Botanical Name - Polianthes tuberosa L.
Family - Amaryllidaceae

It is also known as “Rajnigandha”, Nishigandha” and “Sword Lilly”. It is a herbaceous perennial plant which has 75-100cm long flower stalk which bears 10-20 funnel shaped flowers having white color. Cut flowers are used for making bouquets because of its delightful appearance, good keeping quality and sweet fragrance. Loose flowers are used for making Garlands and Veni. They are suitable for growing in pots and beds and used for oil extraction.

Single varieties

Calcutta Single
: White flower variety. Single spike having length of 60cm gives approximately 40 flowers. They are mainly use as loose or cut flowers.
Prajwal: Released by IIHR (Indian Institute of Horticultural Research), Bangalore. The variety is made by the crosses between “Mexican Single” and “Shrinagar”. It contains slightly pink color flower buds from which white color flowers are born. They are mainly use as loose or cut flowers.

Double varieties

Rajat Rekha:
 Released by NBRI (National Botanical Research Institute), Lucknow. Its flower contains silvery white color streaks along the middle of the leaf blade.

Pearl double: Pearl double is given its name as it contains red tinged flowers which are known as pearls. They are used as cut flowers, loose flowers and for essential oil extraction purpose.

Vaibhav: Released by IIHR (Indian Institute of Horticultural Research), Bangalore. The variety is made by the crosses between “Mexican Single” and “IIHR 2”. It contains greenish color flower buds from which white color flowers are born. They are used for cut flower purpose.

Other state varieties:

Single varieties
: Arka Nirantra, Pune Single, Hyderabad single, Khahikuchi Single, Shrinagar, Phule Rajani, Mexican Single.

Double varieties: Hyderabad Double, Calcutta Double.

Semi-double varieties: Kalyani Double, Suvasini.

Variegated varieties: Swarna Rekha.

Variegated single varieties: Rajat (having white margin).

Variegated double varieties: Dhawal (having golden margin).

Soil –

Loamy and sandy soil having well drainage system is best for the tuberose cultivation. Soil having ph of 6.5-7.5 is ideal for tuberose growing.

Climate –

Tuberose is best suited for cultivation in tropical to subtropical and temperate climates.


Propagation is done by bulbs. Bulbs having 1.5-2.0cm diameter and more than 30 gm weights are used for propagation. In singles, I or 2 or 3 or a clump of bulbs are sown per hill. 3 bulbs per hill are planted for one year old crop and 1 or 2 bulbs per hill are planted for more than one year crop duration. In doubles only two should be planted for one year crop.

Seed rate:
2100-2500 bulbs/acre are used.

Seed treatment:

Before sowing bulbs are treated with 2gm/kg of Thiram@0.3% or Captan@0.2% or Emisan@0.2% or Benlate@0.2% or Bavistin@0.2% for 30 minutes to prevent them from soil borne diseases.

Time of sowing:
March-April month is optimum time for seed sowing.

For tuberose plantation, well prepared land is required. To bring the soil to fine tilth, 2-3 ploughings are required. At the time of planting, add FYM @10-12tonnes/acre and mix well in the soil.

Planting can be done with spacing of 45cm. Prepare 90cm wide nursery beds.
Sowing depth:

Sow bulbs 5-7cm deep in the soil.

Method of sowing:
Propagation method is used.



Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre)


Nutrient Requirement (kg/acre)



Add 20-25tonnes/acre of FYM at the time of land preparation. Add fertilizer dose of phosphorus @40kg/acre in the form of SSP@250kg/acre and potash@40kg/acre in the form of MOP@60kg/acre at the time of sowing.

At the time of crop growth, add Nitrogen@296kg/acre in the form of Urea@640kg/acre. Half dose of Nitrogen is added before one month of sowing and then rest of the Nitrogen is added in the equal amount at the interval of 1 month till august month. After adding fertilizers, irrigation is required.

To make the field weed free, 3-4 hand weeding’s are required. Immediately after transplantation and then after 45 days of transplanting, spraying of Atrazine@0.6kg/acre or oxyfluorfen@0.2kg/acre or pendimethalin@800ml/acre in 200Ltr water as pre-emergence weedicide is done to make the field weed free.


No irrigation is required till bulbs sprouting. After sprouting and 4-6 leaf stages it requires irrigation which is given once in a week. Depending upon soil and climatic conditions, 8-12 irrigations are required.

