Voodoo lily in leaf.
Voodoo lily is a perennial generally grown as a curiosity for its interesting foliage. Native to warm subtropical to tropical areas of eastern Asia, including Vietnam, Japan and China south to Indonesia, Amorphophallus konjac has been known by several other scientific names including A. rivieri, A. rivieri var. konjac, A. mairei, and Hydrosme rivieri as well as numerous common names including Devil’s tongue, dragon plant, elephant yam, konnyku, leopard arum, snake palm and umbrella arum (and some of the common names also refer to other species of arums).
The leaf stalk is mottled pinkish gray and olive green.
The starchy tubers are edible and this plant is grown for food in some parts of the world, processed into a tasteless flour or stiff jelly (which can be used as a vegan substitute for gelatin). The Japanese use konjac flour to make shirataki noodles, and the starch is used to make a popular Asian fruit jelly snack.
This plant in the philodendron family (Araceae) produces a single leaf from a subterranean tuber (sometimes incorrectly called corms). The globose tuber can grow up to 50 pounds and a foot in diameter. The tuber shrinks away as the new leaf grows and during the growing season a new, larger tuber replaces it. The fleshy leaf stalk (petiole) is a very interesting mottled pinkish-gray and olive green. The single intricate leaf consists of a horizontal blade on the vertical petiole which is divided into three sections, giving an umbrella-like effect.
A single leaf is produced from each bulb.
The leaf blade is deeply dissected and divided into numerous small leaflets. The petiole has multiple branches, so that large specimens resemble a small tree.
The large leaf spreads out to give an umbrella-like effect.
The size of the leaf is related to the size of the tuber, so the bigger the tuber, the bigger the leaf will grow, up to 4 feet across. Plants can grow up to 4-6 feet tall. Even in tropical climates voodoo lily requires a dry, dormant rest period every year. The leaf only lasts for one growing season and will naturally senesce in late summer or fall.
Larger tubers (about the size of a grapefruit or larger) may produce single inflorescence in late winter or spring before the foliage appears. A heavy stalk bears a large, shiny brown-purple to maroon ruffled spathe (a sheathing bract) up to 3 feet long surrounding the longer pale green to purple or mottled spadix (a flower spike with a fleshy axis). These monoecious plants have tiny individual female flowers (pistils) in a zone at the bottom of the spadix, another zone of stamens (the male flowers) and a sterile area at the top. When in bloom it produces an odor like a dead animal, the smell intended to attract the carrion flies that are its natural pollinators. If this is objectionable the flower can be cut off or covered with a plastic bag to confine the smell. Pollinated flowers will be followed by a globose berry, although this is rare in home-grown plants. It may be a month or more before the leaf emerges after flowering.
Amorphophallus konjac produces a single large, smelly flower from each bulb. Photos courtesy of David Waugh, Morningwood Farm, Mt. Horeb, WI.
As a tender plant, the leaf is very frost sensitive (although buried tubers are supposedly hardy to zone 6), and must be grown indoors as a house plant or as a seasonal outdoor plant. It is easy to plant the tubers outdoors once the soil has warmed and dig them again in the fall once the weather cools. In the Midwest where the growing season is relatively short, it is often better to start the tubers indoors and move them outside once nighttime temperatures remain above 55F.They can be transplanted into the ground, be sunk in the container into the ground up to the rim, or be kept in containers on a patio or deck.
This small tuber has started to sprout with the pinkish growing tip just showing.
Voodoo lily does best in rich, organic soil or soil-less growing medium. Plant the tubers when the pinkish growing tips start to show. Because the roots do not come from the base of the tuber, but from the top and grow out horizontally to help support the leaf, the tubers should be placed deeply below the surface – approximately as far below the soil surface as the tuber is wide. The container should be at least twice the diameter of the tuber that is planted to accommodate the spreading roots. As warm weather plants they will only grow when conditions are warm enough. Voodoo lily tolerates most conditions from full shade to full sun, but does in partial sun. It also needs consistent moisture when growing and can even tolerate standing in water; potted ones can be sunken into a shallow water garden. It is a heavy feeder, and can be fertilized heavily through the growing season. The growing medium should be allowed to dry and no more fertilizer provided in the late summer or fall when the leaf begins to senesce. Containers outside should be tipped over to allow them to dry out completely. Do not cut off the leaf until is completely brown.
