Tuberose or Poliantes: Outdoor Growing Tips

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Tuberose or Poliantes: Outdoor Growing Tips
Tuberose or Poliantes: Outdoor Growing Tips

Description of the tuberose plant, how to plant and care for the garden plot, how to reproduce, how to ensure the fight against possible diseases and pests, interesting notes, species and varieties.

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) can be found in botanical sources as Polyantes tuberous, but the genus is not limited to this one species. These plants are perennials and are included in the genus of the same name Polianthes, which in turn belongs to the Agavoideae subfamily. Well, the latter belongs to the extensive Asparagaceae family, or as it is sometimes called Asparagusaceae. The homeland of tuberose is considered to be Mexican territories, and on the lands of Europe and Asia, this representative of the flora was introduced only in the 16th century.

Perfumers and ordinary residents had a great deal with the scent of its flowers, for example, in the French city of Grasse, which has long been recognized as the "capital of spirits", tuberose has filled all spaces in large quantities. And even today, such fragrant flowers are found in local gardens. However, for sale and as a material for perfumery products, this representative of the flora is cultivated in India today.

Family name Asparagus or Asparagus
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds With the help of corms or children, rarely seeds or cuttings
Open ground transplant terms Not earlier than May
Landing rules Corms are placed 5-10 cm apart, when planting in rows, the row spacing is left 15 cm
Priming Nutritious, lightweight and well-drained
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral)
Illumination level Well lit place
Humidity level Regular but moderate watering
Special care rules It is recommended to apply fertilizers
Height options 0.45-1 m
Flowering period Depends on the species from April to October throughout the month
Type of inflorescences or flowers Spike inflorescence
Color of flowers Snow white or red
Fruit type Seed capsule
The timing of fruit ripening Late summer or October
Decorative period Summer-autumn
Application in landscape design Decoration of flower beds and mixborders, for growing in garden containers and cutting
USDA zone 5 and more

The genus began to bear its scientific name due to the type of its root system, which is represented by tubers, therefore "tuberosa", is rooted in the term "tuber", which means - a tuber. In the East Indian regions, tuberose is called the Queen of the Night or Ratkirani. The people can hear such nicknames as "hyacinth from India" or "Keeper of smells". Well, the term "Polianthes" is most likely associated with a large number of flowers in the inflorescence, as it is composed by such terms as "polla" and "anthos", which translates as "many" and "flower", respectively.

All tuberoses have stems, elongated outlines, reaching a height of 0.45 m, although these parameters in some species during flowering can vary within 0.8–1 m. The top of the stems is decorated with clusters of flowers exuding a strong pleasant aroma. The leaf plates unfold near the flowers. The shape of the leaves is elongated, narrowed with a pointed tip at the top, the foliage is painted in a bright green color. In the root zone, a rosette is assembled from the leaves, the diameter of which reaches about half a meter. In this case, the width of the leaves is 1–3 cm.Typically, tuberose leaves are present in the root zone and the lower part of the stem, at the top it is bare, with a smooth surface. The entire above-ground part is renewed annually.

Tuberose is characterized by a tuberous root system, as mentioned earlier, composed of elongated bulbs. Their diameter can be 2–6 cm, in addition, the entire surface is covered with brown scales. In the lower part (at the bottom) of the corm, you can see the roots, in the form of elongated whitish threads. Each of the bulbs lives for 1-2 years. During this time, there is an increase in deciduous mass, originating from the corm and peduncle, on which the inflorescence will form. Tuberose does not bloom in the first year of the growing season. When the flowering process is completed in the second growing season, the mother corm dies off, giving rise to several young bulbs - babies.

Flowering in polyanthes depends on its species, and can begin from mid-spring, stretching until October, but on average, tuberose blooms for no more than a month. A flowering stem is pulled out of the corm, the top of which becomes the place of formation of an inflorescence of fragrant flowers. The shape of the inflorescence is spike-shaped, and it is because of him that the height of the "Queen of the Night" reaches meter indicators.

When the buds are closed, they have a soft pinkish tint. Each tuberose flower is located on a separate pedicel, drooping down. The corolla of the tuberose flower is an elongated tube and several rows of snow-white petals with pointed tops. The flower can vary in length within 5–6 cm, with a diameter of 3–5 cm. Although the petals are delicate in appearance, they are rather dense, as if molded from wax.

The aroma of tuberose is quite strong and in the countries of its natural growth, it is customary to decorate the clothes of the newlywed with inflorescences and include them in festive bouquets. In each inflorescence, you can count from ten to three dozen buds. However, the flower lives for only 2-3 days. Blossoming buds are taken from the lower tiers, gradually reaching the top.

After the flowers of tuberose are pollinated, the fruits ripen, taking the form of a box filled with seeds. There are a lot of them in the fruit, the size of the seeds is small, the shape is flattened.

