How to Deadhead Freesia

Two Methods:Deadheading the FlowersCaring For Freesias After Deadheading

Freesias are a highly fragranced flower with a long stem that grows from a bulb-like structure called a corm. ‘Deadheading’ means removing the spent or withered flower heads from a flowering plant after the blooms are past their best. The usual reason for doing it is that deadheading a plant stops the plant forming seed heads where the flower used to be, but in the case of freesias, the main reason to deadhead is to encourage repeat flowering. In order to deadhead your freesias properly, use the correct techniques and care for them after deadheading.

Method 1
Deadheading the Flowers

  1. Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 1
    Remove the spent flower when it has withered. Once the flower has withered, but before the seed head begins to form, you can remove the spent flower quickly and easily.
    • You can either do this by pinching the tender stem off with your fingers, or using a sharp clean blade.
    • Kitchen scissors are fine, but garden secateurs or a special deadheading tool is better.
    • You should remove the flower about a quarter inch below the flower head, at the top of the stem.
  2. Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 2
    Avoid removing foliage to preserve the plant's energy. It’s important not to remove any foliage when deadheading. Even after the flowering season has finished (usually by mid summer), the plant needs its foliage to store energy for the winter.
    • Leave the foliage on the plant, and it is more likely to return the following year and bloom again.
    • After flowering, it usually takes one and a half or two months for the foliage to grow back naturally.
  3. Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 3
    Cut back your foliage only when it has withered. Once the foliage has withered away and turned brown or yellow, it’s fine to cut it back because the plant has taken all the energy it needs.
    • Cut it back about 2 inches (5.1 cm) from the ground.
    • You can compost the foliage.
    • If it shows any sign of disease, don’t compost it and dispose of unhealthy growth by burning it or throwing it out with household trash.
    • This prevents an infection from spreading through the garden.

Method 2
Caring For Freesias After Deadheading

  1. Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 4
    Fertilize your freesias to ensure their health. Freesias will appreciate regular application of a high-potassium, water soluble fertilizer during the growing season.
    • Use a general purpose fertilizer or one specifically made for flowering plants.
    • Ground planted freesias will need feeding fortnightly.
    • Container grown freesias will need a weekly feed.
    • You might like to dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength, to prevent accidental overfeeding.
  2. Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 5
    Keep your freesias hydrated. Water your freesias during dry periods, but don’t allow their soil to become water logged.
    • Freesias like water but they don’t appreciate sitting in water logged soil.
    • Water logged soil can make the corms rot.
  3. Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 6
    Mulch the freesia's flower bed regularly. Freesias will benefit from mulching, as this keeps moisture in the soil.
    • Try putting a 2 inch (5.1 cm) layer of well-rotted manure or some leaf mold around the base of the plant as a mulch.
    • This will also keep weeds down.
  4. Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 7
    Let the freesias go dormant when the flowering stops. When flowering stops, give the plant a final feed and then cease watering, to encourage the plant to go dormant.
    • It’s best not to water the plant in the 6-8 weeks after flowering ends, because the plant should stay dry during this period.
  5. Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 8
    Protect your freesias from frost. Freesias can’t survive a frost. They are usually winter hardy in zones 9 and 10, but not beyond.
    • If you expect temperatures to drop close to freezing in your area, you will need to lift the corms to overwinter indoors.
      Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 8Bullet1
    • Do this once the foliage withers away or after the first frost.
    • They’ll keep over winter in peat or sand in a cool, dry place where the temperatures don’t fall below freezing.
    • You can also consider growing freesias in containers so you can just bring the container inside over the winter.
      Image titled Deadhead Freesia Step 8Bullet4
    • A heated space like a greenhouse or a garage attached to your house will work for this.

Article Info

Categories: Flower Arranging and Floral Art