After I posted an entry about Jasmine flower sometime ago, I’m thinking about another white flower with beautiful lingering fragrance. I grow them in my garden, very hardy and easy to grow.

Besides jasmine, tuberose  is another flower that releases beautiful perfume, especially in the night time. In my area around Melbourne (Australia), it is usually flowering around late summer to autumn. It is very surprising that this year, mine  flowered in the middle of winter …even though the quality was inferior.

Pure white petals… can be single or double grow on long slender stems. They have a tinge of pink in buds but they will be pure white when open. The perfume is released during the evening and night time. This is why some different languages share the same meaning for naming this elegant flower which all mean: “night fragrant”. In Indonesia people call it “Sedap Malam”, while in in Hindi it is Rajnigandha. In Bangladesh it is called Rojoni Gondha. Part of South India it is Sugandaraja which has a slightly different meaning – king of fragrance. In Persia they call this flower Maryam which is also a very common lady’s name. While Singaporeans express this flower in a strange way…. they name the flower xinxiao which means where the moths sit.

Tuberose perfume is too overpowering compared with jasmine. Some people don’t like it, and it includes my husband. He can’t stand to have these flowers inside the house as it gives him a shocking headache. Described as having a heavy sweet floral with a touch of spice, tuberose are perfect for the making of fine perfume, incense, soap or floral arrangements.

About the plant:

Tuberose has a botanical name: Polieanthes tuberosa. The bulbs grow into long and slender bright green leaves which are clumping together.

 

Planting:

  • Full sun position

  • Rich and well-drain soil

  • The clumping bulbs can be separated into smaller clumps and should be grown 5 – 7 cm ( 2-3 inches) under the ground and  20 – 25 cm (8 – 10 inches apart).

  • Although it tolerates drought, it needs good watering during the growing season to flower well.

  • Complete fertilizer combined with diluted  fish/seaweed extract are good to use.

  • After finish flowering cut the long stems off but it is better to leave the leaves for photosynthesis purposes to nourish the bulbs.

  • In warm climate, you can leave the bulbs under the ground after flowering. For those in zone 8 or colder, it is better to lift the bulbs off the ground before frost. Air dried for several days and then keep them in paper bags with a bit of peatmoss until the next planting time in spring.

  • It is also possible to grow them in pots and the benefit is that you will be able to move them around to get as much sunlight as possible and to avoid frost.

Tuberose is very easy to grow and the flowers will fragrance your courtyard with lingering amorous perfume through the night…or if you like, just few stems of them will surely perfume the whole house when the evening comes.

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