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blooming plant
of the month

Hyacinth - Blooming Plant
freesia

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BOTANICAL NAME
Freesia x hybrida
(free-zhuh, free-zhee-uh, free-zee-uh, FREE-see-uh HIGH-bri-duh)

COMMON NAMES
None

DESCRIPTION
Freesias are perennial blooming plants that grow from corms. The inflorescences each comprise five to 10 trumpet-shaped florets and/or buds along the top, upper side of a curved stem. Each 1-to-2-inch-long floret has six “petals,” or segments. These sweetly fragrant plants are available in single- and double-flowered varieties.

The thin stems, which are leafless and often branched, can grow to 2 feet in length although dwarf cultivars generally top out at 1 foot or shorter. Potted Freesias have narrow sword-shaped foliage that fans out from the corms, just above soil level.

COLORS
See the “Colors” section on the "Cut Flower of the Month" section of the Web site.

DECORATIVE LIFE
Potted Freesias should last from two to five weeks at the consumer level, depending on variety, care, environmental conditions (especially temperature and light) and stage of maturity at the time of sale.

AVAILABILITY
Although Freesia plants are available almost year-round, depending on variety and growers, peak periods are November through May (especially February, March and April). White varieties often are the only ones grown for November and December sales.

IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
LIGHT Freesia plants require bright, indirect light, such as from east, south or west windows. Protect them from hot, direct sunlight.
WATER Keep compost evenly moist at all times, watering lightly but frequently. Avoid overwatering. If possible, use nonfluoridated water; fluoride can retard flower development and cause the tips of blooms and leaves to burn.
TEMPERATURE Potted Freesias perform best in cool environments (55 F to 65 F). Bloom life will decrease by six to nine days, on average, when these plants are displayed in higher temperatures (72 F to 75 F), which are common in many homes and offices.
HUMIDITY Freesias prefer moderately humid air. Mist blooms daily, or place pots on a pebble tray.
STORAGE These plants can be stored for up to three days in a floral refrigerator at 33 F to 35 F.
FERTILIZER  During their blooming cycle, feed Freesia plants every seven to 10 days with a balanced or high-phosphorous plant food. This is especially helpful if consumers intend to save and replant the corms.
SOIL A light, well-draining potting mixture will provide best results.
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Freesias are moderately sensitive to ethylene, which can cause buds and blooms to drop, petals to become translucent, flowers to die more quickly and foliage to yellow, so make sure your purchases are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower level or during shipping. In addition, keep these plants away from sources of ethylene gas such as ripening fruit, decaying flowers and foliage, automobile exhaust and tobacco smoke.


CHALLENGES
YELLOW LEAVES Incorrect watering, insufficient light, too-high temperatures and insects (spider mites, aphids) all can be causes. Leaf yellowing is more prevalent in certain varieties and can occur as a result of improper conditions at the grower level—both of which you can do little or nothing about.
TOP-HEAVY STEMS As the wiry stems grow tall, they often need to be staked or bound with twine to keep them upright. The single-flowered varieties are not as prone to falling over as the heavier double-flowered types. Also, investigate dwarf varieties.

 
 

fun facts


 
 


MAKING SCENTS The intensity of the flowers’ fragrance varies considerably among cultivars. Yellow, white and cream varieties are often more fragrant than other colors.

WHAT’S IN A NAME Freesias are named for Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese (1795–1876), a German physician who also was a well-known student of botany and who discovered many South African native plants.

FAMILY MATTERS Freesias are members of the Iridaceae (Iris) family and are related to Irises, Crocuses, Crocosmias, Gladioli, Ixias and Watsonias, among others.

HOME SWEET HOME Most species of Freesias are native to the Cape Province of South Africa.
 


 

Some information provided by:
Chain of Life Network®, www.chainoflifenetwork.org
Complete Houseplant Survival Manual, The by Barbara Pleasant
SAF Flower & Plant Care,   by Terril A Nell, Ph.D. and Michael S. Reid, Ph.D.
Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners, by William T. Stearn

Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2010
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.