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Polianthes tuberosa is grown for its spikes of tubular, waxy white, summer flowers which are very strongly scented. It hails from the warmer climes of Mexico so in the UK it is best grown in a container or planted outside in late spring and then lifted when the foliage dies down in autumn. The tubers should then be stored like dahlias in a warm, dry place until spring. If growing in a container, use John Innes No2 compost and grow in a well-lit spot. Water moderately in the growing season and feed every fortnight. Reduce watering as the leaves begin to die down at the end of the season and keep dry until the following spring. To propagate, remove offsets when plants are dormant. The Royal Horticultural Society have given it their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
Plant type: Summer/autumn blooming bulb
Flower colour: White
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Scented flowers
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Experienced
Time to divide plants: November to January
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