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

March 6, 2016

Growing freesia in the Phoenix, Arizona area

I've had freesia for many years here in my garden in Glendale, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix). I planted the bulbs long ago, and as they multiplied, I spread them around. Today is March 6th and I'm starting to see the first blooms of this season.

In past years they bloomed in February, but I'm figuring that now that the tree in my backyard has gotten so much taller, not as much sunlight is reaching them, so the blooms are late this year. But if you're in the Phoenix area (or Los Angeles or San Diego or Las Vegas), I strongly recommend that you plant freesia. Just not in the shade!

The time to plant freesia bulbs is in September or October. You will see foliage in December and January, and if you have a sunnier yard than mine, blooms in February. They will fade away as the heat starts to come on (which here in the Phoenix area begins in April), and, like daffodils, you let the foliage brown and die back for the next season.

There's another challenge to growing freesias, which you can see in the background of this photo - they need to be staked. If you don't, their little faces fall down into the mud! Their stalks just aren't strong enough to hold them up! I use ordinary little pieces of bamboo, tied lightly with gardening tape. Yeah, it's a hassle, but freesia are worth the trouble!
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