The plant, although it requires some effort when growing, will become bright and fragrant garden decoration, you just have to not violate the rules of agricultural technology presented below.

How to plant and care for tuberose outdoors?

Tuberose blooms
  1. Landing place a plant such as polyanthes should be well lit, as this will directly affect the quality and splendor of flowering. However, with a sunny location, there is a need for more frequent moistening of the soil. Tuberose corms should not be planted in areas where groundwater lies close or moisture can stagnate after precipitation. Hyacinths from India can also thrive in partial shade, as well as on the east or west side of the site, when no direct sunlight hits the bushes at noon.
  2. Priming when planting tuberose, a nutritious and light one is selected so that it has good drainage. The acidity indicators of the soil mixture should be in the range of pH 6, 5–7 (that is, the soil is preferable to be neutral).
  3. Planting tuberose. Since the plant is thermophilic, it can be successfully cultivated in climates with mild winters. In our latitudes, such cultivation will be somewhat complicated by the fact that it will be necessary for the winter period to dig up corms and store them until a new spring planting. However, it should not be taken up until the end of May. To grow tuberose in our climatic zone, it is recommended to germinate it. In this case, the corms of polyanthes are planted in pots filled with chopped moss or peat.Germination is carried out in warm and dark conditions. When planting a bulb, river sand, a so-called "pillow", should be placed in the hole, which will protect the roots of the plant from waterlogging and help prevent moisture from stagnating. Tuberose corms are set so that they are located vertically upward in the planting pits, while the root collar is at a depth of 2-3 cm from the surface, for children this parameter should be even less. Planting depth should be about 1–2 cm, but this directly depends on the size of the corm. After that, watering is necessary. The rules for cultivating tuberose are somewhat similar to the cultivation of gladioli. When germinating in containers, hyacinth sprouts from India can be seen above the soil surface after a month has passed from planting, then the pot is placed in a well-lit place, they begin to water and fertilize tuberose. If you do not want to transplant plants of the "Queen of the Night" into open ground, then the containers with the arrival of spring heat are taken out into the fresh air and placed in such a place so that light shading is provided. Only when 4 weeks of such content have passed can the pots of tuberoses be placed in an open sunny location. And only when autumn days come, the pot with polyanthes is again transferred to a cool and shaded place (for example, a cellar or a shed, but always dry). When planting, it should be remembered that tuberose does not tolerate thickening, therefore it is recommended to place the planting holes for the bulbs at a distance of 5-10 cm from each other, but when planting in rows, the row spacing should be about 15 cm. If this rule is violated, then the corm not enough children are formed.
  4. Watering in the process of caring for tuberose, a moderate, but regular, is recommended, as soon as the topsoil has dried. It is important that the substrate is not waterlogged, and moisture does not stagnate in it, otherwise it can provoke fungal diseases. Also, soil moisture will depend on weather conditions, if the period turned out to be rainy, then watering should be reduced, but in heat and drought, of course, increased. Since tuberose is famous for its thermophilicity, it is recommended to water it only with warm water.
  5. Fertilizers when growing tuberose, it is recommended to apply several times during the growing season (preferably three times). You can use both organic products (compost or humus) and complete mineral complexes for flowering plants (for example, Fertika-Plus or Mister-Tsvet). If the plant does not have enough top dressing, then this is immediately visible by its external characteristics - the leaf plates begin to curl and fly around, and flowering stops. You should not apply a lot of fertilizers, which contain nitrogen, since too much nitrogen leads to the fact that the stems and foliage of tuberose will fall. The best time to fertilize is spring (immediately after planting) and before flowering. Some gardeners make a solution from chicken droppings, wood ash and weeds, soaked in a barrel of water. When the mixture begins to ferment, it indicates that it is ready for use. Then this solution is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10 and the polyanthes is fed.
  6. Storage tuberose corms should be carried out at a temperature of 15-18 degrees. After the corms and children have been separated, everything should be placed in a container filled with slightly moistened moss or peat chips. It is recommended to divide the nest every 3-4 years due to the fact that the plants will become smaller and the flowering will weaken and lose its splendor.
  7. General advice on care. Tuberose has a very negative attitude to waterlogging of the soil, therefore, when it rains for a long time, it is recommended to stretch a plastic wrap over the plantings of polyanthes.
  8. The use of tuberose in landscape design… When grown outdoors, the "queen of odors" is perfect for planting in flower beds and flower beds, it can also be placed in garden containers and curbs with the help of such bushes. The spike-shaped inflorescences of tuberose in the cut show themselves quite well. But it is best to cut the flower-bearing stems when there are already 4-8 blossoming flowers in the inflorescence. It is noticed that if you cut the inflorescence from the buds or at the very beginning of flowering, then putting the bouquet in water, you can not wait for the upper flowers to open.

