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Freesia laxa var. alba AGM

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Conservatory/Greenhouse or Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Resilience

Hardiness

H3 (half hardy - unheated greenhouse/mild winter)

Colour

Flower

White in Spring

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0-0.1 metre

Time to ultimate height

1 year


Preferred common name

white flowering grass

Family

Iridaceae


Freesia are cormous deciduous perennials with erect, linear to narrowly lance-shaped leaves and upright stems bearing terminal racemes of slender-tubed, salver-shaped or trumpet-shaped flowers that are usually scented

F. laxa var. alba is a slender cormous perennial with narrow leaves and lax racemes of long-tubed, starry white flowers in late spring or early summer

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Freesias are naturally winter-growers starting into growth in autumn through to late spring so need to be grown in a frost-free greenhouse. Plant in pots of John Innes No.2 loam-based compost with added grit sand. Place in full light with good ventilation, water well and feed monthly until flower buds form. After flowering dry off pots and store dry over the summer. Corms can also be stored dry over the winter and planted in well-drained soil in spring for later flowering. Lift in autumn and store dry

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Sow seed in containers at 13-18°C in autumn or winter. Remove offsets in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Gravel Garden or Wall-side Borders


How to care

Pruning

Foliage can be removed after it dies down after flowering

Pests

Susceptible to glasshouse red spider mite, aphids

Diseases

Susceptible to Fusarium wilt and a virus