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reginak_gw

Tuberose

18 years ago

Hi everyone. I'm a new gardener, and I bought some tuberose bulbs and would like some help with what to do with them. I actually forgot about them in the spare room for a couple of months, they're starting to sprout in their plastic bag. It's just a 1/2-dozen bulbs. I understand they won't winter over in the ground, right? Not even heavily mulched? Actually, that's almost a relief. I have a big, weedy yard, haven't gotten enough of it under control yet to have a place to plant these safely in the ground.... So can I grow them in a pot? How big of a pot would they like? Or is it better to put them in the ground and dig them up at the end of the season? How profusely do they bloom? For how long? I was buying them last summer at the farmer's market, loved to keep them in a vase in my bedroom for sweeeeeet dreams. Oh, and do they like sun or shade, and how much? Anything else I should know?

Thanks, all.

Regina

Comments (9)

  • 18 years ago

    They will do OK in pots. One bulb per gallon pot. They grow a lot of grass like foliage and need room for the foliage. You will get only one bloom per bulb. They like plenty of water and regular fertilizer. Full sun or warm partial shade. These are from Mexico and need heat to bloom. When they bloom you can bring in the pot to enjoy the very strong perfume. Al

  • 18 years ago

    One bloom per bulb? Oh.... bummer. Well, they're wonderful enough to take up space for anyway. Thanks for the feedback.

  • 18 years ago

    Regina, that's one flower spike per bulb, with several flowers on each spike. When I grew them last summer I put a bunch of bulbs, maybe a dozen, into a half whiskey barrel. The bulbs were in the center, and other "fluffier" plants filled in and disguised the tuberose skimpy foliage. I agree with you - the fragrance is stupendous, but they're not much for looks. Did you get the single, or the double flowered form? Both are equally fragrant, just the doubles (with their pompom petals) are maybe a little more attractive. Enjoy.

    Into the Woods

  • 18 years ago

    Oh OK, that's better. :o)

    Now I'm confused, though. Calistoga says "They grow a lot of grass like foliage and need room for the foliage." You say "skimpy foliage". Those sound contradictory to me.

    We do get good hot summers, so that should be good. (Well, normally, but here it is June 2 and the forecast high is only 65.) I might try them in the screened-in back porch, where they'd get all the heat but only some of the sun, and I could sit out there and enjoy them on buggy summer evenings. I like Calistoga's idea of smaller individual pots, that way I could bring one into the bedroom when they're blooming and still leave the rest on the porch.

    I don't remember if I got singles or doubles. I am growing almost all my veggies and lots of flowers from seed, so I was in kind of a late-winter seed catalog frenzy when I ordered them.... I'll have to see if I can find the packing slip. Or just wait and be surprised! I thought the blossoms were pretty, but of course I never saw the plant growing, I just bought them as cut flowers.

    Regina

  • 18 years ago

    Just keep them in the sun and hit them frequently with Bloom Booster. The take quite a while to bloom -- I think it was late July last year, but they bloomed almost until they died back in the late fall.

    We had them in pots for most of the summer, but as an experiment I put them in the ground in August. They continued to bloom, and believe it or not they grew back in the spring (I am in ATL/Zone 7). This year we put a ton of them around the pool and they are coming up nicely. I think I will mulch them over heavily in late fall when they die back, and turn them into perrenials ;-) The bad news is I've heard they will only flower every other year. The good news is they're relatively cheap...Hope this eases a few of your concerns.

  • 18 years ago

    The foliage gets up to about a foot tall. Each blade is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. The flower spike is about 30 to 36 inches high and the individual flowers open from the bottom up. If you are going to cut the stem to bring in the house I like to wait until the bottom two flowers have opened. Using the bloom booster fertilizer is a good idea as these need to be kicked into bloom. Al

  • 18 years ago

    Cool. By the way, Into the Woods, they are labeled as a double-flowered variety, Pearl.

    Regina

  • 18 years ago

    I bought a bunch of bulbs about 5 years ago and put them into a big planter. They've bloomed every year and propagated so that I had to take them out and divide them. Put them back this spring and they're doing GREAT. Never fertilized them. Guess I'll start to do that ASAP with Peters xx-55-xx. That should kick them into blooming even better, huh?

  • 18 years ago

    I don't cut the whole stem because I have few plants. Instead, I cut off about 5 little florets and put them in a tiny vase, replacing them each day. The scent fills my entire house and the flower stalk keeps producing flowers for a few weeks (right now they're in full bloom, 5 bulbs to a 14" pot outdoors.)