How to Plant a Polyanthus

Written by jenny harrington Google
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The polyanthus lily (Polianthes) or tuberous, grows from a bulb. The bulb stores the nutrients and energy that fuel the plant's growth and flowering. Polianthes is a summer-flowering bulb that produces an 18-inch long flower stalk. Clusters of fragrant, white blossoms grow along one side of the stalk. Polianthus requires yearly replanting from U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 5 to 8 as it can't survive frost or cool spring weather. Sowing the bulbs properly ensures the plants attain peak bloom each year.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Compost
  • Bulb fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Till and loosen the soil in a well-drained, full-sun garden bed in late spring after all frost danger is past. Work a 2-inch layer of compost into the soil to improve the quality and moisture-retaining properties of the soil.

  2. 2

    Plant the polianthes bulb so the top sits 4 inches beneath the soil surface. Set the bulb in the planting hole with the pointed end facing upward. Space the bulbs 8 inches apart in clusters of five bulbs. Space the bulb clusters 12 to 18 inches apart.

  3. 3

    Dilute a soluble bulb fertiliser in water, following the fertiliser to water ratio recommended on the package. Water the newly planted bulbs with the fertiliser solution.

  4. 4

    Water the bed once or twice a week so the top 6 inches of soil remains moist. Polianthes grows in soil that remains moist but doesn't become waterlogged.

  5. 5

    Fertilise the bed once monthly with the soluble bulb fertiliser. Replace the weekly watering with the fertiliser watering during application weeks.

Tips and warnings

  • Polianthes bulbs can't survive temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. Dig up the bulbs and store them indoors once the plants die back in fall.
  • Polyanthus lilies are hardy perennials in zones 8 to 11.

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