Daffodils and Freesia sprouting

gardenerprer(9a Phoenix)November 30, 2012

My Daffodils and Freesia are sprouting now here in Zone 9. Is it too early to start sprouting? I am thinking if it because of the warmer days we are still having here in Phoenix. Nights are cool though lower 50s.
What do I do now for these bulbs? Add Bone meal or something? I did add earlier when I had planted below in the hole. Please let me know how do I care for them. Any sun protection as it is upper 70s in daytime?
This is my first time planting bulbs :) Thank you for any help.

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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

I'm in a slightly different zone (10); my freesias started sprouting a few weeks ago and daffodils are just starting to sprout. This is normal for them in my garden.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 5:50PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Mostly - don't let the Freesias dry out over winter. As you're coming up to midwinter the sun will be lower in the sky but a little shade may be necessary if the temperatures remain high.

They don't mind light frost. They can sprawl with too much rain.

Feed them with dilute liquid fertiliser when the buds start to show - a balanced N-P-K brew at half strength each week until the foliage dies down in mid to late spring.

If you bought the coloured florists' type - provide them with some support to stop them flopping.

If you have a fairly open soil you can leave them in the ground over summer. Or lift them and keep them in a cool place (breezeway, for example) until you replant next June or thereabouts.

Early 'daffodils' such as the Earlicheers and paperwhites are supposed to be up now and you could easily be seeing buds/flowers later this month and early next. They would also probably appreciate water if your weather is both hot and dry at present.

Please note - if you get a spell of hot and dry weather in the spring while your typical daffodils are out expect that they will 'rush to finish'. The late bloomers - the poeticus, for example, tolerate more heat than the ones that flush in March and April.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 1:16AM
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Freesias are native to the Western Cape region of South Africa while Daffodils are concentrated around the Mediterranean Basin. Both areas experience a winter-wet, summer-dry climate, quite similar to cis-montane California. It's normal for them to grow and bloom from late fall/ early winter into spring and then go dormant over the summer.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 12:37AM
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gardenerprer(9a Phoenix)

Thank you all for your answers...

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Our Daffs started sprouting a few weeks ago and are commonly seem blooming in the background of our "let's all stand out front and take a pic" pic from Christmas day at my Mom's house the past few years, since she started adding them to her beds.

I've tried Freesia bulbs in pots probably 6 times over the years, probably all in spring. There will be some foliage, then just nothing. Never had one make a flower. Should dormant bulbs be purchased in spring or fall?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 1:01PM
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gardenerprer(9a Phoenix)

Wow thats so nice :)
Not sure about your freesia question, I am new to this as well but maybe others might know. I had heard from others to buy the bulbs in fall and plant them then. My freesia's have started sprouting as well and are showing some foliage.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 4:07PM
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I'm a longtime gardener but hardly an expert either and this is my 2 cents about the freesias blooming.

My experience is that you need to plant about 10 to maybe get half to bloom. At best. Probably something I am doing or not doing but I live in a fairly mild climate and I plant new bulbs every year but NEVER get them all to bloom. Often they will sprout - but getting them to bloom seems harder.

I always assumed atheir motto is "everyman (plant) for themselves" because some will bloom and come up every year but I truthfully tend to lose at least 1/2. And they all get the same soil, sun, food, etc. This year, I already have one tulip and one daffy and one anenome blooming and this is the earliest I have ever had a tulip bloom.

And don't even ASK about ranunculus - I plant about 20 just to get 2-3 to bloom. Yet here they come again, sprouting like champs but then they peter out and never bloom.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 12:19AM
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gardenerprer(9a Phoenix)

Thank you davidinsf for your comments. I have got foliage for most of the bulbs I had planted.. I did see some flower buds coming for daffodils.. Lets see what happens in March :) Waiting for the bloom. Do we have to add bone meal on top of the soil at this time when foliage has come?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 4:13PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

The trouble with bonemeal on top is that certain Creatures are quite partial to it and gleefully trawl through the garden in search of it. Work it in to the top inch or so instead of spreading on top. Remember it is slow-acting so don't expect any surges in leaf performance, particularly in cool weather.

You could feed straight after flowering when the leaves are working to stash food in the bulb for the next flowering season. Wood ash can be good, or something else that's potash-rich.

Freesias that won't: start with a light or free-draining soil. They do well in a silty or sandy soil with humus added. They spawn readily so you will have to treat them like Muscari or Gladiolus - separate the big bulbs from the smalls and grow on separately.

If all else fails - plant them in pots with excellent drainage. Snuggle the ones with coloured flowers on the south side (for northern hemisphere) for frost and rain protection while flowering. The little white ones with the yellow throats and yummy scent are far tougher and perform well in stony ground that has a fairly high clay content. Summer baking helps.

Ranunculus - the very double ones that come from 'claws' - similar soil. I think I'd be inclined to treat them* as you would for Anemone blanda - dry, yet not parched over summer; otherwise the claws tend to shrink. Perhaps under something like Petunia which is fairly dry-tolerant over summer and is not excessively watered.

*I'm battling with R repens in great numbers so my inclination is to Exterminate... I know they're not all thugs in the Ranunculus family. :-)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:34PM
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Hi everyone,
I'm new in this forum, however I love plants.
I planted some freesia bulb last year in late October, and I did not get any sprout this spring, but for my surprise last week I saw some leaf coming out of the ground, and I do not know how to take care of the freesia in winter time. We are expecting freezing temperature for this week and I do not know what to do, do I need to cover the sprout at night to protect the plant? Or is not hope for them to go trhu winter.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2014 at 2:03PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

In my zone they build up their leaves over the cool and wet of the winter to flower in spring.

The big 'florist' Freesias that I planted up in a six inch pot at the end of summer are still flowering, despite several hail storms and mild (about -2C) frosts.

However, it is very rare for either the soil in the pots or the ground to freeze solid.

So. I suggest that you lift them and replant into a suitable sized pot.

If you plant up Crocus in pots for a splash of spring colour - a similar pot or pan would work.

Like Crocus (and many others) the Freesia puts down a frosted glass sort of root carrot. When you're digging - you're looking for something quite different from a daffodil with its fat bulb and white string roots.

I know it's 'not done' - but - see if you can move them, dirt and all, to the pot to conserve their roots. Plant them up with a very free-draining mix below and around their soil ball.

They'll need full sun AND cool temperatures - 40-45F. A cool glasshouse or a frost-free porch would be fine. You probably wouldn't need grow lights but do keep an eye on their colour and whether they're getting spindly. More light if they're yellow-green and lanky.

Oh. Yes. A bulb support ring. When they flower the flower head can be heavy-droopy. A ring will keep them from flopping and bending.

Keep the soil moist, not soaking. Don't let them stand in a saucer of water. They'll get grey mould or aphids or both.

If you decide to keep them in the ground - I'd cover them now and use a row cover/quilt over a frame, which ought to be good down to 24F. Harden off for spring. Be prepared to listen to the weather report and bolt outside with a torch for 'dead-of-night' covering. (I know...:-(( )

Pin down the cover to the frame with clothes pins and hold down the edges, too. There's always a sneaky wind...

Good luck.

PS If you have a rapid spring - 50F to 70+ in a bound expect your flowers to finish quite quickly. Some shade could extend your season.

Leave them to die back naturally after you've trimmed back the flower stems.

After this - you can treat them as you would for Gladiolus in your zone.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2014 at 3:19AM
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