perennial herbaceous plant, native to southern Africa; about fifteen botanical species belong to the freesia genus, all of them producing small roundish corms, varying in size between 2-3 centimeters in diameter. Every single bulb produces a small tuft of ribbon-like, erect, fairly rigid and fleshy leaves, light green in color; from the center of the leaves in summer a thin erect stem develops, poorly branched, which brings numerous small trumpet-shaped flowers, gathered in arcuate panicles, very fragrant and white, yellowish or greenish in color. These bulbous plants have been cultivated for many years and there are numerous cultivars, with particularly large flowers or compact habit; the freesias hybrids exist in a wide range of colors, from white to yellow, from pink to blue, from red to orange. The freesia flowers are used in the garden or as cut flowers, but also in the cosmetic industry.
Type of plant Lively BulbosaFlower color White, yellow, red, orange, purple, blueirrigations Very moderateMultiplication Seed, divisionRusticitа averageExposure Sun-shadeGround Light, even sandy, always well drainedAvversitа Rot of the bulb, fusariosis, slugs and snailsExposure
they are grown in a sunny place, a poor insolation can cause the bulbs not to bloom. They fear frost, so in areas with harsh winters they are cultivated in pots, so that they can protect the containers in a sheltered place during the winter; or in autumn, the corms are removed by keeping them in a cool, dark and dry place until the following spring.
From June to July, until the end of flowering, it is watered when the soil is dry, every 3-4 days; from the moment in which the leaves begin to wither, the waterings are suspended to allow the corms to enter in vegetative rest. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, dissolved in the water used for watering, every 10-15 days.
The freesias should be irrigated very moderately because they absolutely do not like the wet substrates which are, very frequently, a cause of bulb rot.
The moment in which to intervene the most is what precedes the appearance of the buds. Subsequently the administrations will be almost completely suspended.
This bulbous plant can be grown both in the open ground and in containers, even small to medium sized.
We can combine it perfectly with hyacinths, muscari, tulips and daffodils, also creating layers in order to obtain scalar blooms from spring to summer.
|Planting||September October||March April|
|Flowering||March April May||June July August|
|Flowering if forced||January February|
|Extraction from the ground||Not necessary||October-November|
From September to October
|Irrigation||March April||June July|
|Potassium fertilization||March April||June July|
I prefer soft and deep, very well drained soils; it is advisable to use universal soil, mixed with a good quantity of sand and a little mature manure.
Freesia prefers light, well-drained, possibly sandy soils. They must never be too rich, compact and full of water.
To have excellent results we will have to place the bulbs in a sunny and warm area, even if, especially in the Center-South, they manage to bloom well even in partial shade.
In any case, full sun is advisable only in northern regions. In the other few hours of shade, especially during the afternoon hours, it can be beneficial to avoid burning both the petals and the leaves.
In this case it is good to choose a bright, airy, but also fresh display. Avoid keeping them in rooms that are too heated during the winter.
It occurs by seed, in spring; the freesia corms tend to produce small corms over time, which can be unearthed to be grown individually.
Freesia is multiplied by division or by seed, in autumn. Sowing takes place quite simply, even spontaneously. On the horticultural level, on the other hand, some difficulties are encountered as the plants absolutely do not like to be replaced.
Parasites and Diseases
it fears root rot and fusariosis.
Freesia is a precious, colorful and fragrant flower. In the bouquets it is often used to convey vivacity, joy and joy and more and more are the floral creations that include this magnificent flower. In the language of flowers, Freesia is the symbol of mystery for southern European populations. This is because despite being a flower that has been particularly appreciated and known for a long time, there are still no historical records of the plant and its origins. In northern Europe, on the other hand, it has another meaning: thanks to its particular fragrance it indicates nostalgia and memory. Freesia is a flower to give on special occasions like a blind date: it is in fact the symbol par excellence of the fascination for the unknown and the unknown.
Origins and rusticity
They are plants from areas with fairly mild winters. However, many varieties have been fairly adapted to our country to the point that in some regions (such as Liguria) they can also be found spontaneously. What is certain is that in order to systematically overcome the cold season, they want a soil that is not too humid and frosts that are not too long.
Where these conditions occur it is possible to plant them in autumn and consequently have early blooms and then see them multiply and spread in the following years.