Read also about the agrotechnology of planting gleditsia and caring for it in the open field.

How to reproduce tuberose?

Tuberose in soil

To grow a young plant of the "Queen of the Night", adult bulbs or their babies are planted, in rare cases, seed is used. There is a possibility of using the vegetative method, carrying out the rooting of cuttings and young shoots that are formed over time from the buds on the lateral surfaces of the corms.

Reproduction of tuberose by children

In July, next to the adult corms of polyanthes, the formation of small bulbs, called "children", occurs. They can be had already a year after the adult specimen was planted.


Timely separation of babies from the mother's corms will contribute to its early flowering.

Each of the tuberose corms can have up to two dozen babies per season. Only those of them should be allocated, the diameter of which will be equal to 2 cm. It is recommended to dig up the maternal corms after the plant has faded and October comes, since this is the period necessary for the complete maturation of the corms. When the leaf plates began to fade, the tuberose bulbs can already be removed from the soil, cleaned of the remains of the earth and dried.

It is after drying that the mother's corms of the "Queen of the Night" and her children can be separated. All received material is sent to be stored until spring. When the children are dropped off, then after a year or two you can grow them to large sizes and then flowering arrows will appear.

Forcing tuberose bulbs

If the separated hyacinth corms from India have a diameter of at least 2 cm, then they are recommended to be planted between June and July in pots filled with the above soil mixture. Care should be like a plant planted in open ground, but with the arrival of autumn, containers with planted bulbs are moved to greenhouse conditions. When 7-8 months pass (and this will directly depend on the temperature conditions and the level of lighting), the buds of tuberose bloom. Such flowering will delight by the New Year holidays, filling the rooms with a fragrant aroma.

Reproduction of tuberose by seeds

is a rather complex process, since seedlings in the first growing season remain very weak and often die.

How to ensure the control of diseases and pests when growing tuberose in the open field?

Blooming Tuberose

Since the Ratkirani plant contains essential oils, their aroma tends to repel most of the harmful insects. The biggest problem for tuberose is the bears and their larvae, which gnaw the roots and lead to the death of the entire bush. Both chemical and folk remedies are used to destroy pests. As the first, you can use the drug Medvetox, and among the people, the bear is destroyed by watering the soil with a solution based on bird droppings and water, or strong-smelling plants, such as chrysanthemums or garlic, are planted nearby.

If during feeding a large amount of nitrogen was introduced, then this can lead to tuberose damage by spider mites or slugs, since the deciduous mass will grow very much. The first pest should be used when processing systemic insecticides such as Kleschevita, Fitoverma or Aktara.Gastropods are eliminated using means such as Meta-Thunderstorm or sprinkled with wood ash or crushed eggshells on the surface of the soil, which will prevent the pests from moving.

Also a problem in the cultivation of tuberose is aphids, which multiply in large quantities and such small greenish bugs actively suck out nutritious juices from the leaves and stems of the plant. Also, aphids can become a carrier of viral diseases, which cannot be cured, and all plantings must be removed. For control, insecticidal agents are also in use, for example, Actellik or Karbofos, or you can spray the plants with a solution based on laundry soap.

The main diseases affecting tuberose are:

  • fusarium, in which the leaves curl at the same time, their tips turn yellow;
  • gray rot, affecting corms and stems. The first ones become soft and blacken, and spots of brown color form on the stems.

To combat such fungal diseases, tuberose should be removed from the soil, all affected parts should be removed and treated with fungicides (for example, Fundazol or Bordeaux liquid) and slightly dry the bush. As a preventive measure, it is recommended that when planting in the substrate, add a couple of peas of the drug Trichodermin, which will serve as protection against diseases caused by fungi and will increase the rooting rate.

Also, when growing tuberose, the following problems may arise. On the advice of some gardeners, after digging the corms, the children are not separated from them. However, in the future, this will weaken the mother's bulb, since young formations will draw juices from it for their growth. Still, it is better to carry out a separation after digging and store all sorted corms separately. With the arrival of spring, planting should be carried out separately for each bulb, and not for a whole bulb nest.

Interesting notes about the tuberose flower

Tuberose is growing

The plant has long conquered people with the aroma of its flowers, and in the countries of its natural growth it was used to decorate wedding ceremonies, the attire of the newlyweds, and also decorated the premises with tuberose inflorescences. Despite the many colorful epithets that people awarded this representative of the flora (queen of fragrances, keeper of smells, and the like), there are some that directly indicate another property. The fragrance of blooming flowers in tuberose becomes much stronger with the arrival of the evening hours, so you can hear such a nickname as "Queen of the Night".

