How to Grow Wavyleaf Soap Plant

Wavyleaf soap plant image by Left Coast Bound/flickr.com

Overview

Wavyleaf soap plant is a member of the lily family. This perennial plant produces white flowers that open in blossom clusters and grows to heights between two and 10 feet. The native people who populated the western portions of the United States have used wavyleaf soap plant to make soap and glue products. During the day, wavyleaf soap plant is unremarkable. In the late afternoon, however, the white blossoms begin to open to reveal beautiful, star-shaped blooms.

Step 1

Select a growing area that receives full sunlight. Prepare the growing area in the early autumn. Work the soil down to a depth of approximately five inches with the garden spade. Add one to two inches of compost to the top of the soil and work this in well into the soil. Use a rake to make the soil surface level and finish preparing the growing area.

Step 2

Dig shallow holes for the bulbs that are about 18 to 24 inches apart. Place the bulbs into the holes and replace the soil around the bulbs so the tops of the bulbs are still visible above the soil.

Step 3

Wait for rain to come to irrigate the newly planted bulbs naturally. Watering them is unnecessary. Watch for the bulbs to sprout in the spring.

Step 4

Fertilize in the spring to encourage lush foliage. Add the granular fertilizer to the soil around the base of the plants (consulting package recommendations for amounts for your planting area). Work the fertilizer into the soil well. Fertilize once per month by mixing the fertilizer with water according to package recommendations.

Step 5

Apply a fungicide to the soap plants in subsequent springs after the plants have become established. Use the fungicide prior to the plants blooming at the beginning of the growing season to prevent fungal diseases from beginning on the wavyleaf soap plants. Follow package instructions for measurements for your growing area.

Step 6

Provide minimal water to the wavyleaf soap plant. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering. Give one to two buckets of water to each plant every two to three weeks. Watering deeply and less often is what wavyleaf soap plants prefer.

Step 7

Add one inch of light mulch around the roots of the plant prior to very cold winter temperatures. Remove the mulch in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Garden spade
  • Garden rake
  • Shovel
  • Wavyleaf soap plant bulbs
  • Organic all-purpose fertilizer (granular, slow-release)
  • Wide-range fungicide
  • Mulch (straw or leaves)

References

  • Wavyleaf Soap Plant
Keywords: wavyleaf soap plant, soap plant bulbs, make soap and glue products

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator and regular contributor to "Natural News." She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, crocheter, painter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. Hatter's Internet publications specialize in natural health and she plans to continue her formal education in the health field, focusing on nursing.

Photo by: Left Coast Bound/flickr.com