We can remember in another country when, if asked to deliver a dozen tuberose bulbs to a customer, they were as much trouble to procure as it would be now to get a young kangaroo from Tasmania. And we can also remember when they were used here with us to such an extent that the people utterly tired of them, or fashion said so. Twenty-five years ago they were flowers of the first importance. But how nave the mighty fallen! To put in cheap cut flowers is about all you can do with them. Nevertheless they are beautiful, sweet flowers.
The bulbs are now offered so cheaply that the cost is of no consideration if you have the room to grow them. The raising of bulbs is done by planting the young offshoots in the spring in good, rich land, and in favorable seasons they will make a flowering bulb by the following fall. But that had better be left to those who have a suitable soil, a genial climate and cheap help, although as far north as Ohio good bulbs are raised.
Tuberose bulbs should never be sent fay rail during a cold spell. A slight frost will destroy them and a low temperature for a few days will much injure them. When unpacked keep them in flats in a shed which is never below 50 degrees. We pull off all offshoots, scrape off all signs of any side growth and cut square off the hard root growth below the bulb. Fill some flats, such flats as we use for tulips, with a mixture of sand and loam, about half and half, and plant the bulbs about two inches apart, putting the bottom of the bulb an inch into the soil. If kept moist with the flats placed on or just over some hot water pipes growth will soon begin and in two or three weeks we pot them into 4-inch and place them in a mild hotbed. This gives us good, strong plants by starting them in March to sell at beading time.
For your own use you can start them still later in the same way. Where you have good light, warm soil* you can plant them out, but they come cleaner and finer when grown in pots under glass, and you have usually plenty of bench room in the summer months. They make many roots and when growing want lots of water.
The spikes are now sold very cheaply, but you should always raise a thousand or more, for you can raise them very cheaply, and although there is or was a foolish prejudice against them, they are sweet and most beautiful flowers and will come in very useful on many occasions.