The Q&A Archives: Fragrant Flowers For Containers

Question: I am looking to order bulbs through the mail, but am unsure which zone I'm in and what fragrant flowers would be good in containers that would only receive morning light. I would love to plant tuberose--will it work?

Answer: You are in USDA zone 4. You could grow tuberoses. Tuberose are hardy in zones 8-10, but, generally that is referring to leaving the bulbs in the ground outside. You are planting in a container so that wouldn't apply to you. You would simply need to dig up the bulbs after foliage dies down (or, if you are expecting frost before the foliage dies down, you can leave the foliage on after digging up and let it wither while in storage) and store inside over the winter. My only concern is lighting; tuberoses like full sun so the morning light alone may not be enough. Some other considerations that are suited for container gardening and a partial shade environment are: African Lily (Agapanthus), Garden Gloxinia (Incarvillea delavayi), Asiatic Hybrid Lily (var. 'Cote d' Azur), Peacock Orchid (Acidanthera bicolor) and Double Flowered Garden Freesia. The last two are fragrant. Remember, you'll need to overwinter these bulbs/corms indoors in your zone...brrrrrr! There are a few things to keep in mind when planting in a container, be sure the container is big enough to accomodate what you are planting, water adequately, and be sure to provide organic material into the planting mix... a container is a closed environment. Have fun!

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