I wasn’t sure these freesia’s were going to flower but took the risk of planting them anyway. I picked up some end of season specials from Bunnings as they were less than a third of the original price (who can argue with a bargain?). But, as soon as I had brought them home I began doubting the wisdom in parting with the miniscule amount I paid.
Why? Well they weren’t looking fantastically robust and with another dormant period ahead I was worried that they might not even make it to planting out in my garden. Regardless, I stored them in a cool, dry and dark spot in my shed until autumn reared its bulb-happy face. I planted them out, covered them with a little blood ‘n’ bone fertiliser, watered them in and then prayed like crazy that they would survive.
Not only did they survive but they’re producing beatiful blooms that can stop traffic. So how did it happen?
Freesia’s are such dainty flowers and the thin neck they protrude from sways gracefully in the wind. They’re a great accompaniment for many plants that don’t flower until later in the season offering brilliant colours that stand up and demand that you look at them.
Helping them flower isn’t a hard project so long as you follow a couple of tips.
Storing Freesia Bulbs
Freesia bulbs, like any bulbs, need to be stored in a dark, dry climate away from any humidity or high levels of moisture. If they start sprouting prior to autumn then they most likely won’t last the distance.
If you’ve dug them up from another part of your garden then wash all the soil off and leave to dry in a place that will allow this occur quite quickly. Make sure that the freesia bulbs are able to be surrounded by air as this will keep them in peak condition ready for planting.
Planting Freesia Bulbs
Prepare the soil well so that it has a good balance leaning more to being acidic than alkaline. If your soil is more clay than loam try breaking up the clay with some dolomite otherwise your freesia bulbs will struggle to break the surface. Add some aged compost and enrich the soil with a slow release fertiliser.
The rule of thumb for planting any bulb is to dig the depth to twice the size of the bulb. Any deeper and it will struggle to reach the surface. And shallower and your freesia’s root system will struggle to support the flowers and foliage.
After planting, I usually mark the spot somehow so that I don’t inadvertently dig them up when adding other plants. Sprinkle a handful of blood ‘n’ bone over the planting site and water them in well.
- Plant them amongst other similar sized plants so that they can intertwine with them and produce a bold colourful statement.
- Plant them in a small container and then bury the pot in the location you are wanting them to grow. The benefit of this little tip is that once all the flowers have died back you can lift the container and allow the foliage to die back without the unsightly view of browning leaves. It’s also easier to keep account of your bulbs for storage.
- Fertilise them straight after all their flowering has finished. This helps the bulb grab enough strength to produce blooms for the following season.