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Freesia: When to plant drought-tolerant, fragrant flower?

"When is the best time to buy and plant freesia bulbs?" That was the question that came into our Garden Clinic from Moorpark reader Alan Dorfman.

For an answer we turned to Alan Uchida, a third-generation nurseryman at Bellefontaine Nursery, which his family has run in Pasadena since 1939.

Uchida's response:

Freesia bulbs are actually thick underground stems called corms. They are best planted in the fall.

Two types of hybrids, Dutch and Tecolote, are usually sold as single or double flowers in bright red, pink or yellow, as well as white.

Freesia is a drought-tolerant South African plant with a wonderful fragrance — a must for a sunny garden in L.A.

We welcome questions at home@latimes.com. Please put "Garden Clinic" in the subject field. Because of the high volume of mail we receive, we can respond only to select questions.

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