Height 20-45cm (8-18in)
Planting distance 10cm (4in)
Flowers mid summer to early autumn
Sunny sheltered site
Corms available late winter toFreesias can now be grown out-doors in mild districts, thanks to the development of specially prepared corms (sold as Freesia x hybrida). The colourful (white, pink, yellow, orange, red, mauve, purple and blue) come in a single or double form, carried on 20-45cm (8-18in) high wiry stems. They appear in late summer and have a magnificent fragrance and are excellent for cutting. Usually freesias are sold as mixed collections of single or double flowered forms.
In mid and late spring, plant prepared corms in any good well-drained soil. They thrive in sandy soils. Choose a bed in a sunny, sheltered position: as freesias are primarily grown for cutting, a spot in the vegetable patch would be ideal. Set the corms 5-7.5cm (2-3in) deep and 10cm (4in) apart and give each one a twiggy stick for support. Water frequently during the growing period.
Freesias will not survive the winter outdoors. Lift after the foliage has turned yellow. It’s generally not worth storing the corms over winter – often they fail to flower the following year. Buy fresh ones every spring.
Prepared corms for outdoor cultivation are usually exhausted after flowering so propagation is difficult.
Pests and diseases
Aphids sometimes infest the stems and leaves.