Enjoy Freesias During the Last of the Winter Chill

Thanks to the efforts of hybridizers, freesias stepped into the limelight and gave us something to look forward to in the depths of winter. The only caveat is that the more colorful freesias tend to dilute their signature fragrance. White freesias typically emit the most alluring aroma, exhaling that vanilla/gumdrop/cinnamon essence. Yellow freesias are almost (but not quite) equal to the whites in the perfume realm. But the blues, reds, coppers, and other shades send forth a decidedly diluted high note compared to their less colorful compatriots.

Photography by Kindra Clineff

These winter beauties linger as cut flowers, prolonging the thrill over weeks of heady captivation. To extend the show, bring home stems with one lower flower open and many promising buds. Give the stems cool water and replenish that water often—freesias are thirsty drinkers. If you purchase plants, grow the corms in a cool location such as a spare bedroom, mudroom, or minimally heated porch where temperatures plummet (but do not freeze) at night. Support the arching stems as they curl around—fallen twigs will do the job, adding a natural spin to the display. And then, sit back and enjoy the pageant.