Freesia is grown just as much for its scent as for its blooms. Colours include blue, violet, red, yellow and white. Freesia bulbs, which are actually corms, cannot withstand freezing temperatures. Any region that experiences any frost cannot leave freesia in the garden to over winter. While planting in containers or pots that are easily moved to a protected area in a garage or greenhouse is one possibility, this limits bed and border planting. Instead, dig up the freesia bulbs and store them until it's time for spring replanting.
Allow the foliage to die back naturally after the freesia stops blooming in early summer. Wait approximately eight weeks after blooming for it to begin yellowing and drying out.
Dig around the bulbs in the ground to a depth of about 4 inches. Slide your spade under the freesia bulbs and lift them from the ground.
Brush excess dirt off the freesia bulbs. Lay out on newspaper in a dark, dry room to cure. Make sure no bulbs are touching one another.
Brush off any remaining dirt once bulbs are cured, after approximately two weeks. Inspect the bulbs and dispose of any that are damaged, show signs of disease or have soft spots.
Fill a paper bag with dry peat moss. Label with the colour and variety of freesia. Place the bulbs inside and store in a dry place at about 4.44 degrees C.
Replant bulbs in spring after all frost danger has passed. Inspect bulbs a second time before replanting to make sure none began rotting while overwintering. Dispose of any with soft spots.
- If storing potted freesia, slowly taper off watering until the soil dries then store in the same conditions as for bare bulbs.
- Do not store freesia bulbs in a refrigerator that also has ripening fruit inside. The ethylene gas from the fruit damages the freesia.
- Freesia cannot tolerate any temperatures below freezing. Dig up before the first frost, as after the first frost most freesia bulbs are no longer viable.