Tuesday, February 5, 2008


There has been a lot of talk about fragrances in the garden, and specifically a plant which has a nice fragrance, tuberoses. Who doesn't love fragrance? My friend Geri gardens pretty much based SOLELY on fragrance. I think that is kind of funny but it is her passion. She should get some of these pretty flowers several of you readers have talked about. Lola first mentioned them, Nina grows them and Dawn with Peaches would like to buy some. Nina found a source at Dutch Gardens, (item number 62854).

Growing instructions as provided by Lola, say you need a very well drained area. Tuberoses, botanically known as Polyianthes tuberosa, are described in The Southern Living Garden Book as southern heritage plants. They need a warm season to grow with at least 4 months before flowering. Set rhizomes in the ground two inches deep in a well drained area after the soil has warmed, or start indoors in pots.

The Southern Living Garden Book also says that if temperatures remain above 20 degrees all year, rhizomes may be left in the ground. In Tennessee you will need to remove the rhizomes each year because our temperatures usually dip below 20 degrees. Wait until the leaves have yellowed then dig the rhizomes, allow to dry for a few days then store in peat moss or sawdust in a dry area which remains above freezing, such as a garage. Full sun is required for successfully growing these flowers.

Flowers are described as extraordinarily fragrant and cutting fresh flowers is highly encouraged. Tuberoses are heavy feeders and will require regular applications of a balanced fertilizer throughout the growing season.

A most commonly grown variety of tuberose is 'The Pearl', pictured above. Sure is beautiful. I have never heard of these but would not mind trying it out-even if I have to dig the rhizomes! This variety is the same Nina pointed us to at Dutch Gardens.

Nina sent me some of her tuberoses and I will potting them up soon. She tells a story about her sister being in a garden club here in Tennessee where the welcoming present is a gift of tuberoses. Apparently they multiply well and so the ladies wanted to share. I am looking forward to mine multiplying so I can share as well.

Nina also sent me storage instructions for my northern readers and maybe even some Tennesseean gardeners who want to err on the side of safety. Dig the tubers carefully while keeping as much soil as possible, let the soil dry then store the tubers in a box with peat moss, sawdust or perlite for the winter. Do not allow the bulbs to freeze.

in the garden....learning from you fellow commenters so much more than I ever imagined.


  1. The scent of the garden is one area a lot of people don't think of when planning their garden. I forget about that element frequently! Have a garden based on the 5 senses would be pretty interesting!

    Do you think the Tuber Roses would survive with extra mulch or even black landscape fabric draped over them for the winter?

  2. hi dave, i like pushing the button on my plants so i will try some outside in a very well drained protected area and still keep some in the house so i don't completely lose them, but yes, i think they would be ok outside with mulch. i have had ginger come back here as well as brugmansia and nicotiana, which all shouldn't so sometimes hardiness zones can be deceiving. depends on those microclimates for sure.

  3. How big do these Tuber Roses get and how wide????
    They are beautiful and I would like to try them. Down here in GA, they can probably stay in the ground...

  4. Oh they are gorgeous! They look a lot like a pond lily which has always been one of my very favorites. I wonder if they smell like the pond lilies as the pond lilies have a great smell also. Christy got some pond lilies out of the pond down back for my birthday one year and ended up falling in the pond!

  5. These are really beautiful flowers and I'm getting some. I'm going to try to pot them since our growing season is not that long. Can't wait to smell them.
    Looks like another snow day tom. ughhh! I'm never going to get anything done. And maybe another storm on thur.! &:p

  6. Tina, Sorry to hear about Mia and Dade on the Pet People blog. I know Dade was your special bud and I was hoping he would survive and be a possible new addition to your family. But not meant to be I guess. Sometimes life is a bunch of hurdles, but I guess it is up to us to jump them each and every one... Hang in their Tina, and As B says, you are a Hero for doing what you could for the pups….

    Dawn with Peaches, What do you mean Snow day? I am wearing shorts and have windows to the house open today! Riding to vote with sunroof and windows open to car! Wow, I love the Deep South this time of year! About time for me to put away my winter decorations and get ready for Spring. Dawn you do know that Phil saw his shadow and Beau of GA did not right... LOL....