During the winter rest period the tuber can remain in its pot in the dry growing medium or can be removed from the growing medium and stored in peat moss. It is often recommended to wait until spring to separate any small new tubers from the parent. In any case, the tubers should be kept on the dry side so they won’t rot, in fairly warm conditions (42-50F).
Voodoo lily readily produces offsets. The plant is easily propagated by separating the snake-like, stoloniferous tubers with rounded ends from the parent plant. They can also be grown from seed, although this is not commonly available.
– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Flower photos courtesy of David Waugh, Morningwood Farm, Mt. Horeb, WI
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More Information About Amorphophallus
Amorphophallus are exotic plants in the aroid family. The name amorphophallus comes from the Latin amorpho (deformed) and phallus…in other words, the flower resembles a deformed male sex organ…I’m not making this up. While several amorphophallus have proven to be winter-hardy, flowering shade plants for us (such as the easy-to-grow Amorphophallus konjac plant), others are grown as potted curiosities (e.g., Amorphophallus atroviridis and Amorphophallus titanum, the infamous Corpse Flower).
Each amorphophallus tuber produces one inflorescence, some of which can get quite large…i.e., Amorphophallus titanum. The flowers are renowned for their odor, which attracts flies for shady sexual purposes. The odor, which in some species is quite noticeable for about a half day, is the basis for great storytelling and leaves no doubt as to why it is called Corpse Flower. After flowering, each amorphophallus tuber will rest for at least a month (or occasionally an entire year) before producing a single, deer-resistant leaf.
Larger tubers will keep their foliage longer into the season than smaller ones, due to the large amount of energy required to support this oversized shade garden plant. In the garden, we recommend planting the amorphophallus tuber so that its top is 4-6″ below the soil surface…slightly deeper in colder climates. When amorphophallus tubers get large, they tend to form a cup that holds water…bad in areas with cold winter rains. To prevent rot we recommend you dig your amorphophallus after it has gone dormant in late summer and turn it sideways so that water does not collect in the winter. Old tubers die and regenerate each season, so keep the foliage healthy and growing.
In places where they are not hardy perennials, amorphophallus can be brought in for the winter. Some amorphophallus tubers can be stored dry while others must remain potted (see individual descriptions). While the flowers may be produced in early spring, amorphophallus foliage rarely sprouts before mid- to late-June, so don’t panic when you don’t see any signs of life in early spring.
Plant Delights Nursery has one of the best collections of Amorphophallus for sale in the United States, including the hard to find Corpse Flower. When you are ready to buy amorphophallus for your garden or container, we hope you will check out our list of amorphophallus for sale.
Check out our article: How to Grow Amorphophallus titanum
Amorphophallus (Voodoo Lily)
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Growing Conditions: It thrives in shade or sun.
Flower: Voodoo Lily has fleshy, exotic pink flowers. They smell like rotten meat and attract flies for just a day or two. Some years, there are no flowers.
Leaves: Impressive, snake skin patterned stems emerge from the ground reaching 2 or 3 feet. On top, a wide, delicate looking but tough leaf stretches out like an umbrella. This entire structure, stem and all, is actually the leaf. Definitely a texture and a statement plant!
How to plant: The bulbs are brown, sort of warty and like to grow shallow. Plant it about 3 inches deep in well drained soil.
Where to plant: Plant in sun or shade among very low growing plants. You want to see the form, the stem the structure of this plant. It’s a great plant to put on a hillside, where you can look up into it from below.
Our Bulbs: We ship 5 mature tubers (6-7 inches around). You can even propagate more yourself. Just collect the ‘bulbs’ that form in the center of the leaf, as that dies back for fall and plant them.
