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The pearl

debs64debs64 Posts: 5,042
Hi all. Just bought 10 bulbs of polianthes tuberosa the pearl as it sounds amazing. This is the 3rd time i have tried to grow these and hopung for some advice. Last lot just rotted away in their pots. 
Any tips on getting them to griw well and flower gratefully received. I live in the West Midlands and was planning to grow them in a pot.


  • Hi Debs, I've just looked that up on the RHS website as I'd never heard of it before. It gives you a little bit of info on cultivation. Maybe you didn't have enough drainage and over watered them last year?  They look beautiful. 
  • Morning deds64, I have to agree with lovegardening77 they are beautiful. I'm off to the Garden Center next week to replace a tree I'll be looking out for these, if I get any additional info from them on how to grow them I put it on here for you.
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,042
    Thanks. I have read up on them but just wondering if any of the more experienced gardeners on here had any tips. I am a sucker for anything scented and they sound amazing. Just thinking it’s maybe a bit cold for them here in the midlands. I may try keeping them in the porch rather than an unheated greenhouse. Will let you know how I get on. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    It's not a plant I'm familiar with Debs, but looking at the info and where they come from, I think you'd need to make sure they have very sharp drainage. The fact that you said they've rotted, would also suggest that they're just too soggy in whatever medium you have them in. Probably keep them a bit like pelargoniums?
    Keeping them well protected over winter and being sure of good conditions before putting out for the summer would also seem to be key  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,042
    Think you are right. They seem like healthy bulbs so going to pot them into well drained soil in the porch and hope for the best!
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    edited February 2019
    the only info i've found is they're from Mexico and are closely related to agave, so they're not very cold tolerant,
    looks like this far north they're grown as annuals, even though they are perennials in warmer climates, anything i've found about overwintering sounds like how people deal with dahlia's, lift, de-soil and keep somewhere dark, dry and frost free as tubers as they are prone to rotting in cold wet ground.
    Then pot up in late winter somewhere warm as it sounds like they need 4 months of warmth to flower properly
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,042
    Thanks for that will put them on the dining room windowsill as porch can get chilly at night. 
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,042
    Nearly a month later I have a green spike on one of the 10 tubers so keeping everything crossed! 
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,042
    3 green spikes! If I get 5 plants out of the 10 bulbs I will be happy! Thanks again for the advice everyone 
  • I did grow a couple of them last year. Unfortunately I did plant them too late in the season as we were sorting out the hard landscaping in our new garden but they did really well but flowered a bit late...but the fragrance, was absolutely enchanting. Good luck with yours @debs64 just make sure they are in a very sunny spot in the garden and don't get over watered
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
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