How to plant polianthes (agaves amica)

Formerly known as polianthes tuberosa, agaves amica are wonderful tuberous plants native to Mexico bearing sumptuous pearl white scented flowers and strap-like leaves. Commonly cultivated for the elaboration of perfumes and bouquets, these tender beauties will fill the air with their intoxicating perfume. Equally suited to the sheltered border and the conservatory, they will look especially fantastic planted en masse or mixed with tall-growing varieties such as agapanthuses, gladioli and eucomises. They can also be woven through ferns.

Plant around 10 cm deep in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. It is advisable to lift the tubers before the first frost and store in sand.

Always unpack on arrival and store in cool place until ready to plant.

Potential problems, pests and diseases:

Generally, polianthes do not suffer from any serious pest problems. However, they may be affected by viruses. Usually transmitted by aphids, these can cause a number of problems ranging from the appearance of deformed leaves and flowers to colour patterns and streaking. Try to prevent infections with a garlic spray or insecticide and lift and destroy any badly affected plants.

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