2 years to reach maturity
This plant has a strong fragrance
Freesia alba is considered to be one of the most rewarding Cape bulb species to grow, as it is extremely easy to cultivate. The flowers have a strong, sweet-smelling scent and attract bees and other pollinating wildlife to the garden. It can be planted in pots or clumps with other species of varying colours to create a beautiful garden display during spring.
Numerous caterpillars attack the new leaves and shoots of Freesia as soon as they emerge. Keep them protected in closed areas such as in cold frames or place thin netting over them until the flowers are harvested. Manually remove caterpillars when found. Aphids and thrips can also attack these plants. Aphids can transmit viral diseases to which Freesias are very sensitive towards. Leaves can be damaged by slugs and snails. The corms are susceptible to dry fungal rot.
Plant with other spring bulbs and small annuals.
Harvest the flower stalks in late winter or early spring when three or more flowers have opened.
Sow seeds during autumn months at a depth of 0.5-1cm and space them 6 cm apart. Germination should take place within 4-5 weeks.
Divide offsets during dormancy period (summer). Place offsets at a depth of 3 cm and space them 6 cm apart when replanting in Autumn.
Attracts useful insects
Bees are attracted to the flowers.
Due to its small size, it makes a great potted plant for any sunny patio or stoep. use an acid, sandy (well-drained) growing medium, e.g. 3 parts medium-grained river sand to 1 part fine acid compost or finely milled acid bark. Use 15 to 20 cm pots, and plant the corms at a depth of approx. 3 times the height of the corm, in autumn. Place the pots in a well-ventilated, sunny spot, preferably one that receives morning sun and afternoon shade and water them thoroughly every seven to ten days.
With its showy white spring flowers, exquisite perfume and relative ease in cultivation, Freesia leichtlinii subsp. alba is one of the most rewarding Cape bulbs to grow. It was previously known as Freesia alba.