The Q&A Archives: Voodoo Bulb

Question: I have a Voodoo bulb and I was given and want to learn how to plant and take care of it?

Answer: Sauromatum venosum is the voodoo lily. The flower is composed of a one-foot long bract, greenish yellow with deep purple markings, that surrounds a long, blackish purple central spike. The bloom has a strong, unpleasant odor when it first opens. The tuber will bloom without planting, just place it on a windowsill. Or you can pot it up in rich potting soil, keeping the soil moist while the plant is growing, then letting it dry during dormancy.

The odor is the flower's way of attracting pollinating insects - mainly flies - and is strongest the day it open. After that, it's a curiosity that's sure to evoke comments from your visitors.

If you decide to keep your voodoo lily after it blooms, you can plant it in a container in regular potting soil and give it bright light and moderate amounts of water.

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