  7. Pretty flowers and when they smell good that is even better. I planted some seeds today:) After the rainshowers around noon. I also cleaned out more dead stuff from the flowerbeds. It was a productive day afterall. The kids enjoyed the day off --lots of time spent outdoors. Storms coming tonight --and yeah --we anchored down the trampoline today:) I hope it stays put this time.

  8. Skeeter, the experience I had with Tuber Roses was they don't get over about 18" tall total & are very slim. So you could have several in a very small space.
    As far as the smell--once you smell them you won't forget but, hard to explain. I'm going to get myself another now that I know more about

    jean I've never heard of a Pond Lily. Can you explain more about them. Will they grow down here? Fl.

    Just about anything I've brought from N.C.has made it. What I did loose was because of my not having time nor knowledge to take care of it properly. I had a red plum I brought back {just a small plant that came up from root of mother plant} which originally came from Ala. I threatened 2 yrs ago that if it didn't have fruit I would cut it down, the next yr. it bloomed, no fruit---after 10 yrs. here no fruit so my son {Young'n} cut it down. I even planted another {yellow} plum that bloomed at same time to try that. No deal.

    Read the Pet People blog--saw nothing about "babies". What's wrong?

  9. Sorry about Mia and Dade, hopefully the other three will make it. My dog finally ate, just now, he's lost about 10 lbs (he needed it!) 4 days.

  10. ps. Skeeter, I'm jealous....

  11. hi all!
    crazy crazy weather here tonight! the electrical guys and police officers are very busy! i stopped to get gas and i tell you i was sitting in my car while it was bouncing and i thought it would flip over! all while trash cans and tree limbs were blowing by. omg. i was scared! i even called mr. fix it to tell him good bye (and other things) in case i didn't make it. lol the storm was and is bad as another round is coming through.

    i posted on pet people that bridgette from the rescue said the vet hopes cj can come home on friday. still waiting on baby and bruiser. baby is still on fluids but bruiser is holding his own. that is good news!

    mom, i remember you loving water lillies. maybe lola knows them as water lillies? i am sure they grow everywhere. i can see christine falling in the pond. but she so loves her meme so she'd anything-probably enjoyed the dip!

    speaking of water and ponds, guess what? three of my huge goldfish in my bathtub pond are awol. absent without leave. i suspect a long haired black cat that has been hanging around. i turned off the nighttime light and put a screen over the pond but oh dear. i had those guys for almost two years now with no problem. growl!

    dawn with peaches, you need to put that big boy to work to help you out organizing and getting settled. nicky too! snow day snow day-how many does that make so far this year? you are loving skeeter's deep south right now-huh? you wouldn't in the summer but isn't it nice to know some are warm while you are cold and some are hot while you are cool? it is life, truly it is.

    skeeter, gotta love the south and the north at times like this. i bet georgia doesn't even have snow days built into its yearly schedule. did you see how big lola said the tuberoses get? i saw pictures of nina's growing and that is right, they are narrow and tall, kind of like armaryllis. i am potting mine up this week to start them growing.

    lola, maybe your red plum was an ornamental plum? sometimes the fruit trees seem to be bred just for beauty and not fruit. i have a newport plum tree that can get fruit, but it is mostly ornamental. maybe that is why the little guy didn't fruit? where did you live in nc? i lived in fayetteville for many years and have connections there. i loved it but it can get tooooooooo hot. kind of like florida. lol. definitely send me another picture of an arbor.

    i am still looking for some pictures of arbors. skeeter? dawn with peaches? o'malley? anyone? if you read this blog and don't comment, you can also send in pictures if you like. ramseytina5@gmail.com you are welcomed to do it anonymously.

    anonymous, i hope the anchored trampoline stays put tonight. i also hope your neighbor's stays put too. the storm is bad tonight. some deaths are being reported already. got your call. all is fine (see above-i WAS scared and we have a need to be tonight). i hope all stay safe with no damage in this area.

    o'malley-how are you? you all might not remember o'malley, she is a pet people regular, but she has commented on here early on with this blog-like very early on. it is nice to hear back from her. she has a beautiful boxer i saw on the pet people blog, along with her two lovely daughters. she is also fostering a grown dog right now, another boxer. welcome back o'malley. should've said it earlier but my mind has been busy everywhere. better late than never-right?:)

  12. our blog editor (alane) has begun giving us leaf bloggers information on the new system coming to the leaf soon. will we no longer blog on blogger, but on a pluck platform. they say it will be easier for everyone to communicate. if you are ever interested in commenting on stories and on blogs, you will no longer need two log ins as you currently do.

