Freesia Bulbs

Grow as a garden plant or as a houseplant

The genus Freesia contains herbaceous, frost tender cormous perennials grown for their brightly colored, nicely fragrant, funnel-shaped flowers. Borne in a comb of 5 to 10, the elegant blooms face upwards towards the sky and are held aloft an iris-like fan of slender, grassy foliage on gently arching, leafless stems. The blooms are single or double and come in a wide range of jewel-toned colors, such as white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, and lavender, but can also be bicolored or multicolored. Delightful, long-lasting cut flowers with a captivating citrus scent, they are popular in floral arrangements, especially in wedding bouquets, since they symbolize pure, genuine, unconditional love. Cut in the closed-bud stage, the flowers can last up to 3 weeks.

A member of the Iris (Iridaceae) family, Freesia is a genus of about 20 species that grow between 1 and 2 feet tall. Some species of horticultural importance are F. laxa (flowering grass), F. refracta (common freesia), F. corymbose (common freesia [synonym F. armstrongii]), and F. alba (an heirloom species). Freesias are surprisingly easy to grow, generally unbothered by pests or diseases, and multiply over time to form large clumps. Freesias need full sun and cool night temperatures. In mild climates (Zones 9-10), freesia bulbs are best planted in fall for spring blooms. In cooler climates, freesia corms are easily forced indoors for house plants with a winter bloom and can be succession planted from late summer to early winter for an extended bloom time. They can also be grown in the garden as annuals, or the bulbs can be dug up at the end of the season; stored in a cool, dry location; and replanted the next spring, typically blooming 10 to 12 weeks after planting. Freesias are shown to best effect when planted in masses or groups of at least 5 to 7 bulbs.