Note; This species is grown in India from seed. There may be some variation in the leaf shape and even the color of the ‘snake skin’.
Voodoo lily, Devils tongue, Snake Palm, Corpse flower, Elephant Foot Yam
Origin: Himalaya, India, Burma
Amorphophallus species are herbs with an underground storage organ. This is usually a tuber. One single leaf emerges from the tuber, consisting of a vertical petiole (stalk) and a horizontal leaf-blade. The latter is dissected into few or numerous small leaflets. Once plants are mature an inflorescence may develop. The inflorescence may replace the leaf in one season, or develop alongside it. From winter dormant tubers emerge an umbrella like plant with beautiful speckled stems. Large flowers will emerge from mature plants in the spring. When the spathe opens the female flowers are receptive and must be pollinated that same day. The opening inflorescence emits an attractant scent. In Amorphophallus this scent has diversified considerably. In most species the scent is anything but pleasant, and reminds one of varieties of death, decay, sewage, gas and the like. A few species develop a scent that is actually pleasant to the human nose (e.g. carrot-like, anise, chocolate, fruity, lemon). After successful pollination most parts of the spathe wither and drop off, after which the individual female flowers develop into berries, containing the seeds. These berries are usually red or orange-red, but occasionally blue, white, or yellow-and- white. Amorphophallus thrives in a rich loamy soil in partial shade. Compost should consist of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 1 part sand. Keep the plant evenly moist all through the growing season. Keep dry during dormancy, keep moist during growing period. Fertilize monthly with a houseplant fertilizer. Water should be gradually withheld starting in October until the leaf withers. Store corms at a temperature above 50 degrees. They can be brought into active growth in late March. If the corms are strong enough, a blossom will soon be produced. The leaf follows soon afterwards. A. bulbifer definitely dislikes low humidity – the leaflets may partially desiccate; this seems to be more pronounced in low light. Also, in low light, the leafes become exceptionally dark green, with nicely contrasting pink margins. Such plants have to be moved to brighter light very gradually. In bright light, the leaves are bright green, with pinkish margins less pronounced. Other species: konjac, titanum, and much more…
Amorphophallus konjac is one of the largest flowers, a perennial exotic Asian plant. It grows a single, elongated center called a corm and a single large leaf that wraps around it. The corm is the part of the plant that is used, as well as its tuber, which is commonly called the konnyaku potato. Amorphophallus konjac acts as a diet aid that has many benefits. Its ability to swell when mixed with water allows it to fill the stomach. It also moves through the digestive system very slowly, making the appetite feel satisfied for a longer period of time. This characteristic of Amorphophallus konjac is beneficial in treating obesity. It is one of the most exotic, bizarre flowers. Can be easily grown in a pot as a house plant. The single leaf dormant in winter, then in spring the plant shoots out a fantastic flower.
- Anchomanes difformis, Amorphophallus difformis (Anchomanes)
Voodoo Lily Info: Information On How To Plant A Voodoo Lily Bulb
Voodoo lily plants are grown for the gigantic size of the flowers and for the unusual foliage. The flowers produce a strong, offensive odor similar to that or rotting meat. The smell attracts the flies that pollinate the flowers. They are not as difficult to grow as their exotic appearance may suggest, however. Learning how to plant a voodoo lily bulb and the subsequent care of voodoo lilies can actually be quite easy.
Voodoo Lily Info
Voodoo lily, also called Devil’s tongue, is a member of the genus Amorphophallus. The voodoo lily A. titanum is the largest flower in the world. A. konjac has smaller flowers, but it is still quite large compared to other garden flowers.
Each bulb produces one stalk, about 6 feet tall, topped by one gigantic leaf. After the leaf stalk withers, the voodoo lily bulb produces a flower stalk. The flower is actually a spathe and spadex arrangement similar to a calla lily. The spadex can be 10 to over 50 inches long. The blossom only lasts a day or two.
