Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Polianthes tuberosa, photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story
Polianthes tuberosa, photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 7-9, 14-24, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Polianthes tuberosa

Tuberose

Perennials, Flowers

Native to Mexico. Grown for the heady, powerfully sweetfragrance of its flowers. Eachrhizome (actually a modifiedrhizome with bulblike top andtuberous roots) produces afountain of narrow, grassyleaves about 1 1/2 ft. high. Flower spikes rise above the leaves, bearing loose whorls of tubular, glistening white flowers in summer or early fall. Tallest tuberose (to 3 1/2 ft.) is the form sometimes sold as ‘Mexican Single’. More widely sold is double-flowered ‘The Pearl’, to 2 1/2 ft. high; it is a good garden variety, but single types provide longer-lasting cut flowers.

To bloom year after year, tuberoses need a long warm season (at least 4 months) before flowering.Where this can be providedoutdoors, you can plant rhizomes directly in the ground; elsewhere, start them indoorsin pots and plant outside aftersoil warms in spring. Set rhizomes 2 in. deep and 4–6 in. apart. If soil or water is alkaline,apply acid fertilizer whengrowth begins. When foliagestarts to yellow in fall, stopwatering. Dig plants, cut offdead foliage, let rhizomes dryfor 2 weeks, and store in a cool, dry place until planting time. Tuberoses can also be grown in containers and moved to protection during cold weather.

You Might Also Like...

Phormium hybrids

These crosses between P. cookianum andP. tenax were selected for distinctive leaf co...

Phormium cookianum

Leaves arch gracefully, drooping at the tips; they grow 4–5 ft. long, 2 1/2–3 in. wide. Mature clumps ...

Polianthes tuberosa

Native to Mexico. Grown for the heady, powerfully sweetfragrance of its flowers. Eachrhizome (actually...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement