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Thanks to the fragrant flowers of various colors, freesia has become one of the most valuable bulbous plants for cutting. Not surprisingly, freesia, planting and care in the open field for which is akin to caring for gladioluses and lilies, is increasingly appearing in summer cottages.
Features of growing freesia in open ground
Freesia from the African continent loves light, heat, needs loose soil and regular watering. Stable development and flowering can be expected:
- with a light bottom lasting at least 12-14 hours;
- with protection from direct sunlight and wind;
- at air temperature within 18–22 ºC.
Violations of light and temperature conditions, long periods of heat and drought, lead to the formation of empty, unopened buds on a freesia, or a complete rejection of flowering.
The site for planting is chosen so that the fragile stems of the plant do not suffer from the wind, and the delicate flowers do not burn the summer sun. Already at air temperature above +22 ºC, the biological rhythm of the plant is disturbed, and this is reflected in the quality of flowering.
When grown in open field, freesia is better acclimated in soil with neutral or weakly acidic reactions. In areas with heavy, dense soil, it is deoxidized and mixed with sand, peat. Poor organic soil and minerals necessarily fertilize.
Plants are not frost resistant. In Russia, they are necessarily dug up for the winter, and they are carried into the ground when the threat of recurrent cold and frost on the soil is over. If planting in the ground occurs in May or early June, the flowering of the freesia begins from the second half of July to the end of August. However, this is valid only for the middle band. To see freesia flowers when planting and caring in Siberia, not bulbs are transplanted into the ground, but plants grown in a room or greenhouse.
Preparing a place for planting freesia in spring
Choose a plot for planting freesias in partial shade or under protection planted on the southern side of tall shrubs or trees. Such a natural barrier will save flowers from the wind and the midday sun.
In the fall, the soil for planting freesia was dug up on a full bayonet, carefully selecting perennial rhizomatous weeds. At the same time organic fertilizers are applied to the ridges or flower beds. In the spring, they dig up the soil again, breaking up clods. Planting pits or trenches under the bulbs make a depth and width of about 30–40 cm. Although the planting depth is much less, filled with loose, consisting of equal parts of garden soil, peat, humus and sand, the hole will allow the root system and the whole plant to actively develop.
Preparation of freesia bulbs for cultivation in open ground
Acquired or stored bulbs after autumn digging begin to prepare for planting in early April. They remove the hard surface peel, and then for half an hour immersed in a solution of phytosporin or other fungicide. This precaution will protect the bulbs from rotting bacteria and fungi in the soil.
30–45 days before the time of planting the freesia in open ground in spring approaches, the bulbs are placed in deep peat pots filled with nutritious ground. The seeding depth is 5 cm, the substrate is lightly tamped down and then watered. With increased humidity, freesia soon wake up and form the first shoots. Now it's time to transfer the bulbs to the light.
It is important that the sprouts do not stretch before getting into the ground, be dense and healthy. Therefore, if necessary, plants provide additional coverage.
Planting freesia with seeds
Like many related species, freesia can be propagated by seed. From the moment of sowing to the appearance of the first buds, at least 8–9 months should pass. If you plant a freesia in the ground in the fall, in the spring the plants that have already gained strength will be brought to the garden.
Sowing is carried out with seeds pretreated with potassium permanganate or phytosporin to a depth of 3–4 mm. The best results can be achieved in the home greenhouse, where it is easier to maintain the increased humidity of the soil and air. Until shoots appear, moisten the soil with a spray bottle. Then accurate watering and irreplaceable during the autumn and winter period illumination is possible. Planting freesia in open ground and caring for them do not differ from caring for plants from adult bulbs.
Planting freesia and care in the open field
The conditions for planting freesia on a flowerbed in regions with excellent climatic features develop at different times. In the middle lane and in the suburbs, planting freesia in the ground and caring for plants begins in mid-May.
If there is a chance of frost, tender plants should be left for a couple of weeks at home.
Bulbs are planted at a distance of 3-5 cm from each other. Freesias do not form a lush bush, so for a more decorative effect in the flower garden they can be planted in small clumps of 10–15 pieces, not forgetting to provide a sturdy support.
To simplify care in the open field when planting freesia for cutting, at least 15 cm is left between rows.
The depth of embedding of the bulbs depends on their size and soil properties.
- On light sandy loams, freesias are buried 10–12 cm.
- On loose, fertile garden soil, the bottom of the bulb must be at a depth of 7–9 cm.
- In dense soil, freesia is the most difficult thing to develop the root system and grow. Here, bulbs are planted to a depth of 5–6 cm.
Because of the fragility of the bare stems, bearing a lot of buds, for freesia necessarily provide support.
It would seem that such care is practically indistinguishable from caring for lilies, irises, gladioli. But the cultivation of freesia, as well as caring for it in the open field, is fraught with some difficulties.
The fact is that the freesia bloom occurs only at temperatures below +22 ºC.In order for the leaves and flowers not to suffer from a lack of moisture, the air must be constantly humid; it is extremely difficult for plants to tolerate sharp fluctuations in day and night temperatures. Because of these features, the flower is more often grown in greenhouses or under greenhouses.
In the open field, freesia in the evening hours are regularly irrigated with warm water, trying not to fall on the flowers and not yet opened buds. Watering begins immediately after the emergence of shoots and finish 2 weeks before digging the bulbs.
For fertilizing flowers, you can use complex fertilizers for flowering plants or, before flowering, add a mixture with a predominance of nitrogen, and closer to the middle of summer, use potash-phosphorous agents.
For the bulbs to be able to mature better, and the plant to re-bloom, faded one by one or in groups. Inflorescences with two or more open corolla are suitable for bouquet cutting. It is possible to shorten or remove leaves damaged by fungus or pests. Digging of bulbs is carried out in the autumn, from September to October, before the arrival of night frosts.