The essential oil obtained from the flowers of tuberose has not lost its value today (it is one of the most expensive in the world) and, just like in former times, it is used both in the perfumery industry and for aromatherapy. And although tuberose from India came to France in 1632 and it was grown in large quantities everywhere, but for industrial purposes this plant is cultivated in Morocco, China and the same India.

Due to the very strong and literally intoxicating aroma of tuberose in European and Indian countries, it was previously forbidden for young girls to walk (especially in the company of gentlemen) nearby flowering thickets. This is because it was believed that this smell is capable of awakening erotic dreams and fogging the mind.

Types and varieties of tuberose

Despite the fact that there are about thirteen types of polyanthes, the following are the most popular in horticulture:

In the photo Tuberose tuberous

Tuberose tuberose (Polyanthes tuberosa)

or Tuberous polyantes, it is he who is called glorified and familiar to everyone Tuberose… The leaf plates are very similar in shape to the representatives of the family of cereals. Their width is only 1–2 cm with a length ranging from 35–50 cm. The height of flower-bearing stems in garden forms can be measured at 0.8–1 m. Flowers collected in spike-shaped inflorescences amaze with graceful outlines. Their snow-white petals are reminiscent of porcelain or wax. There can be 18–20 concretes in an inflorescence.

Tuberose bloom begins 1–1.5 months after planting, and this period falls on July-August or September. Flowers begin to bloom from the lower tiers of the inflorescence, although their lifespan is short and is only 2-4 days. But on average, the decorativeness of the inflorescence will last about three weeks. Today, varieties have been bred that have a cream, pink or crimson hue.

Among the varieties of tuberose tuberous, high popularity is observed in the following:

  • Pearl or Pearl, characterized by a snow-white color of flowers, but a double corolla structure. The flowers are very fragrant, when fully expanded they look like stars. The color of the petals is white, the corolla, when opened, reaches 5 cm in diameter. Oblong leaves can stretch up to 30 cm in length. Suitable in our climate for pot cultivation. The height of the stems can vary in the range of 60–90 cm. The flowering process begins in August or September.
  • Pink Sapphire or Pink sapphire, is a new variety, also with double flowers, but with a pinkish or lilac shade of petals.
  • Sensation or Sensation, in which the inflorescence is formed from simple flowers.
  • Shringar in Hindi it translates as "decoration". Flowers with a pinkish tint, tuberose tuberose variety is applicable in industrial development and cultivation. The aroma that characterizes the blossoming inflorescences is very strong, literally intoxicating. Growing indoors is difficult. Today, this variety of tuberose tuberose is cultivated on plantations to obtain essential oil used in the perfumery industry in China and India.
  • Cinderella or Cinderella, the inflorescence contains spectacular flowers with lilac-pink petals, the edge of which is purple.
  • Yellow Baby or Yellow baby, got its varietal name thanks to the petals of flowers of a pastel yellow color.
In the photo, Tuberose broadleaf

Broadleaf tuberose (Polyanthes platyphillus)

or Polyantes broadleaf… It is characterized by the presence of leaf plates in the root zone of broad-linear outlines, with a shiny surface and a light green tint. The length of the corm is 5 cm with a diameter of 2–3 cm. The diameter of the open corolla of the flower reaches 4 cm. The flowers grow single, attached to the stems by drooping pedicels. The aroma is pleasant, but barely perceptible. Monthly flowering begins between April and May. Moreover, this species is considered wild by botanists.

In the photo Tuberose Geminiflora

Tuberose geminiflora (Polianthes geminiflora)

or Polyantes Geminiflora occurs under the name synonymously Bravoa geminiflora (Bravoa geminiflora). The plant grows naturally in dry winter oak forests in Mexico. In early to mid-summer, it blooms in pairs, the color of the flowers can vary from reddish-orange to yellow. The bushes grow in highly mineralized clay soils and are used to a 6-month dry season. It is recommended to water and provide almost bright lighting from May 15 to October 15. This species grows in warm temperate oak forests at an altitude of about 1,700 m, so it should adapt well to outdoor cultivation in the United States during the summer. Corms reach 1 cm.

In the photo, Tuberose Howard

Howard's Tuberose (Polianthes Howardii) or Howard's Polyanthes

is native to Jalisco and Colima in Mexico. It is a vigorous grower for the lands of Honolulu and Hawaii, characterized by year-round flowering. The colors of the flowers are attractive with their unusual tones of coral, deep pink, gray-green and black. Inflorescences can reach 1 m in height. The foliage is evergreen.

Related article: How to plant and care for tritelia in open field conditions

Video about growing tuberose in open ground:

Photos of tuberose:

Photo of Tuberose 1 Photo of Tuberose 2 Photo of Tuberose 3 Photo of Tuberose 4 Photo of Tuberose 5

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