This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

January 27, 2014

The first freesia bud of the season 2014

Here in the Phoenix, Arizona area, freesia bloom in February, so you may see the first buds appear in late January. I just noticed the first one here today.

I've had freesia here at The Tropical Paradise for many years, and, like all bulbs that naturalize in warm climates, they multiply and come back year after year. But freesia take some care to make them look their best, beyond just planting them in the ground and waiting.

When I first see a bud, I go get some thin bamboo staking, that I keep in the garage. Freesia are heavy bloomers, and even if you planted them the correct depth, they tend to fall over when they bloom. No, wild freesia didn't do this when it was first cultivated, this is because of the years of improvement that has created a flower that it is much too heavy for the plant itself to hold up. So staking is absolutely essential.

I get a bunch of bamboo sticks at my local dollar store and keep them handy. As the freesia really starts to take off, it becomes quite a job staking. At first, you just excited to see a bud like this one, and in a month you will be kept very busy staking. Sometimes I think it's not worth the trouble, but the beauty and fragrance of freesia keeps me doing this labor of love.
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