The Q&A Archives: Where to Plant Polianthus Tuberosa

Question: Where is best location to plant sun, shade, part sun, part shade?

Answer: Polianthes tuberosa grows from tuberous roots and blooms summer through fall. Tuberoses need a long warm season to bloom well; in areas with cool or short summers, they can be started indoors in pots, and then moved outdoors as the weather warms.

They grow best in full sun, in well-drained garden soil amended with organic matter. Set roots 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. For container culture, plant one or two tubers in a 6-inch pot or three tubers in a 9-inch pot filled with a medium containing 1 part peat moss, 1 part compost or leaf mold, and 1 part builder's sand or perlite. After leaves appear, begin regular watering. In areas with alkaline soil or water, feed plants with acid-type fertilizer. In mild-winter areas such as yours, tubers can remain in the ground (divide clumps every four years), but even in these areas, as well as in colder climates, it's best to dig bulbs after foliage yellows, cut off the dead leaves, let roots dry for a couple of weeks, and store in a warm place. Replant in the spring.

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