    additionally, everyone will be able to start their own blog. but the leaf is going to keep the community bloggers (such as myself) and staff bloggers (such as sandy) in a special anchored section on the website.

    the new software is called pluck and it is a social networking software, probably like my space, not sure. i have checked it out on the tennessean.com. it is different but doesn't seem daunting. change of any type can sometimes be daunting so that is why i am giving all of this blog's readers a head's up now.

    i expect new logins will be required as google will probably not be used anymore. be prepared. once everyone has switched over, the leaf is going to delete the blogger accounts. i am going to have to get busy backing up all of my posts as not all have been saved to my email.

    but rest assured, the blog will still be here. i haven't been fired yet so i will continue. just kidding. i am a volunteer and signed on as such. most people don't fire volunteers such as me so truly i was kidding. i appreciate the editors at the leaf letting me blog on their website.

    i will still be here talking gardening. my teacher at school likes it i can talk here and not in her class! my fellow classmates will know what i am talking about. i am just trying to help-really!

    so this is just a get prepared. the change is coming soon. there may be some growing pains but it will work out.

  13. dawn with peaches, glad tartarus is now eating. 10 pounds is a bunch of weight for a dog to lose. my big baby bj is under my feet because we are having a thunderstorm. he can be such a wuss sometimes. one time liz said he jumped in the waterbed with her during a storm. not usual for bj at all. imagine a scared 115 pounds hopping on a waterbed! is tartarus scared of storms or just of new houses? lol

  14. No Tina it was the real thing as I had plums from the mother tree in N.C. That could have been the trouble, it was a root sprout from mother tree.
    I have an ornamental plum in front yard. It has pink blooms on limbs before leaves appear. One summer it had a few plums on it. Just bird feed, although my friend said you could eat them. The fruit is kinda small.
    I lived in a small town called Whittier, on top of mtn. 5 mins. from Cherokee where I worked in gift shop. What a hoot that was.

  15. Hi Guys, We are hearing about your tornados and more than 2 dozen people fatalities, wow 50+ twister! The storms we have coming in is related to your bad weather, 3 rounds of mixing, rain, snow, sleet. Strange this year, the school in on the 8th snow day and counting. I believe it we will be going until June 20th at least. Zackary helps sometimes but most of the time wants to banter with his sister, luckily he ALWAYS wants company on snow days and because of that I tell him, shoveling, cleaning your room, etc., needs to be done, than you can talk to me. His does it! Snow kepts us busy and just as I thought, no school today. It was called off just before the bus came. We are nearly the only area.
    Tartarus is petrified of storms, we had a tree come down in the backyard one storm when we weren't here, (at my mother in laws, she had power) and he has not been the same. He gets right up my backside when we are shoveling off the roof of the trailer, shakes, and looks like he could fall apart any second. He is only 60 lbs and I can't understand why he wants to be in the mobile. This morning when he was let out to go to the bathroom he went to the back steps of the trailer and barked to go in! I guess getting up there in age has made him VERY set in his ways. Not all that happy right now, I'm going to get more toys for him today, maybe that will help. Just like when I broke my leg, he is more tramatized than my kids ever get!

  16. wow lola, i don't know where whittier is but it sounds cool living on top of a mountain.

    dawn with peaches, sorry about tartarus. silly dog.

    eight snow days and counting! school will last long this year.

  17. Lola as Tina has stated you probably know them as water lilies which is what I should have said in the beginning. My brothers girlfriend had them in NC so I know they grew there and she had all different ones but I do not know anything about FL but as with Tina my guess would be that they would. You can see pictures of them at walliscreekwatergarden.com
    Then go to Temperate Waterlilies. There are many different kinds and colors but scroll down and you will see the one that looks like the tuberose. Difference you only get one at a time but they are bigger.

    Dawn I can't believe Tartarus. You have been building that house since he was practially a pup and he has always been in it with you and he can see the mobile from the house. Funny. Glad he is now eating and before long he won't wanna go in the mobile!

