Tulbaghia Fragrans is an evergreen perennial grass-like plant with beautiful strongly fragrant flowers. It is commonly known as sweet garlic since the leaves smell like garlic when crushed. It is found natively in Eastern Cape Province of South Africa where it is sometimes known as pink agapanthus. It belongs to the genus Tulbaghia of the family Alliaceae.
Tulbaghia Fragrans is easy to grow and very rewarding. With just proper watering and lighting the plant rewards with beautiful strongly scented flowers which brighten up the whole room.
The plant grows best in partial shade but you can grow it in full sun too. You can grow it in a greenhouse or near a wall or trellis. The plant should be protected from hot direct sunlight as it may harm the leaves.
It forms wide clumps of grey-green grass-like foliage from a bulb like a rootstock. Clusters of pink or whitish-pink, strongly fragrant, small, tubular flowers on the end of the stems make up the inflorescence. Flowering occurs at the end of winter season or during the summer season depending on the climate.
Water the plant regularly. The plant prefers an evenly moist soil. Check when the topsoil is dry and water. You can cut back on watering in the winter months as the leaves are usually dormant by then.
Use a loamy or sandy, well-drained soil. Soil should be rich in nutrients. Use organic materials like compost. Add a layer of mulch to maintain soil moisture.
The plant grows about 1 to 2 feet tall.
The plant is not a big feeder and does not have major fertilizer needs. However, fertilizing can lead to better growth and better blooms. If you observe stunted growth in the plant, use a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Always water the plant before fertilizing to prevent fertilizer burn.
The plant usually remains pest and diseases free but might be susceptible to aphids and whiteflies especially when grown in the grass.
The plant is used for ornamental purposes. The flowers with their strong fragrance can scent an entire room. Sometimes the bulbs and leaves are used in the treatment of fever, stomach problems, colds and coughs.