A tropical plant, tuberose, or polianthes, grows best as a houseplant except in tropical and subtropical climates. The plants grow throughout summer and produce flower spikes covered in small pastel-colored blossoms. Tuberose grows from bulbs and, like other bulb plants, it requires full sunlight to thrive. Proper lighting, particularly during winter, may be difficult to provide unless you use artificial lighting to ensure the plant receives the light it needs.
Fill a 6-inch diameter pot with a well-draining potting mix. Sow the tuberose bulb so the top of the bulb is 4 inches beneath the soil surface.
Install a grow light bulb into a single-tube fluorescent fixture. Alternately, install a warm white and cool white tube into a dual-tube fluorescent fixture.
Adjust the fixture so the light tubes sit 6 inches above the top of the pots. Elevate pots to the proper distance by placing bricks under them, or use an adjustable light fixture and raise and lower the lights as needed.
Water the pot from the top until the excess moisture drains from the bottom and into the drip tray. Empty the drip tray. Water tuberose when the top ½ to 1 inch of soil just begins to feel dry to the touch.
Plug the light fixture into a timer. Set the timer so the lights remain on 16 hours a day, or as needed based on amount of natural light recieved. Turn lights on only during the daytime when the tuberose would receive natural light if it were planted outdoors.
Fertilize tuberose every three weeks when the plant is actively growing. Apply a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer at the rate recommended on the package.
Cut off the foliage once it yellows and dies back naturally in later summer or early fall. Turn off the lights, as they aren't necessary until growth resumes the following year.
Things You Will Need
- Potting soil
- Light fixture
- Fluorescent tubes
- Supplement natural light with artificial light. Tuberose requires eight hours of natural sunlight. Subtract the amount of natural light received from eight, then multiply the remainder by two to find the amount of supplemental light required.
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