Nitrogen deficiency: Due to deficiency, they result in deduction in number of spikes and number of flowers/spike. Foliage becomes pale green in color.

Phosphorus deficiency: Due to deficiency of phosphorus, the upper leaves become dark green in color and lower leaves become purple in color. This results in stunted growth and reduced flowering.

Calcium deficiency: The deficiency results in cracking of the spike. The acute deficiency of calcium results in bud rot.

Magnesium deficiency: Results in interveinal chlorosis on older leaves.

Iron deficiency: Results in interveinal chlorosis on new leaves.

Boron deficiency: 
Results in stunted flowering, cracking of leaf margins and deformed leaves.

Manganese deficiency: The deficiency results in yellowing of veins on lower surface.

Foliar application of GA3 at 50 to 100 ppm thrice at 40, 55 and 60 days after planting.

1)Aphids: They are tiny insects which feed themselves on flower buds and young leaves.
Treatment: Spraying of 3ml/ltr water per acre of Malathion@0.1% at the interval of 15 days will help to get rid of aphids.

2)Thrips: They feed themselves on flower stalk, leaves and flowers.
Treatment: Spraying of 3ml/ltr water per acre of Malathion@0.1% is done to cure from thrips.

 3)Weevils: They damage the shoots and leaves of the plant. They feed themselves on edge of the leaf and on roots.
Treatment: Application of BHC dust @10% is done in the soil to protect from weevils.

1)Stem rot: Caused by Sclerotium rolfsii. Symptoms are fungal growth on the leaf surface. The spot loses its green color and then results in leaves fall.
Treatment: Application of Brassicol (20%) @12.5kg/acre in soil to get rid of stem rot.

2)Botrytis spot and blight: It mainly spread during rainy season. Symptoms are dark brown color spots seen on flowers which ultimately results in drying of whole inflorescence.
Treatment: Spraying of Carbendazim@2gm/ltr of water at the interval of 15 days will result to get rid from spot and blight.

3)Sclerotial wilt: Symptoms are drooping of leaves. Leaves become yellow and ultimately dry up. It gradually affects the whole plant. Thick cottony growth is seen on the infected stem and on the petioles.
Treatment: Drenching with 2gm/ltr water per acre of Zineb@0.3% will help to get rid of wilt.

2 ½ to 3 years

Flower harvesting can be done after 3-3.5 months of planting. The peak time for flowering is in the month of August-September. Harvesting is mainly done when lower 2-3 florets have opened. Spikes are clipped worth the help of sharp knife or secateurs. In first year it gives an average yield of 1.4-2lakh/acre of cut flowers and 2.5-4lakh/acre of loose flowers. In second and next years, it gives an average yield of 2-2.5lakh/acre of cut flowers and 4-5lakh/acre of loose flowers. After flower harvesting, spikes should be cut off. And then flowers are place in shade in gunny bag or wet cotton cloth.

The flower spikes are graded according to the stalk length, length of rachis, number of flowers per spike and weight of spikes. Straight and strong stem of uniform length and uniform stage of development are preferred. Flowers should be free from bruises, diseases and pests

o Loose flowers: 14 -15 t/ha
o Cut flower: 2 – 3 lakhs spikes/ha/year
o Bulbs & bulblets: 20 -25 t/ha (at the end of 3rd year)
o Concrete recovery: 0.08 – 0.11 %

 Bulbs reach maturity at the cessation of flowering when the leaves become yellow and dry during winter (February-March). At this stage, irrigation is withheld and the soil is allowed to dry.
 The leaves are cut off at the ground level and the bulbs are dug out. After digging, the bulbs are lifted out and the adhering earth shaken off neatly and thoroughly.
 The offsets are then separated out by hand, which are used as seed stock for the next season. The bulbs are then graded based on the size into mature (> 1.5 cm diameter) and immature (< 1.5 cm diameter).
 Cleaned and graded bulbs are placed on shelves to dry or cure. To hasten curing artificial heat of 27° to 35°C may be applied.
 The bulbs must be stirred or have their position changed every few days to prevent fungal attack and rotting.
 Bulbs are stored in a protected shady place with good aeration, till they are planted outdoors.
 Storage temperature influences the number of bulbs produced and the quality of flower
spike. An ambient air temperature of at least 18°C for four to six weeks or exactly six weeks at 30°C stimulates the yield of commercial sized bulbs.
 Longer storage at 30°C advances flower spike yield but the quality of spike deteriorates and the bulb number decreases