.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 6:48PM
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All the bulbs you mention grow with little care here. For you it is a matter of accommodating the bulbs to grow out of their normal zone. I hope you continue experimenting with them as they are all colorful and satisfying plants. Al

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 8:16AM
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