    Tina ponds are not usually good places for swimming so I don't think Christy enjoyed her time in the pond. Stinky!! But it is now something to laugh about. In fact, funny thing is, Christy just mentioned the experience a couple of weeks ago. I had fortotten about it. So sorry about Dade and Mia but it sounds pretty good for the others for the time being. I will keep hoping and praying. At least you know you gave them a chance, just was not to be. Also sorry about your fish, they were so big and pretty. Funny how no problems all this time and 3 all at once. Hopefully the screen will work. As for the change in the blog I am sure there will be growing pains but we will all get used to it eventually. I am like Tartarus, I HATE change!! So I know I personally will have growing pains. Hotmail and MySpace has also changed format over the years and I always have hated it but then got used to it. Just takes a little cussing and time. I think most dogs do not like thunder storms. One year when we had one I was sitting on the couch and in a split second Bear and Duke both landed in my lap at the same time. Now Duke was not bad but Bear (as with most, no all, Newfies) was not what one would call a lap dog!!

  18. Good morning to all, we survived the storms with no damage, just some small tree limbs and twigs all over the yard.

    Lola, I have waterlilies in my fish pond that are beautiful. My daughter comes to winterize it each year, she just sinks them in deeper water and they survive. She puts a mesh wire cover over it to keep the leaves out. We remove it in the spring. So far Tina I have been very lucky that I haven't lost any fish to a wild animal.

    Tina I don't have an arbor in my yard, but have designed one to go over the yard swing. It is in the project folder!

    I will agree with Jean, I don't like changes very well either. I'll wait and see what is involved!

  19. skeeter, arbors are great for vines. i can see one in your future...i will try to help you with ideas.:)

    mom, yes i know a newfoundland would not be a comfortable dog to have jump in your lap! lol i wonder why dogs are so afraid of storms. one of mine is petrified and maybe was left outside before i got here, but the other two have no excuse! seems to be a common thing.

    dawn with peaches, tartarus will adjust just like we all do to change. pluck is supposed to be an improvement on this format. it is supposed to be easier to network and who knows, we may have some more commenters join the club. i know all of you would love that.

    just give it a little cussing and time like mom said, and before you know you all will forget this format. i am sure it will still look the same. the tennessean's website is a little harder for me to navigate, but that is just because i am used to the leaf's. i too will adjust and hopefully without too much cussing or time!:)

    good morning nina! glad you fared well last night. i don't know about you, but i was awake as was at least one of my neighbors. lights started coming on. i kept thinking to myself, it isn't like i can do anything about it if something happens. that calmed me down a bunch.

    i am glad you haven't lost any fish. it is frustrating. i just have the small bathtub and i really think that with the nighttime light in the water, the fish were 'sitting ducks'. lesson learned.

    it is awful nice of your daughter winterize your pond for you and super handy not to have to remove the plants in order to winter them over.

    arbors over swings are great. there are some really nice ones around town. ummmm i might just have to start knocking on doors. hate to do it though because it is hard to catch people at home during the day. then when i want to catch someone home at night that it is not too late-that never works out for me either! i am having a heck of a time with an upcoming post on nighttime lighting. maybe tomorrow night. the problem is people are home at night when i want to be home, then when i am out after dark in clarksville, it is only when i am coming back from school and it is too late. i'll work it out with the lighting and maybe even some arbors. ciao.

  20. Tina,
    I am so sorry you lost some of your fish. That is frustrating. I lost one of my huge, older ones last year and could never figure out what got it. I have 3 outside cats but they are not interested in the fish. I suspect it was a wild critter but I was so sad for it.

    These tuberoses sound very interesting. I am game for trying them. I am a scent-aholic myself. Anything with a strong aroma is what I am usually drawn too. I always picked my roses according to scent and still tend to do the same thing with other flowers.

    Glad your CJ is home! I saw either on theis blog or the pet blog that you took your otehr doggies in also. Were you saying they also needed a parvo booster? I have learned so much this week between the garden blog and the pet blog!

  21. o'malley, thanks for the comment on the fish. it is ok but as you said, frustrating. i still have four though!

    the fort campbell vet recommends a parvo booster within six months of exposure even when vacs are up to date. my dogs were all up to date but i followed their advice and got a booster today, as well as a stool check for parasites. my dogs are on heartworm preventative and advantix, but you can never be too safe. nothing is certain in medicine. a cure is a cure but then it is not a cure. extra vacs can't hurt.

    how about those storms?! the governor has been on tv. he said it was really bad in macon county and thank goodness it is a rural area. had it been highly populated there would have been way more fatalities. what a night!

