Not the plant you're looking for? Search over 300,000 plants
Conservatory GreenhouseBulbs

Babiana stricta
  • RHS AGM

blue freesia

A tender, clump-forming perennial with erect, pleated, sword-shaped leaves and fragrant violet-blue, purple or yellow flowers, sometimes with a reddish eye, in spring

Join the RHS

Become an RHS Member today and save 25% on your first year

Join now
Buy this plant
Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1 year
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Purple Yellow
Summer
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Babiana are cormous perennials with ribbed, erect, narrowly lance-shaped leaves and spikes of often fragrant, funnel-shaped flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Africa

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow under glass from corms in autumn. Plant into John Innes No 2 compost and grow on in full light. Apply a weak, balanced liquid fertiliser every 3 weeks before flowering. Dry off as the leaves die down in summer. Corms can also be bought in spring for planting outside for a one off summer blooming, but after this, would need to be grown under glass and allowed to winter grow. Plant corms 15cm (6in) deep

Propagation

Propagate by seed as soon as ripe in autumn in a temperature of 13°C-15°C (55°F-59°F). Remove offsets when the corms are dormant in autumn. Pot into equal parts loam-based compost and sharp sand

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Glasshouse red spider mite may be a problem

Diseases

Generally disease-free

My Garden

Your free RHS gardening coach

Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully

My plants
My calendar

My plants

My calendar

My ideas
Manage membership

My ideas

My advice

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.