Freesia Growing Instructions
Cultivation Instructions for Cut Freesia
Freesia's can be produced year round. However in most instances you need ground cooling to get flower inducement in the warmer time of the year. At most companies ground cooling is not available and so flower production is from November through June/ July.
Best is to use corms in the size 5/6. They need to show root tips at the bottom of the corm before planting. Desinfect the soil by either steaming or fumigation. Rotatil the soil well before planting. Plant the bulbs by pushing them into the ground by hand where they will be about 1 to 1.5 inches deep. Be sure the soil is moist at planting. Cover plant holes with a rake. Plant density is about 8 to 10 corms per Square feet. Put two layers of meshwire on top before they come out of the ground. Wait with watering untill 7 day's after planting. Let them sprout first themselves before irrigation.
While the crop is stretching raise the wire accordingly. Watch for diseases like Thrips and aphids. Soil fumigation is very important to prevent Fusarium. This disease is one of the larger diseases in the freesia crop. The only remedie is to fumigate well prior to planting.
From planting untill harvesting takes 16 to 20 weeks. You can harvest main stem with one to two side shoots. After picking the main stem you will still get more side shoots that can be of very good quality. Average we have growers get 3 stems per corm.
Cultivation Instructions for Potted Freesia
Freesias originated from South Africa where they bloom in winter and spring. They die off in late spring and in the summer time they get they're heat of about 80°F to 85°F to get plant ripe again. In the fall it starts to rain and they come up and with colder nights of about 50°F the freesia will produce a flower. A freesia will bloom depending on what temperature it is. This is different compared to other bulbs crops.
We are trying to get the same thing established in a warm room. The warm room is run at 83°F to 85°F with a humidity of 75% to 80%. At this temperature we keep the bulbs for about 14 to 20 weeks depending at what time of year the bulbs are lifted and what variety.
The bulbs are ripe to plant when they show small root tips at the bottom. This is easy to see and when the first tips are showing the bulbs can be planted. Some growers prefer to keep them in the room even longer to have the material really ripe so after planting they start right away. After planting growers who grow them for cuts they let the temperature stay between 60 and 65F. By this temperature it's making a nice plant but he is not working on initiating a flower. When the plant is big enough according to the grower he will cool down his greenhouse by opening up windows or run his cooling system what are hoses that are dug in the soil next to the bulb. From that period on they try to keep the soil temp between 56°F and 62°F. By this temperature the freesia will work on flower inducing this will take between 3 to 4 weeks depending per variety. When the flower is induced you still want to continue with cooling or you will see more thumbing of the buds. When the flower is moving up you also want to block some of the direct sunlight. This will heat up the plant temperature and that will also affect the quality of the flower. In winter time and early spring the direct light is not a problem at all. Later spring towards the summer is where we want to start using a light shade. During this period when it is working on his flower you want to keep the temperature as even as possible without big temp variances to get the best quality.
For a potted freesia there are growers that are using Bonzi to keep the freesia short. This is a way to do it but it affects the shelve life negatively. With working the temperatures you can also keep them short and that is why the biggest growers are in the Bay Area (California) where they have cool temperatures. After they had they're warm period they can be put in a 57°F (14°C) room with a small fan blowing air and a humidity of 80%. They can be kept there for 4 to 6 weeks. They will sprout etc but that is normal. Flamingo can look at the circumstances and time of the year and treat the corms in Vista.
After that period the flower grower will receive the corms and will pot them up with 5 to 7 bulbs per 6" or Gallon pot. For a smaller pot like a 4" or 4.5" generally 2 to 3 corms are being used. When it is in later spring you want to put them for an additional 2 weeks in the 48°F cooler after planting. If at the time of planting the conditions are cool then this will not be necessary. After the corms are planted the freesia will flower in about 12 to 14 weeks.
For each time of the year and per variety there will be some adjustments to be made. At Flamingo we have done extensive trials so we have the knowledge to make this successful. If more questions let us know so we can have further discussions about the details.
Flamingo Holland cannot be liable for any loss of profit, growing result or any other commercial damages resulting from use of this guide. This guide is for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy, or performance overall.