How to grow a tuberose

Written by dannah swift | 13/05/2017

Polianthes tuberosa, whose common name is tuberous, is a flowering plant grown for its intensely fragrant waxy, tubular flowers. The flowers may be white, pink or red and appear atop tall scapes that may be upward of 4 feet tall. Tuberous flowers in the summer. The plants are hardy from USDA zone 8 through 11, but in zones 5 through 7 they should be planted in the spring, lifted in the fall and stored through the winter, as they are injured below 10 degrees Celsius.

Find a warm, sunny site with well-draining soil.

Amend and loosen soil with organic compost or other type of organic matter. This will improve drainage and enrich the soil -- tuberous is a heavy feeder.

Plant rhizome clumps 2 to 3 inches deep and 8 to 10 inches apart if growing tuberous in its hardiness zone. If you're planting it farther north, plant the clump slightly deeper, at a depth of about 4 inches.

Water the rhizomes generously, soaking the soil at planting. Continue to provide regular, weekly moisture throughout the growing season.

Mulch the plants when they appear. Mulch will help conserve soil moisture.

Water plants until the foliage turns brown. Up until that point, even though the flowers have died, the plant is accumulating and storing energy for the following season and water is still necessary.

Lift the rhizomes in the fall with a gardening fork. Let them air dry for about 10 days then pack them in vermiculite or peat in a paper bag or box. Store them someplace where the temperature doesn't fall below 21.1 degrees Celsius until spring when the rhizomes can be replanted.


The Pearl is a variety that produces double flowers.

Tips and warnings

  • The Pearl is a variety that produces double flowers.

Things you need

  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Gardening fork
  • Vermiculite or perlite
  • Paper bag or box

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