Plant Profile: Tuberose
It is a member of the Agave family. The scientific name, polianthes means "many flowers" in Greek, as the plant produces clusters of small white, waxy flowers along the thick spikes. Flowers can be single or double blooms. The spikes can grow to be up to 3 ft tall and can bear a dozen or more blooms. Long, bright green leaves, which are similar to daylilies, can be found growing at the base of the plant with the smaller leaves along the stem.
Interesting Facts about the Tuberose:
The fragrant tuberose is a keyingredient in perfumes; it has a strong, sweet intoxicating scent. In southern France, tuberose has been cultivated for centuries for the perfume industry.
- During the time of the Aztecs in Mexico, tuberose oil was used to flavour chocolate
- The tuberose hold significant meaning in East Indian cultures and is often used in wedding ceremonies and other traditional rituals
- The flower is commonly used in Hawaiian leis
- In the Victorian times, the tuberose was considered a funeral flower
- Tuberose essential oil can be used as a deodorant, sedative, relieve stress and alleviate skin irritation.
Tuberose (polianthes) is a bulbous plant thought to be native to Mexico and is grown for its sweet fragrance. Tuberoses are night bloomers, with the flowers being the most fragrant after dusk.
Tuberoses are often grown as annuals, but in warmer climates, they can grow all year round! But you need to have patience, as they are slow to bloom. They can be planted in the spring, when there is no threat of frost. They would be a lovely additional to any landscape, particularly if you want to create a fragrant, cut flower garden. Plant in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil. Be sure to space bulbs at least 6 inches apart and cover with 2 inches of soil. Add a layer of mulch to help keep the bulbs moist. Water weekly.
Flowers will generally bloom from mid to late summer. In cooler climates, they may not bloom until August, but the bulbs can be started indoors in the spring. At the end of the growing season, be sure to dig them up and store them for next year.
To make the most of their fragrance, plant tuberoses close to your mailbox or front door, where you can smell them regularly. In the garden, they can be used as accent flowers, borders and planted in masses; they would look lovely planted with canna lilies. Moreover, tuberoses can also be planted in containers.
Tuberoses make excellent cut flowers and are often used to create fragrant bouquets, especially for weddings. And like tulips, tuberoses have a tendency to bend towards the light, but the top buds can be pinched to avoid this.
Climate zones: 8-10