How to Grow Tuberose

Overview

Tuberose, also known by its scientific name, Polianthes tuberosa, is a tender perennial bulb native to Mexico, where it was first domesticated by the Aztecs. Today, gardeners around the world value the plant for its attractive, fragrant white blossoms. In the United States and other temperate regions, gardeners grow tuberose as an annual garden plant, as it requires warm soil temperatures to survive. Because the plant is only hardy in zones 8 through 10, tuberose bulbs are dug and stored through winter in cooler regions.

Step 1

Plant tuberose during late spring after all danger of frost has passed. Choose a planting site that consists of rich, sandy, well-drained soil and receives six to eight hours of full sunlight throughout the day.

Step 2

Dig a hole in the soil about 2 inches deep and place the bulb into the hole with the top of the tuber slightly exposed. Space the bulbs 6 to 8 inches apart to allow plenty of room for growth. Water once every week until plants emerge from the soil.

Step 3

Apply a 1-inch layer of organic mulch over the soil surrounding tuberose to conserve moisture and deter weeds. Begin the mulch about 3 to 4 inches from the base of the plant to decrease the risk of disease and to allow enough air circulation.

Step 4

Water once every 10 days after the plants have emerged from the soil. Increase the frequency of watering to once every five days during periods of extreme heat and drought. Do not over-water or the tubers may rot.

Step 5

Feed tuberose once every two weeks with a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Apply at the rate described on the product's label for optimal growth. Stop fertilizing immediately after flowering ends to prepare the plants for dormancy.

Step 6

Dig up tuberose tubers during late fall, just before the first frost of the year. Store the tubers in peat moss at a constant temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Replant in the garden during spring after all danger of frost has passed.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Peat moss

References

  • Michigan State University Extension: Polianthes Tuberosa
  • MarthaStewart.com: Tuberose--Polianthes Tuberosa
  • "Agaves, Yuccas, and Related Plants: A Gardener's Guide"; Gary Irish; 2000
Keywords: tuberose, Polianthes tuberosa, tuberoses

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.