How to care for a Voodoo Lily Plant


INTRO: 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. 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.

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...

MORE (flowering, watering, sun exposure, soil requirements, fertilizer, pest control, pruning, propagation methods, seeds, winter care, FAQs, finding voodoo lilies on sale):

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