Freesia laxa

Gastil Gastil-Buhl
Tue, 28 May 2013 14:49:34 PDT
Mary Sue wrote:
"None of the seeds germinated for me. It's strange 
that this plant from a summer rainfall area blooms for her in winter (January)."

The pale blue Freesia laxa I grow are all from a single parent plant which I got in the 1990s from UCSB, who got it from UCI.

Because these grow so easily for me, I have not done germination tests nor kept much of a record of how I grow them. Until I learned about the PBS BX, I used to toss the seeds into whatever pot of succulents was within reach. I only noticed when they grew. I do not know what germination rate to expect. I sow them very shallow or even just toss them on the soil surface.

This past year Ive grown these in their own pots, on a wire shelf under an arbor of vines, protected from frost. Their indicator plants are self-sown Impatiens that dry out much faster than anything else on that shelf so these pots get a lot more frequent watering than my other bulbs. Their soil is nothing special, just half bagged mix and half sand and pumice, roughly. I crowd them way too much in the pots.

I set the terra-cotta pots on a wire shelf and let their leaves grow up thru the wire shelf above them as a support. Otherwise the floppy leaves just fall over the edge of the pot. They seem to like having their lower stems more open in the air like this. I got twice as many seed pods this year as last year.

The flowering period has varied. This year I had flowers from January through April, with a few stragglers either end. This is more than in past years. They are beginning to go dormant now but there are still a dozen green pods maturing. I have never attempted to put them on a particular growing cycle. When they sprout I water them. When they begin to turn brown I stop watering them. They also get chance water; I do not move the pots onto the dry storage shelves over the summer.

- Gastil

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