cut flower of the month
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Freesia x hybrida
free-zee-uh, FREE-see-uh HIGH-bri-duh)
inflorescences each comprise five to 10 trumpet-shaped florets
and/or buds along the top, upper side of a curved stem. Each
1-to-2-inch-long floret has six “petals,” or segments. These
sweetly fragrant blooms are available in single- and
double-flowered varieties. The smooth, thin and often branched
stems can be as long as 2 feet. Freesia foliage, which
may not be included in cut flower bunches, is narrow and sword
are available in reds, pinks, oranges, rust/bronze, yellows,
lavender, violet (purple), blue-violet, red-violet, white and
cream. Bicolored or multicolored varieties are available, as
Cut Freesias typically last four to 12 days at the
consumer level, depending on their care, their maturity at the
time of sale and the environmental conditions in which they’re
displayed. If the buds on the lateral (branching) stems develop
and open, the blooms generally will not be as large, be as
colorful or last as long as the blooms on the main stem.
Cut Freesias are available year-round from domestic and
immediately upon their arrival. Remove sleeves and stem bindings
as well as any loose leaves. Check flower quality.
Rinse stems under tepid running water, then recut them with a
sharp blade, removing at least 1 inch (or the entire white
portion) of stem. Immediately after cutting, dip or place stem
ends into a hydration solution to help the flowers absorb water
more quickly and easily.
For best results, place
Freesias immediately into a nutrient solution formulated
especially for bulb flowers (e.g., Chrysal Clear Professional
Bulb T-Bag™ or Floralife® Bulb Flower Food). If using a
bulb-flower-specific solution is not possible, place Freesias
into a standard flower-food solution. Whichever types of flower
food you use, prepare it with cold nonfluoridated water.
Fluoride can inhibit bloom development and opening and cause
flower and leaf tip burn.
Freesias, immediately place them into a floral refrigerator
at 33 F to 35 F, and allow them to hydrate for at least two
hours before selling or arranging them. Except for design time,
keep these flowers refrigerated until sold or delivered. Sell
cut Freesias within two days of receipt; prolonged
refrigeration can cause chilling injury and diminish fragrance.
Change the nutrient solution in storage containers and recut
stems every other day or so.
are moderately sensitive to ethylene, which causes buds and
blooms to drop, buds to become malformed or fail to develop and
open, petals to become translucent and blooms to die more
quickly, so make sure your purchases are treated with an
ethylene inhibitor at the grower level or during shipping. Also,
protect these flowers from sources of ethylene gas including
ripening fruit, decaying flowers and foliage, automobile exhaust
and tobacco smoke.
Wet storage is recommended for cut Freesias; do not store
these flowers dry.
Provide consumers with
packets of flower food, so they can prepare solution for their
flowers or to refill their arrangement containers. Give bulb
flower food (e.g., Chrysal Clear Bulb Food Sachets or Floralife®
Bulb Flower Food Packets) if purchases are all Freesias
or Freesias and other bulb flowers.
Advise customers to 1) display Freesias out of direct
sunlight and away from air/heat vents, 2) remove florets as they
fade, 3) check water level daily and add fresh flower-food
solution—made with cold, nonfluoridated water—as needed, 4)
recut stems at least one-half inch every other day or so to
ensure effective water uptake, 5) mist blooms daily and 6) place
the flowers in the coolest room at night.
Buy cut Freesias when the first bud on each stem is just
beginning to open and at least two additional buds are showing
color. If Freesias are cut too tight, many buds may not
Check inflorescences, stems and leaves for bruising, browning,
yellowing, mold and rot.
Not all varieties of cut Freesias perform equally, so
learn the names of the cultivars you purchase, monitor their
vase life and other characteristics, and order only the best
performing varieties in the future.
Some information provided
Life Network® ,
SAF Flower & Plant Care, by Terril A Nell, Ph.D. and Michael S.