How to Plant a Voodoo Lily
A voodoo lily bulb is up to 10 inches across, round and flattened. Choose bulbs that are at least the size of a softball to get flowers the first year.
You will want to plant the voodoo lily bulb a good distance from your house so that the odor doesn’t become too annoying. Plant the bulb in a location with full or partial shade in spring after the soil has warmed to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover them with 5 to 7 inches of soil.
Care of Voodoo Lilies
Once established, voodoo lilies are relatively carefree. The plant doesn’t need supplemental watering except during prolonged dry spells and never needs fertilizer. Remove the bloom when it fades, but allow the stalk to remain on the voodoo lily bulb until it withers.
Voodoo lily plants are hardy in USDA zones 6 through 10. In cooler zones, you can lift the bulb for indoor storage after the foliage is killed back by frost. The bulb has no special storage requirements. Brush off the soil and set the bulb on a shelf until spring. The problem with bringing it inside is that the bulb will come to flower while indoors, and the smell is overpowering.
Voodoo lilies can also be grown in pots. Use a pot 4 inches in diameter larger than the bulb. Allow the soil to dry out before watering. In zones cooler than 6, bring the potted bulb indoors for winter, but be aware of its unpleasant odor.
Voodoo lilies are exotic tropical plants, and they’re really fun to grow! It’s not difficult, but voodoo lily care is a bit different than it is for most plants. In this post, you will learn all kinds of fun voodoo lily facts, and find everything you need to know about how to grow voodoo lilies.
When I got my voodoo lily bulb from a friend several years ago, she gave me a warning. She said one day, you’ll walk into your basement and wonder what died down there. That means your voodoo lily is in bloom.
Oooo, it sounded so mysterious… I had no idea what to expect. To be honest, I was a little nervous about the putrid smell, but I couldn’t wait to see the voodoo flower!
The first couple of years, nothing grew but foliage. Then, finally one winter, my voodoo lily started to bloom for the first time. I was elated when I realized it was starting to flower! I checked my plant every day, watching the flower spike grow taller, skinnier and more intriguing.
Start of voodoo lily corpse plant flower spike
Finally, the voodoo lily flower opened and… well, she was NOT kidding about the smell. The stench from the flower only lasted a few days, and it wasn’t too overpowering.
But the smell was strong enough to make me think twice (and gag a little) every time I walked into the basement. Haha! Totally worth it for this Ah-mazing flower though!
This is by far the most unique plant I have in my tropical plant collection. The flowers are both gorgeous and putrid, and I love it! The best part is that voodoo lilies are extremely easy to care for.
My voodoo corpse plant blooming in late winter
Here’s what you’ll find in this voodoo lily plant care guide…
- What is a voodoo plant?
- Hardiness Of Voodoo Lily Bulbs
- What’s With The Weird Name?
- Voodoo Lily Plant Care instructions
- Sun Exposure
- Soil Requirements
- Pest Control
- Voodoo Lily Plant Propagation Methods
- Collecting And Growing Voodoo Lily Seeds
- Voodoo Lily Bulbs Winter Care And Dormancy
- Voodoo Plants FAQs
- What does a voodoo lily smell like?
- Why does a voodoo lily flower smell so bad?
- How long does a voodoo lily bloom?
- How often do voodoo lilies bloom?
- Does a voodoo lily die after it blooms?
- Are voodoo lilies poisonous?
- Is a voodoo lily carnivorous?
- Where To Find Voodoo Lily For Sale
What is a voodoo plant?
A voodoo lily plant is a type of corpse flower (aka carrion plant). So, as you can probably guess, that means that when they bloom, the flower smells like rotting flesh.
Some voodoo lily corpse flowers can grow to be huge 6′ tall monsters. Those are the ones you hear about on the news when they start blooming at your local conservatory.
It’s not very practical for home gardeners to grow the giant varieties (some have 100lb bulbs!) – those are best left for the pros with conservatories. But there are several smaller varieties that are fun and easy for anyone to grow.
