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Trouble With Freesia Plants: Learn About Freesia Diseases And Pests

Trouble With Freesia Plants: Learn About Freesia Diseases And Pests


Carefree freesias in a garden space are a wonderful addition, but nothing in the plant kingdom is truly without worry. A few common problems plague freesias, but many are simple to deal with if you’re armed with the right knowledge. Let’s learn more about freesia troubles.

Freesia Plant Problems

Graceful and elegant, freesias bring some understated class to the garden border or can create a massively impressive planting all by themselves. Although these iris relatives are generally hardy, there are some diseases and pests that can cause them serious issues. When you have problems with freesias, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with so you can choose an appropriate course of action.

Freesia plants are pretty tough and hardly complain, but once in a while you’ll have trouble with freesia plants, so we put together a list of common freesia diseases and freesia pests to help make identification a little easier. Watch out for these common freesia plant problems:

Aphids. These soft-bodied sap-sucking insects can cause leaves and flowers to emerge twisted or cause yellowing in sufficient numbers. They’re simple to cure if you’re dedicated to spraying or wiping them away daily until the population is gone. Because ants sometimes farm aphids, it’s also important to place ant baits nearby anytime you’re plagued with aphids.

Slugs and snails. These land-based mollusks can wreak havoc on a garden with their nighttime visits, leaving chewed leaves and flowers behind. If you suspect slugs or snails, go out into the garden at night with a flashlight to confirm your suspicion, then handpick as many as you can find. Dunking them into a bucket of soapy water will dispatch the pests quickly. In addition, you may want to place beer traps around the garden in shallow dishes; just make sure you clean them daily. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled around plants may also help.

Bacterial soft rot. Caused by a bacterial infection, bacterial soft rot will start out as tiny water-soaked spots on leaves, stems or blooms, then enlarge and dry out, leaving a gray, black or brownish spot behind. In very wet conditions, sick plants may also exude a brownish mass of bacteria. There’s very little you can do once this disease has set in, but reducing moisture around plants with very mild infections can slow the progression. Generally, it’s best to discard or destroy infected plants to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

Fusarium wilt. Among the most frustrating garden diseases, Fusarium wilt is incurable once it has started. This fungal pathogen lies dormant in the soil, waiting for its chance to infect plants. When conditions are too wet or plants are overfertilized, you may notice your freesia begin to wilt despite adequate care. The yellow leaves and general decline that follows will usually end in death. Improve your garden drainage, solarize the soil and try again next year – you’ll have much better luck.

Iris leaf spot. Tiny, yellow to green water-soaked lesions can be an early sign of iris leaf spot, but it’s not long before they enlarge to about ¼ inch, or about 0.6 centimeters. Spots appear more aggressively once the plants have bloomed, often merging into bigger irregular areas. They can usually be kept in check by moving your freesias to a better draining site, removing all spent leaves at the end of the season, as well as when you’re dividing clumps. You can also remove infected tissue when it appears to reduce the number of active spores.


Variations available

There are an impressive 16 different species of Freesia flowers in existence, each one boasting equal measures of beauty and fragrance. These variants include:

  • Freesia caryophyllacea
  • Freesia andersoniae
  • Freesia alba
  • Freesia fergusoniae
  • Freesia fucata
  • Freesia grandiflora
  • Freesia viridis
  • Freesia laxa
  • Freesia corymbosa
  • Freesia sparrmannii
  • Freesia marginata
  • Freesia leichtlinii
  • Freesia occidentalis
  • Freesia refracta
  • Freesia speciosa
  • Freesia verrucosa

If you’re looking for pre-prepared combinations of Freesia plants, Serenata Flowers offer an array of options, including baskets and bouquets.


Ask a Question forum→Freesia disease identification (pic)?

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I'm about 90% sure of the culprit(s) but I want to ask other people to chime in because I am not an expert in freesia by any means.

I have been treating with a fungicide, virucide, and insecticide for two weeks and I have noticed an improvement. But I decided to use all three because I was not completely certain of the cause(s).

I appreciate any and all feedback.


For indoor plants, the most common culprit is insects, specifically spider mites. You can test to see if you have them by just running a leaf between your thumb and finger gently. If you see a reddish/orange or rusty stain on your fingers, spider mites are at work. A spray of mild soapy water solution at 1/2tsp. dish soap per quart works great. You need to repeat the treatment every 4 or 5 days for a couple of weeks to get any succeeding generations that may hatch as the soapy water will not kill a bug still in the egg.

What I'm seeing also is some burnt tips on the leaves, which might have been caused by too much fertilizer - did you fertilize a week or two before the symptoms showed up? Have these Freesias bloomed yet? Once they bloom, the foliage will mature, grow a new bulb then start to die back naturally so you can expect these to pretty much disappear over the summer anyway. You can put the pot outside in a dry, shady spot and bring it in to force new blooms next winter.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill


I don't mind using any products that are harsher than they need to be so long as they work. Nope, I had not fertilized until planting and then again maybe two-ish months before these symptoms started.


If you try one treatment for one thing eg. treat for insects first with the soapy water - then if it works you know what to watch for in future and you can prevent it or treat it sooner. It's also way WAY cheaper than spending $14 at the garden store on the chemical nuke. If it doesn't work, you move on to the next possibility. Baking soda in water is a good preventative for fungus on indoor plants. Nothing you use will reverse leaf damage so preventing new infestation or infection is what you need to work at.

Also, the insecticide in the shotgun formula is most likely a systemic - something that's taken up by the plant and then poisons the bugs when they feed on it. Many bugs are already resistant to a lot of systemics for the same reason our human diseases have become resistant to antibiotics. If you treat with the stuff repeatedly, and a few bugs survive the first treatment, they are then resistant and when they breed all the new bugs are resistant too. So your expensive chemical then becomes ineffective. Go the simple route first - always! It's just as effective, not as toxic to you or your environment, less expensive and the bugs don't develop resistance

Have your freesias bloomed yet? Only asking because you can expect the foliage to die back a month or two after flowering and there's nothing you can do about that.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill


Watch the video: How to Plant Freesias