Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Well here it is! The first buds on my 4 year old Double Flowering Tuberose (Polianthea tuberosa). (see posts December 29, 2006 and February 2, 2008.)

I’ve been trying to get a bloom for 4 years. Every year I’m tempted to add them to the compost pile. What did I do differently this year?

On advice from Doug Green at , “the deal with this plant is that is LOVES warmth. If you try to grow it cold (like early in the season) it is not going to be a happy camper. It is Mexican. Think warmth. Think long season of warmth because it is essentially an Agave plant. Think mature bulbs that may take several seasons of growing under great conditions until they reach blooming size (many inexpensive seed companies sell the tiny babies rather than established blooming size).”

The last few years I put the pot out on the deck in the middle of May. This year I didn’t put the pot outside until June. I kept it in the house in my sunniest spot until the nights were warm.

I purchased a 4 fl. oz bottle of Hawaiian Flower Magic (9-18-9) from Roberta's, Inc. at the Philadelphia Flower Show. The woman selling the fertilizer practically guaranteed it would get the tuberose to bloom (8 drops to a quart of water). I watered every time with the fertilizer mix. I filled a spray bottle with the fertilizer mix and sprayed the leaves often. I never let the pot dry completely.

I’m not sure if the bulbs were simply mature enough to bloom this year or if my adjustments in care allowed the buds to form. Whatever the reason, I’m delighted to see buds.

I’ll bring the tuberose into the house towards the end of August when the nights begin to cool. When it finishes blooming, I’ll put it in a cool place and discontinue watering for the winter. I’ll add a little soil in February and begin to water sparingly until I see some growth. They will need to be divided some day. Hopefully, next year there will be more blooms.

I’ll be sure to post a picture when the buds open. If you’ve had success with tuberose, please let me know.

More information on tuberose bulbs at Easy to Grow Bulbs and GardenWeb Forum

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes!!!! :-)