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How to Grow Tritonia Plants

Guide to Growing Flame Freesia, Montbretia and Blazing Star

Members of the Tritonia genus are hardy bulbs that are sometimes treated as annuals by gardeners.

They range from 15 to 60 cm in height.

Tritonia blooms in the middle of summer and carries red, orange, yellow, pink or white funnel shaped flowers.

The foliage is sword shaped and flat.

Some common names for members of Tritonia are Blazing Star, Flame Freesia, and Montbretia.

Tritonia lineata
Tritonia lineata by Tony Rodd; Creative Commons.

Tritonia crocata
Tritonia crocata by Eric in SF; Creative Commons.



Quick Tritonia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Flame Freesia, Lined Tritonia, Blazing Star, Montbretia.
Life Cycle: Bulb commonly grown as an annual by gardeners.
Height: 4 to 24 inches (10 to 60 cm).
Native: Southern Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 7 to 10.
Flowers: Spring and/or summer.
Flower Details: White, cream, yellow, brown, red, orange, pink. Funnel-shaped. Bowl-shaped. Fragrant.
Foliage: Fan-shaped. Sword-shaped.
Sow Outside: Spacing 4 to 10 inches (10 to 30 cm).
Seed: cover seed. Autumn in warm areas; early spring in mild/cooler areas. Best grown from corms in cold areas.
Corm: 4 inches (10 cm). Autumn in warm areas. Spring in other areas.
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to two months. Temperature 55°F (13°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors a few weeks after the last frost or in autumn in warmer areas.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Rich soil. Sandy soil. Organic soils. Mix in cow manure. One feed. Regular watering in the growing season. Winter mulch. Bring bulbs indoors for the winter in cooler areas. Propagate: offsets in autumn in warm areas or a few weeks after the last frost in other areas.
Miscellaneous: The name for the genus comes from the latin for the phrase “Weather vane”.

How to Grow Blazing Star, Flame Freesia, and other Tritonia Plants in the Garden

Blazing Star and other Tritonia species can be grown from seeds or corms. The Corms should be buried in the autumn at about 8 to 10cm deep with a spacing of 10 to 20 cm. Tritonia Seeds should be sown in spring and lightly covered. Ideally it is best to grow Blazing star in a sunny part of the garden that has good drainage and a sandy soil that has had manure added to it. It should take about three years for Blazing stars that have been sown from seeds to flower.

If you want to start Blazing star off indoors then do so about two months in advance; they can be transplanted outdoors just after the last frost of spring. Germination of Blazing stars and other Tritonia takes from one to three months at a temperature of 12 to 15 degrees centigrade.

Caring for Tritonia Plants

It takes a little (not much) effort to look after Tritonia plants such as Blazing star, Flame Freesia and Montbretia; give them a good mulch in the winter to protect them from the elements; they should be fed once during the growing season and watered regularly. Once they have flowered they not require watering. If you require more Tritonia plants then plant the offsets that they readily produce.


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