What To Do With Freesia Bulbs After Flowering?

Caring for your freesia bulbs doesn’t end after their enchanting flowers have bloomed and faded. It’s what you do post-flowering that often determines their performance in the following season. From deadheading and watering adjustments to potential relocation, overwintering or even fertilizing, there are a multitude of considerations when it comes to managing your freesia bulbs after they’ve finished flowering.

What To Do With Freesia Bulbs After Flowering?

Once your freesia has completed its blooming cycle, you can either leave the bulbs in the ground or dig them up for storage. If you decide to leave them in the ground, you should cut back the foliage to just above the ground level. Remember, the foliage must be allowed to die back naturally as it aids in the photosynthesis process, fueling the bulb for next year’s growth.

In colder regions, where freesia bulbs may not survive the winter, it’s recommended to dig them up. After digging, clean off the excess soil gently and dry the bulbs in a cool, airy location for about a week. This ensures they don’t get moldy or rotted during storage.

Can I Leave Freesia Bulbs In The Ground After They Have Flowered?

Yes, you can leave freesia bulbs in the ground after they have flowered, particularly in warmer regions (USDA zones 9 and above) where they can be hardy. The bulbs will continue to gather energy from the sun and store it for the following growing season. The remaining foliage should not be removed until it has completely died back, as it is still photosynthesizing and storing energy for the bulbs.

However, in colder climates, the bulbs may not survive winter and should be dug up. Once you’ve dug up the bulbs, remove the dead foliage and store them in a cool, dry place until it’s time to plant them again. Ensure the storage area is free from pests that might damage the bulbs.

Should I Deadhead Freesia Flowers After They Bloom?

Deadheading, or removing spent blooms, can encourage freesia plants to produce more flowers. After the flower has faded, snip it off at the base of the flower stalk to prevent the plant from putting energy into seed production. This ensures the plant focuses more on root and bulb development which will enhance blooming in the next season.

However, it’s important to leave the rest of the foliage intact. The leaves continue to perform photosynthesis and help the bulb store energy for future growth. So, even after the flowers have been deadheaded, the plant continues its life cycle by nourishing the bulbs through the leaves.

Can I Cut Back The Foliage Of Freesia Bulbs After Flowering?

After the freesia bulbs have finished flowering, the foliage should be allowed to die back naturally. This process can take a few weeks but is crucial for the health of the plant. The leaves will continue to photosynthesize, and the energy produced is stored in the bulb for the next growing season.

It is, therefore, not advisable to cut back the foliage immediately after the plant has finished flowering. However, once the foliage turns yellow and withers, it can then be cut back to just above the ground level. Premature removal of the foliage can lead to weaker bulbs and reduced flowering in the next blooming cycle.

How Do I Store Freesia Bulbs After They Have Finished Flowering?

Once you’ve decided to lift your freesia bulbs from the ground, they must be properly prepared for storage. After digging them up, remove the dead foliage and any excess soil. Allow them to dry in a cool, dry, well-ventilated spot for a week or two. This drying period helps to prevent any fungal infections that could harm the bulbs during storage.

After they’ve thoroughly dried, store the bulbs in a breathable container like a mesh bag, or wrap them in newspaper. Keep them in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight. Basements, garages, or even the crisper drawer of your refrigerator can be good locations, as long as temperatures remain between 35-50°F (2-10°C).

Can I Replant Freesia Bulbs In A Different Location After Flowering?

Yes, freesia bulbs can be relocated after they’ve finished flowering. If you decide to do this, it’s important to handle the bulbs carefully to avoid damaging them. Wait until the foliage has died back naturally before digging up the bulbs, as this indicates that they have completed their growth cycle for the season.

Once the bulbs are up, clean off any soil and allow them to dry for a few days. You can then replant them in their new location, preferably a well-drained spot with plenty of sunlight. Remember that freesias prefer slightly acidic soil, so you might need to amend the soil in their new location if necessary.

Is It Necessary To Dig Up Freesia Bulbs And Store Them Indoors After Flowering?

Whether or not it is necessary to dig up freesia bulbs and store them indoors after flowering depends largely on your local climate. Freesias are native to South Africa and do well in warm, sunny climates. They can be left in the ground year-round in USDA hardiness zones 9 and above. In these regions, the bulbs will survive the winter and sprout again in spring.

However, in colder regions (zones 8 and below), it’s best to dig up the bulbs after the foliage has died back and store them indoors. Freezing temperatures can damage or even kill the bulbs, so it’s crucial to store them in a cool, dry place until spring arrives.

Can I Fertilize Freesia Bulbs After They Have Bloomed?

After freesia bulbs have bloomed, they may benefit from a light application of bulb-specific fertilizer to replenish the nutrients they’ve used during the growing season. Apply the fertilizer around the base of the plant, but be careful to avoid direct contact with the bulbs as this could lead to burn.

The best time to fertilize is when the foliage starts to die back. This gives the bulbs extra nutrients as they prepare for dormancy. But remember, over-fertilizing can do more harm than good, so it’s best to use a light hand and follow the instructions on your chosen fertilizer.

Should I Water Freesia Bulbs Differently After They Have Finished Flowering?

Watering needs for freesia bulbs do change after they’ve finished flowering. When freesia plants are actively growing and flowering, they require regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist. However, once they have finished blooming, and the foliage begins to die back, watering should be gradually reduced.

Reducing water mimics the natural dry summer rest period freesias would experience in their native habitat. Overwatering during this dormant period can cause the bulbs to rot. Once the foliage has completely died back, you can stop watering altogether until the next growing season starts.

Are There Any Special Considerations For Overwintering Freesia Bulbs After Flowering?

Overwintering freesia bulbs requires a bit of attention, especially in colder climates. If you’re in a region where the ground freezes, the bulbs will need to be dug up, cleaned, dried, and stored in a cool, dry place until spring. Be sure to store them in a location that’s safe from rodents and other pests that might be tempted to snack on them.

In warmer climates where the ground doesn’t freeze, freesias can be left in the ground. However, it’s a good idea to mulch the area lightly to protect the bulbs from any unexpected cold snaps. Whether left in the ground or stored, they will require a period of dormancy before they’re ready to bloom again in the spring.