The voodoo lily variety that I have is in the Araceae family (I’m pretty sure it’s a Sauromatum venosum, but it didn’t come with a tag). Mine is a dwarf variety so the flower spikes are only about 1-2′ tall, and the foliage grows to be about 3-4′ tall.
Oh, and the reason for the putrid smell of the voodoo lily corpse plant flower? Well, that’s to attract flies and other insects that enjoy a meal of rotting flesh. These insects will pollinate the flowers instead of bees.
Hardiness Of Voodoo Lily Bulbs
Some voodoo lily varieties (there are over 100 different types!) are actually perennial down to zone 6. But others aren’t as hardy so it’s important to know which variety you have before planting them in your garden.
Voodoo lilies can be grown in pots or in the garden. Mine is one of the hardier varieties, and I’ve had bulbs survive the winter in my zone 4b gardens off and on for several years now.
Voodoo lily bulbs don’t flower in the garden in cold climates like mine though. The flowers grow during the winter or very early spring before our ground has thawed. But the exotic looking foliage adds a unique tropical touch to the garden, and is reason enough to grow this plant if you ask me.
What’s With The Weird Name?
I once read somewhere that the reason this plant is called “voodoo lily” is because of the magic of the bloom. Voodoo lilies bloom out of a dormant bulb, even if the bulb isn’t planted in dirt. That’s why it’s magic! I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s a fun story.
Voodoo Lily Care Instructions
There are over a hundred different varieties of voodoo lilies, but they all require the same basic care. And for exotic plants, they are actually really easy to grow. Here’s all the information you need to know for successful voodoo lily care…
Voodoo lily corpse flower blooming
Voodoo lilies flower in the winter or very early spring, depending on the growing conditions and the plant variety. When grown indoors, they make really fun (though stinky) winter blooming plants!
The bulbs need to be mature before they will flower though. And the smaller the bulb, the longer you will have to wait for it to bloom.
It can take several years for the bulbs to mature, so if you want flowers right away, be sure to buy large bulbs. The size of a mature voodoo plant bulb will vary by variety (the gigantic ones are a few feet wide, yikes!). The blooming bulbs on my voodoo lily are about the size of an onion.
Watering is a very important part of proper voodoo lily care, so be sure to pay attention here. In their native environment, the summers are wet and the winters are dry.
So, you need to water them in the summer, but not during the winter (when they are dormant). Consistent overwatering can cause the bulb to rot, so never allow the soil to stay soggy.
During the summer, I like to allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings, then give it a good soaking. If you’re growing voodoo lilies in a container outdoors, be sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
To check how wet it is, stick your finger down one inch into the soil. If it’s wet, then wait to water it again. If you struggle with watering your plants, I recommend getting an inexpensive soil moisture meter to help you get it just right.
Stop watering your plant in the late summer/early fall to prepare it for dormancy. Do not water it at all during the winter while it’s dormant. When the plant starts growing again in the spring, give it a good drink of water. Then continue to water it normally thorough the summer.
The ideal light exposure for voodoo lilies is part sun to full shade. Mine grow happily in a partial sun location. I’ve heard that they will tolerate growing in full sun, but I’ve never tried it so I’m not sure how well they will grow in the sun.
If you plan on growing them as houseplants, put it in an area that gets indirect filtered light from a nearby window, but keep it out of direct sunlight. Also be sure to keep them with your other poisonous houseplants so your pets and kiddos can’t get to them.
Voodoo lily plants will grow their best in a rich, organic soil that has good drainage. If you have clay soil, you can amend it with compost to give it more nutrients and better drainage.
If you want to plant the bulbs in a container, then use a well draining potting mix. A general purpose potting soil will work just fine for growing voodoo lily bulbs. If you’re concerned about overwatering, then you can mix some perlite and/or coarse sand into the potting soil to give it better drainage.
My voodoo lily flowering indoors in winter
Voodoo lilies don’t require fertilizer to bloom, but they will benefit from being fed just like any other plant. They will respond best to organic plant fertilizer rather than synthetic chemical ones.
