The Q&A Archives: Growing Freesia

Question: I absolutely love the fragrance of freesia, and have attempted several times to force bulbs inside and to grow them outside in my flower beds. So far, I have been unsuccesful in both areas. I am looking for some help so that I may enjoy these wonderful flowers. When do I plant outside? How do I create the correct conditions for forcing?

Answer: Freesia's are native to South Africa and can grow outdoors in mild climates, but are best as a container plant in other areas. After the fragrant flowers die, the plants will dry up, and the corms will need a resting period and then a chill before they will resume growth. You can enjoy your Freesia until it stops blooming. Then allow the foliage to die back on its own, dig the corm and let it rest in a cool area. Replant in the winter, keeping the pot in a cool room (maximum 55F degrees). Water when sprouts appear and move to a sunny windowsill. Take it outdoors when the weather warms, or keep it inside as a houseplant. When the blooms fade, allow the foliage to die down on its own, dig the corm, store and repot the following winter.

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