OF ALL THE FRAGRANT HOUSEPLANTS WE CAN GROW, none afford a lovelier air than Freesia lacteal. Three pots of F. ‘Double Pink’ started to bloom for me just this morning, and I can tell you the honey-and-ripe-plum bouquet is intoxicating. In fact, I’d say it’s a scent that makes life worth living.
It is fortunate that Freesia’s magic isn’t short-lived. While the flowering stalks tend to emerge all at once, the individual blossoms open one at a time, over a long and luxurious course that lasts from mid February through at least the end of March.
Lucky too is the fact that Freesia’s beauty and scent are so easily achieved. Just follow my nifty freesia forcing guide. Then, when the flowering stalks appear, provide abundant water for the thirsty roots. Lately, mine require water daily.
I don’t fertilize the bulbs because I never try to carry them over a second year. Instead, I plant a new variety each autumn. Last year ‘Single Pink,’ pictured above, provided perfume here well into April.
If you joined me in planting freesia last fall, do let me know if you are swimming in perfume right now. And if you forgot to plant a bunch of these easy bulbs, will you at least consider doing so next fall? Believe me, the pleasure this tropical traveler will give you in winter is hefty indeed.
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