Clear Mountain Garden Treasures
 

Clear Mountain Garden TreasuresCulture and Germination - Freesia

corm
A short swollen underground stem
see also Bulbs, Corms and Tubers.
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slow-release
Granulised fertiliser enclosed by a shell that
slowly releases the food over a long period of time.
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slow-release
Granulised fertiliser enclosed by a shell that
slowly releases the food over a long period of time.
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Freesia

Orange
Family Iridaceae
Name Freesia ×hybrida

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Freesias are easy to grow and will reward you every spring with bouquets of sweet smelling flowers. The corms multiply readily, with each plant often producing 4-5 new corms per year. These will grow to flowering size after a year. The flowers come in a multitude of colours, from whites and yellows to reds and purples, and make an exceppent long lasting cut flower.

Culture

Freesias are very easy to grow. Plant the corms in Autumn, 5-6 cm deep in well drained soil. The pointed end is "up". Space the corms 2-3 cm from each other. Feed at planting time with 6 month slow release fertilizer (eg. Osmocote). Follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Mulch with fine bark, as freesias are not very vigourous and will not be able to supress weeds. Full sun or part shade is best.

Alternatively, plant in a container, 2 cm deep and mulch with 3 cm of number 3 bark (eg. orchid bark). Use a mix that is made from 1 part sand to two parts patio or outdoor potting mix. Water containerised plants well and dry off in the Summer. Repot every year in the Autumn. Feed with slow release fertilizer as for plants planted in the ground.

The freesia corms will grow leaves and roots in the Autumn and shrivel away. The plant will flower in Spring and then form a new corm to replace the old one. Remove the spent flowers so that the plants put all their energy into forming corms rather than seed. Often, a plant will also grow 4-5 little corms next to the big one. These will grow into a new plants and will flower the year after. Be careful when removing the spent foliage as sometimes, corms are also formed on the flowering stem.

Freesia flowers make very good cut flower and will last a long time in a vase. The flowers are fragrant and goes well with roses. Do not put daffodils into the same vase as the daffodils are poisonous to the freesia flowers and will cause them to fade.

The plants look better planted in groups of 5-6 rather than a row of individuals. After a number of years, groups will get crowded and should be split.


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