Compost tea is a really good organic all-purpose fertilizer to use for them. You can buy compost fertilizer in a liquid concentrate, or get tea bags to brew your own. Your plant will also love a nice seaweed fertilizer or fish emulsion (aka organic fish fertilizer).
Stop feeding your voodoo lily in late summer to prepare it for dormancy, and do not fertilize it during dormancy. Once the plant starts growing in the spring, start by giving it a weak dose of liquid fertilizer. Then feed it normally through the summer.
Perhaps the best part about growing voodoo lilies is that they are not prone to pest problems. As far as I know, there aren’t any types of bugs or animals that feed on them. Yes!
You won’t have to worry about pruning your voodoo lilies, the foliage never needs to be pruned. If they’re growing too large for the space, you can trim them back. Just don’t cut off all of the foliage until it has died back in the fall. Once the flower fades you can prune it from the plant, if desired.
Voodoo plant foliage growing in a pot outside
Voodoo Lily Plant Propagation Methods
The easiest way to propagate voodoo lilies is to simply divide the bulbs. I have read that they can be propagated by cuttings too, but have never tried it myself, so I can’t speak to that (though I plan to try propagating the cuttings some day!).
Every summer my bulbs multiply, and I get lots of tiny bulbs. The small voodoo bulbs will grow leaves, and they get bigger every year. It takes several years for them to get large enough to bloom though.
Collecting And Growing Voodoo Lily Seeds
Yes, voodoo lilies can be grown from seed! When successfully pollinated, red berries (which contain the seeds) will form on the plant. You can collect the seeds once the berries become soft and start to harden.
As with most tropical plants, voodoo lily seeds do not store very well, so it’s best to plant them as soon as possible after collecting them. Sow the seeds in a lightweight seed starting soil mix, and keep them evenly moist until the seedlings start to grow.
It takes a very, very long time to grow voodoo lily from seed, and you’ll have to wait several years for the plants to flower. So only try growing the seeds for fun, and if you’re an extremely patient person.
My voodoo lily has never produced seeds because it always blooms during the winter inside my house, and there aren’t any flies to pollinate it.
Voodoo Lily Bulbs Winter Care And Dormancy
One important thing to remember about voodoo lily care is that the bulbs require a period of dormancy every year. The bulbs will naturally go dormant in the fall, so don’t panic when your plant starts to die back. It’s best to allow it to go dormant. Don’t try to keep it growing or you’ll just end up killing your plant.
Bulbs growing in a pot can easily be overwintered in the basement or a heated garage. Once frost kills the foliage in the fall, I bring the pot inside, stash it in a corner of the basement, and forget about it (until I smell them blooming). If you plan to overwinter yours this way, do not water it at all during dormancy.
If your voodoo lily is growing in the garden where they aren’t hardy, you can lift the bulbs in the fall to store them indoors for winter. Store the bulbs in a dry, above freezing location.
They are winter flowering plants, and will probably start blooming while in storage. So be sure to put them in a spot where you can enjoy the gorgeous flowers. Just remember not to panic when you first walk into the room and wonder what died in there! Haha!
Voodoo lilies flower before the foliage grows. It can take a few weeks (or longer) for the foliage to start growing once the bulb is done flowering. So don’t worry if your plant looks dead after the flower fades, that’s totally normal.
Voodoo flower spike right before blooming
Voodoo Plants FAQs
In this section, I’ll answer some of the most common questions I get asked about growing voodoo lilies. If you can’t find an answer to your question after reading the post and these FAQs, then please ask it in the comments section below and I’ll answer it for you as soon as I can.
What does a voodoo lily smell like?
Are you sure you’re ready for this (try not to gag)… the voodoo lily flower smells like rotting flesh.
Why does a voodoo lily flower smell so bad?
Because flies are the natural pollinators of the voodoo lily carrion flower, so the smell is meant to attracts flies rather than bees.
