Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Freesia Plant Profiles


During the winter months I thought it would be fun to showcase plant profiles of my favorite garden workhorse plants and new plants I'm interested in growing. This week's plant profile is freesia. 

Freesia are a wonderful bulb (corm) that is available in vivid colors, producing many fragrant flowers featuring sculpted green leaves on wiry stems. Freesia are natives of South Africa, the care for freesia bulbs is very similiar to how you care for gladiolus bulbs. Freesia flowers open in sequence along the plant stems as they bloom, the same as gladiolus bulbs. Freesia flowers come in shades of Magenta, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Blue, and Lavender, and have a tubuler shape with a sweet fragrance. Freesia bulbs look best planted in larger drifts to showcase their delicate blooms and flower color. Freesias are not hardy, they like full sun, and do best in zones 8 to 10, preferring warm climates. Freesias can be grown indoors in colder climates, providing a great flower display during the winter season. Freesias typically grow from 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall, blooming in early Spring to early Summer. Freesia can be lifted the same as gladiolus and replanted in cold areas, or you may leave the flowers to die back and allow the bulbs to self-seed. Freesia make a great choice for container gardening, paired with other spring and summer flowers.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FreesiaRefracta2.jpg

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