My first remembrance of tuberoses (Polianthes tuberosa) was when I visited a friend in Houston. They had them growing in pots as well as in the ground by their pool. I couldn't believe the sweet fragrance that filled the summer air. Ever since that wonderful visit, I have tried to recreate this fragrance in my own gardens. The single tuberose is one of the toughest, most reliable bloomers for this group of plants - they are actually members in the same family as Agave. They will grow during the summer and bloom mid summer.
Landscape and Maintenance: The tuberose will perform best in full sun! Yes, you read that correctly, full sun. In 2022, we had 5 weeks of "heat advisory" temperatures and they did great. They will do ok if they get a bit of late afternoon shade, but not too much. Cold freezes will hurt them and they like to be dry during the winter, so plant them accordingly or in pots and bring them in during the winter. I hope you enjoy these in your garden as I have in mine!
Water: The tuberose will perform best if you give it a good drink, about an inch, once or twice a week rather than light little waterings. You don't want to have the plant in standing water. It is also best to water early in the day if you use sprinklers so that the foliage has time to dry before evening. That simply means that you will have beautiful blooms longer during the season. Make no mistake this is a hardy plant that will endure the heat and drought. It will still grow and multiply so if you need to go on vacation you don't have to worry about it.
Scent: I want to be sure to stress how significant it is to plant the tuberose somewhere that you can enjoy the scent. The tuberose has a unique scent and is used in many perfumes. Some describe it as soft and sweet while others call it light and spicy. It will fill the air if you are able to plant a few around your yard, along walkways, next to your patio, or even the mailbox. You can certainly plant it in pots and move it around or even have it in the house all the time. If you want to enjoy the fragrance indoors, the best time to cut the top of the shoot that holds more than a dozen blooms is when at least two of them are already open. The others will open slowly over the next few days. Cutting some of the blooms to enjoy indoors will encourage additional flower growth.
We are now shipping the tuberose in four 4" pots. The tubers have been growing for over a year and are ready to bloom in August or September of this year. Simply take the plant out of the container and plant it at ground level. The amazing thing about perennial bulbs is that even if the plant is damaged by the weather or animals the bulb is safe and will not only survive but will continue to multiply and thrive over the years. The tuberose that we sold previously as just tubers will require a year of growth in the ground before they bloom the following August or September.
Be sure to look at the new pictures! You will see 4-6 stems that came from one planted tuber in a 4" pot. How beautiful when they bloom! These are single tuberose.