How long does a voodoo lily bloom?
It can take a few weeks for the flower to open after it starts growing, but the flower only stays open (and stinky) for a couple of days.
How often do voodoo lilies bloom?
It depends on the variety you have. My voodoo plant flowers every year. But some types can take years before they bloom again.
Does a voodoo lily die after it blooms?
No. The plant doesn’t die after blooming, but the flower will die and eventually drop from the plant.
Are voodoo lilies poisonous?
Yes! So keep the bulb, plant and flower out of reach of children and pets, because voodoo lilies are toxic to cats and dogs too.
Is a voodoo lily carnivorous?
No. Voodoo lily flowers smell like death, but they are not carnivorous.
Where To Find Voodoo Lily For Sale
If you live in a warm enough climate, you may be able to find voodoo lily plants for sale at your local garden center in the spring. And if you’re really lucky, they may even carry the bulbs. They are pretty rare plants though, so don’t be surprise if you can’t find them at any garden center.
They aren’t cheap, but you can find voodoo lily bulbs for sale online. You can also buy voodoo lily seeds online too if you want to try your had with growing those.
Voodoo lily care isn’t difficult, and it’s fun to grow this tropical beauty. The voodoo lily is definitely one of the coolest plants I’ve ever grown. They look exotic, but are extremely easy to care for. Yes, they are stinky. But don’t worry, the unique, magic voodoo lily carrion flower is well worth the stench.
Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have to go see what died in my basement.
Are you tired of struggling to keep your indoor plants alive through the long, dry winter months? Then my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is just what you need! It has everything you need to know in order to maintain healthy and beautiful houseplants all year round.
More Plant Care Posts
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- Plumeria Plant Care Guide: How To Grow Plumeria Plants
- How To Grow Tropical Plants Indoors
- Cyclamen Plant Care Guide: How To Take Care Of A Cyclamen Plant
Share your voodoo lily care tips in the comments section below.
Plants don’t get much stranger than the voodoo lilies. This large group of aroids, mostly from Asia, grows from huge underground cormlike tubers, some weighing up to 100 pounds. In summer, each produces a single inflor- escence that looks like a giant calla (Zantedeschia). A large, hoodlike bract called a spathe surrounds a central spike or finger-shaped spadix. The fragrance this emits is unforgettablethe breath of the Devil but it lasts only for about a day. The carrion stench attracts flies, which are the plant’s chief pollinators.
After flowering, voodoo lilies rest for about a month before producing a single giant (to 3 feet wide) leaf, which lasts for the rest of the summer. Plants need moist, woodsy, well-drained soil. Set the tubers 4 inches deep in late winter or early spring; apply fertilizer monthly for best results. Often grown in pots or tubs; also good for naturalized areas where neighbors aren’t too close.
- Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
- To 3 feet high.
- Stem mottled in various shades of green produces a 112 feet spatheblotched with pink on the outside, red on the insidesurrounding a cream-colored spadix.
- The flower is followed by a segmented leaf that produces bulbils in its forks by the end of summer that can be removed and planted.
- Zones MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 7-11.
- To 3 feet high.
- Stem speckled with green and white is topped with a 6 inches spathe spotted in the same manner; a dark purple, 8 inches spadix protrudes from the spathe.
- The leafstalk that follows is topped by an umbrellalike leaf composed of numerous leaflets.
- Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11.
- To 6 feet tall.
- Purple-spotted stem holds a similarly mottled 3 feet spathe from which protrudes a magenta-purple spadix.
- Leafstalk holds an umbrellalike, deeply lobed leaf.
- Increases by offsets underground, eventually forming a big clump.
- Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
- Grows to 8 feet tall.
- A green marbled stalk that shades to purple at the top carries a ruffled, 112 feet-wide, purple-and-green spathe spotted with white.
- The spathe holds a large, protruding, purple spadix that looks like a bulbous knob or a brain.
- Leaf is divided into many leaflets and carried atop a green-marbled stalk.