Elsewhere (therefore almost all in Northern Italy and in mountain areas) it is highly recommended to plant at the end of winter. Furthermore, the plants will survive with difficulty and must therefore be replaced quite frequently ...
To minimize losses it is good to mulch the area thoroughly with materials such as straw, leaves or abundant flour.
When to plant freesia
In the Center-South and on the coastal areas one can proceed in the middle of autumn. This period is also the ideal time to prepare the vases which must then be kept in a bright, unheated room throughout the winter (or in a cold greenhouse).
If we live in the North or in the Apennines, instead, they will be inserted into the ground from the end of February to the beginning of March, making sure that during the night the temperatures do not drop below zero.
How to plant freesia
We can use a special plant for bulbs: the hole should not be too deep, at most we reach 7 cm.
Before starting we work the soil with the spade so as to make it soft and aerated, possibly adding sand and well decomposed organic material. We eliminate all the roots deriving from weeds.
If the earth is still compact, the ideal way to avoid rotting is to extract it and create a bed with draining material (for example gravel or expanded clay.
We create holes about 3 cm wide and 5 deep: we have a bulb inside with the tip pointing upwards. The ideal distance between one and the other, to have a good full appearance, is 10 cm.
We can choose whether to completely fill a flowerbed or create spots of color (for example in a meadow) by putting at least a dozen bulbs together, so that the appearance is very natural.
Plant the Freesia in a vase
The ideal mixture is composed of 1/3 of leaf mold (or soil for flowering plants) 1/3 of garden soil and 1/3 of sand.
The bulbs should be placed at a depth of about 5 cm and then covered to rebuild them very well. You should immediately proceed with abundant irrigation.
To force flowering, the pots must be kept outside for about two weeks around October. They will then be collected for about a month in an unheated and dark room. Later they will be moved to a bright area with temperatures around 15-18 ° C.
From the end of the winter we can add to the irrigation water a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants, with a good amount of potassium.
From the end of flowering we can instead intervene sometimes with a product characterized by a high percentage of phosphorus, to help the bulb to reform its natural reserves and return to bloom satisfactorily in the coming year.
Collection of bulbs
In the northern regions and on the Apennines it is necessary, in autumn, to extract the bulbs from the ground. Once collected they will be left to dry well in a warm, airy, but still shady area.
They should then be stored in a dry and cool place, possibly in the dark.
However the recovered ones do not always come back to bloom with the same vigor and after a few years it may happen to have to replace them all or in part.
The only necessary interventions are those of cleaning from withered flowers. The leaves must not be absolutely removed until they are totally dry, otherwise the bulb will suffer badly.
First of all you need to put the seeds in hot water for about 24 hours so that the outer skins soften and make the radicle come out.
They are then sown in jars, without buried excessively. We steam lightly and evenly.
We then leave at most 5 seedlings for each 12 cm jar and place them, until spring, in an area that is not too cold and in partial shade. Flowering will start from the third year.
It is very simple: the small bulbs must be separated from the main one. Place them in individual jars with rather light soil and fertilize with products with high percentages of phosphorus. Generally we have flowering already from the second year.
Freesia - Freesia: Species and variety
The genus Freesia includes about fifteen species, although at horticultural level they are more widespread than interspecific hybrids, characterized, for the most part, by flowers of larger dimensions and more vivid or particular colors.
Freesia x hybrida
|species|| Of many different colors|
In spring or summer
It blooms from April to May or from July to September
|About 30 cm||Also with double corolla|
|'Aurora'||Yellow with a paler throat||'Ballerina'||white||'Blue Heaven'||Violet with a yellow throat||'Buttercup'||Yellow on||'Heavenly'||Lilac with a light blue throat||'Leitchlinii'||Yellow with orange spots|
|'Margaret'||Rose on||'Red Line'||Orange red with a yellow throat||'Rosalind'||Rose with a yellow throat|
|species|| Rose with purple spots|
Floraison au printemps
|From 15 to 40 cm||Naturalized in Liguria|
|'Joan Evans'||White flowers with red spots|
|'Azura'||Blue and purple|
|Freesia refracta||Species||Yellow and green, yellow and white||About 50 cm||Exceptional fragrance|
|Freesia viridis||species|| Green|