The Freesia Flower - The Perfect Plant
The Freesia flower is one of the prettiest of its genus-typically white or golden yellow, but are also found in orange, red, pink, mauve, lavender, purple and several bicolor blends. There are 14 species of the freesia-all of them African in origin. Of The 14, 12 are native to Cape Province, in the south of Africa while the remaining two are native to tropical Africa-one growing north of the equator.
The Freesia flower grows on one side of a spike (slender stalk) in a series of narrow funnel-shaped blooms (up to eight) in a loose cluster at the top. Freesia plants grow from a corm, like gladiolus (short underground stem bases that store food over the winter in order to produce new shoots in the spring). The leaves of the Freesia flower are sword-like and light green in color, growing up to a foot high. Each corm sends up a tuft of long narrow leaves and a slightly branched stem, which will eventually house the blooms.
Interestingly, where the blooms of the Freesia flower begins the stem makes a sharp bend, which causes each flower to face upward. The flowers perfume has a very light, sweet floral scent - almost soap-like, which has become popular for scented oils, soaps and lotions. Freesia oil can be used in oil burners, the more popular vaporizers or as a fragrance for potpourri-or to refresh one.
Freesia flower essence oil can be purchased alcohol free. It is long lasting and excellent for many aromatherapy uses-scent candles, massage oils or bath and body oils-all smelling just as wonderful as the plant itself.
The Freesia flower is grown for use as cut flowers, being known for their vase length. These beauties will accent a wedding bouquet; serve as a table centerpiece or other flower arrangement with striking grace as well as adding an intoxicating fragrance to the room. In flower language, Freesia is the symbol for the seventh wedding anniversary. Their meaning is trust, sweetness, friendship and innocence.
When planting the corms of the Freesia flower for display in a pot they can be planted close-6 to a 5-inch pot. Soil should be light, rich and well draining. Place the top of each corm an inch below the soil for best results. For winter flowering, do your planting in late summer or early fall. They can remain outside until time of first frost. During the winter, the pots can be brought in and kept in a sunny window.
The Freesia flower is propagated by the offsets formed on the bulbs. This happens when new corms form on top of the old ones. By separating them and replanting, both will produce plants. Freesias need full sun-outside and sunny windows if they are indoors. They also need cool night temperatures-between 40-45 degrees.
Keep the plants of the Freesia flower well watered-particularly while the leaves and flowers are in development. Allow leaves to grow after flowering has finished in order to continue collecting nutrients for following year. When the leaves begin to yellow and brown plants are then ready to be cut back and the corms saved.
For outside planting dig holes 2 inches deep and plant the Freesia flower bulbs about 3 inches apart. Plant with pointed end facing up, and then water well, soaking the area. Roots and sprouts develop in the autumn. Plant in good soil, or enriched with compost, peat moss or decomposed manure. This will also raise beds for better drainage.
Gardeners love the graceful blossoms of the Freesia flower and their wonderful fragrance, thinking of them as the fine chocolate of the gardener’s worlds.