  22. Tina and O'Malley, I cant believe your cats dont mess with your fish! Sheba and Cheetah would be munching away if they had access to a fish pond! Sorry you lost your fish Tina, They are cute swimming in that tub, reminds me of when I was a child taking a bath and pretending to swim while in my Claw footed tub! Now that is a visual yall could have done with out! LOL...

    Good thing you did take your doggies in Tina, I was kind of wondering about that myself but assumed that as long as vaccines were up to date, all was well. Can Parvo affect a cat? Hummm

    Tina, don’t do me any favors with giving me more ideas! LOL As the Saint says, I have enough to last me a life time! I sure don’t need your help with any new projects, although a harbor over our swing is something I mentioned to the Saint a while back. He shrugged it off of course. Would be interested to see the one you designed Nina...

  23. omalley if you like plants that smell try Carolina Jasmine. I have it growing on lattice behind my swing. It gives me a little privacy from neighbors behind but it sure is nice to sit there when it's in bloom. It smells the whole neighborhood. I do have to trim it twice a year.

    Sorry about your loosing your fish, Tina. They are nice to watch, I've thought about fixing one. Neighbors cats would get them I'm afraid.

    Thanks jean, I'll check it out. I've probably seen them just can't remember. Old mind sometimes takes a vacation & forgets to tell me it's going.

  24. hi skeeter and lola,
    parvo cannot affect cats or humans. that is great. the parasites can though. the first thing i worried about was my dogs when the parvo shots were first mentioned prior to spaying and neutering talk. but all is well. no worries here. the vet told me right away it does not cats or humans. only dogs and really only puppies as adult dogs who have had all their shots never get parvo. there is always a possibility in medicine though. people who never smoke can still die of lung cancer. the irony?

    skeeter, i can see an arbor to the right of your house with a swing under it and it built to match the porch. think of the curb appeal.

    lola did you know skeeter loves the jasmine? i think it is the same thing you two have talked about. skeeter is in georgia so much closer to florida. skeeter, maybe the jasmine would work on your fence like it does on lola's? for privacy and more scent? isn't it somewhat growing in the shade at your place already?

  25. Tina, we do have a swing to the right of the house next to the butterfly bush island. I was thinking about an arbor over it to shelter us a bit from the sun in the hot summer months.

    The Jasmine we have is Confederate Jasmine. The Saints mom picked it up for us one year when they were here visiting and we were at the Garden Center at the PX. I have it climbing up some trees near the patio area. We plan to plant the Silverberry bushes by the Ding-a-lings side of our house….

  26. Lola,

    I will have to investigate the carolina jasmine. I wonder if it is hardy here in TN? I have a jasmine tree that I bought about 3 years ago that smells heavenly. I bring it inside the house every winter. It just finished with a fantastic full bloom...my house smelled wonderful for about 2 weeks. Now it smells like dogs and cats again haha. When it drops those tiny white blooms it makes a mess inside but it is worth it for the scent. Does your jasmine grow very thick? maybe this would be something I could consider to hide my ugly chain link fence? I guess it would depend on whether it can survive the winter outside here. I picked this one up after finally giving up on ever being able to grow a gardenia. I think that is the fragrance I miss the most from our days in Alabama.

  27. skeeter and lola i am confused on you all's jasmine. one is carolina and one is confederate? lola, is it possible yours is carolina jessamine? is it yellow or white? i was thinking you all were talking the same thing now not so sure...

    o'malley, you must be a good gardener to grow a jasmine in the house. i am sure it was a heavenly smell and for two weeks! i know the dog and cat smell maybe i need to get some fragrant plants for inside.

    glad you mentioned gardenia. gardenias are my pet peeve with hardiness here. i tried one two times. both times it died. i went to the state flea market and there was a woman selling them. i asked her if she informed people their gardenias would die. she said no, it survives the winter-in the greenhouse. well, i sure was glad she cleared that up!:) too bad we all don't have a greenhouse for those gardenias! they are so beautiful.

  28. I agree Tina! I too have tried the gardenia, lugging it in when it turned cold only to have the leaves dry, turn colors and die. So dissapointing...

    No, I am NOT a good gardener haha..I think I just got very lucky and bought an extremely healthy plant and I just haven't managed to kill it yet...give me time! LOL