Grandma's Freesia Alba
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The ageless appeal of the cream blooms will give the garden a touch of sophistication and charm. The petals are ivory with hints of violet and brushes of gold.
Freesias are adored by gardeners the world over. They are easy and versatile in pots or mass plantings in beds and borders.
These hardy South African bulbs enjoy cool winters (when they initiate buds), then begin their seasonal growth with the warm, moist soils of autumn, growing foliage through winter, then bloom in late winter/spring, avoiding the heat, before going into dormancy, when a hot, dry summer is appreciated. They should naturalise Perth to Adelaide, Victoria, Tasmania and along the NSW East coast north to Newcastle. In other areas they may be suitable annuals.
We recommend planting them somewhere that you can appreciate their delightful fragrance. The blooms can last up to three weeks in a vase and are best picked as the first flower opens. Yellow, blue and white are the longest lasting – but only by a day or two.
From planting, Freesias average 90-120 days to flower – quicker in warm weather. Freesias are easy to grow bulbs that are vigorous and hardy by nature. They grow best in a sunny spot with protection from the hot afternoon sun in a well drained soil. If they are not getting enough light they will flop over. They are best planted in groups around 3-5cm apart.
Freesia bulbs are best left to naturalise and will only need to be lifted for division every three or four years. In cold climates they may need some protection from hard frosts – plant in pots, or morning shade or add a layer of straw mulch to protect. They should also be pretty dry in their dormancy, or ensure the soil is well drained.
In pots use a good quality potting mix and add a bit of extra potash/tomato fertiliser, liquid is ideal every couple of weeks. Ensure you keep the pots moist, especially once they begin to grow as pots dry out easily and quickly and this may halt the flowering. Also if the pots get too hot then flowering will stop. The pots should be tall as the plants have a long tap root. Plant them around 3-5cm apart for a nice full show.
If you live in a cold climate, you can plant your Freesias in spring for a late summer to autumn show.
Supplied as: Bulbs
Cool to Sub-Tropical
Full Sun to Semi Shade