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Freesia planting and growing


Freesia. - One of the best and most easily handled tender winter-flowering bulbs; height 12 or 15 inches. The white form (Freesia refracta alba) is the best.

The white or yellowish bell-shaped flowers of freesia are produced on slender stalks just above the foliage, to the number of six to eight in a cluster. They are very fragrant, and last for a considerable time when picked. The bulbs are small, and look as though they could not produce a growth of foliage and flowers, but even the smallest mature bulb will prove satisfactory.

Several bulbs should be planted together in a pot, box, or pan, in October, if wanted for the holidays, or later if wanted at Easter. The plants bloom from ten to twelve weeks from planting, under ordinary care.

No special treatment is required; keep the plants cool and moist through the growing season. The soil should contain a little sand mixed with fibrous loam, and the pot should be well drained. After flowering, gradually withhold water and the tops will die down, after which the roots may be shaken out and rested until time to plant in fall. Care should be taken to keep them perfectly dry.

The bulbs increase rapidly from offsets. Plants may also be grown from seed, which should be sown as soon as ripe, giving blooming plants the second or third year.