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All about iris and freesia bulbs

RullahRullah Midlands UKPosts: 54
Hi all I planted about 100 iris bulbs this year. They have all flowered but the flowers literally lasted less than 48h before starting to wilt. Some of them also had a 2nd flower that looked like it was going to come through after the 1st one had died, but they all came though dead. Is this normal iris behaviour, or is it because they happened to come out on the hottest day of the year? Do I just need to deadhead them now and leave the foliage? 

I also planted 250 freesia bulbs at the recommended time, in various locations. Some in the ground some in pots, varying levels of sun, not a single one has made an appearance, not even any foliage?? Are they likely to come up next year or are they a lost cause?

Posts

  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 274
    I planted 17 freesia bulbs and 10 starflower bulbs that came from a Sainsbury's pack in late Apr after last frost. None of the freesia has showed up yet. 3 starflower stems have grown out and just started flowering last week.
  • RullahRullah Midlands UKPosts: 54
    I planted 17 freesia bulbs and 10 starflower bulbs that came from a Sainsbury's pack in late Apr after last frost. None of the freesia has showed up yet. 3 starflower stems have grown out and just started flowering last week.
    Oooh okay thats giving me hope then, knowing its not just me! Thanks for letting me know 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,079
    Iris flowers are short-lived but beautiful while they last. I find the bearded iris types hard to place in the garden because you can't really plant other things close to them to take over after the irises finish flowering , because the iris corms need to be exposed to the sun, not shaded. These days I just have I. sibirica (equally short-lived but less fussy), and the dwarf reticulata types for early spring flowers.
    I've never grown freesias - they're not hardy here and seem like a lot of bother - but see here for more info (other sellers available, but this is a nice clear "how-to" page).

  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 274
    Rullah said:
    I planted 17 freesia bulbs and 10 starflower bulbs that came from a Sainsbury's pack in late Apr after last frost. None of the freesia has showed up yet. 3 starflower stems have grown out and just started flowering last week.
    Oooh okay thats giving me hope then, knowing its not just me! Thanks for letting me know 
    I wondered the same and googled a bit. Read somewhere else that freesia bulbs are quite difficult to grow, so I've written them off now and won't try again  :/
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,129
    As @JennyJ says - freesias aren't hardy in most of the UK, so they're unlikely to survive outdoor planting.
    Lots of different Irises, but if it was the small reticulatas, they diminish over time. They flower at the end of winter/early spring, so I'm not sure which Irises you mean. Most of the others are grown from rhizomes, and some need consistently damp conditions, and some need the complete opposite - the bearded ones for example, as already said.

    There are also the Dutch ones [Hollandica] which are mainly grown for the florist industry. Those need quite dry, sunny conditions, but don't last year in year out either. I think it might be those ones that you've bought, as they flower around early summer. If so, you can certainly deadhead, and give them a feed as they die back, but don't expect too  much from them in future years :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,797
    I planted Freesia bulbs several years ago in a very poor, dry area, as I didn't know better then. Nothing happened until about 2 or 3 years later, when I'd forgotten all about them, leaves appeared. The following year they flowered and now flower every year. They are a bit feeble and floppy, but the flowerheads are good so I always cut them straight away for the house - they look like nothing outside. So unless you actually have to remove them, I would leave them and in a few years you might (or might not!) get a surprise.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,568
    Dutch iris bulbs like a well-drained soil in full sun and I expect the short flowering time was indeed due to excess heat.   If you dead head and feed them then leave the foliage to feed the bulbs for at least 6 weeks you should get some flowers next year.

    Freesias like a free draining soil too with plenty of organic matter.   They are not reliable hardy so in exposed gardens it's a good idea to plant in pots and keep them first free then put the pots out in spring.  They're supposed to like it to be around 20C for flowering which I only learned after planting mine out in full sun in beds that get 30+ so, if and when I see their foliage return, I shall move them to a cooler bed.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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