Voodoo Lily

Sauromatum venosum

Voodoo Lily

Sauromatum venosum
The Voodoo Lily (Sauromatum venosum) is sure to enchant you with the special growth and flowering from this large tuber! This particular lily has a unique growth habit. Just place the tuber on the window-sill. A spiky flower with purple specks will appear in spring, followed by the huge, exotic looking mottled leaves. The Voodoo Lily is a so-called dry flowerer, so it does not necessarily need potting compost. The Voodoo Lily is a really unusual houseplant!
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Voodoo Lily
Voodoo Lily
Voodoo Lily
Voodoo Lily
How we measure

We measure the diameter of the bulb. A bigger bulb contains more food for longer flowering and a stronger plant.

Latin name: Sauromatum venosum
Delivery type: Supplied as bulb or tuber
Guarantee: 1 year growth and flowering guarantee
Color: Purple
Preferred location: Sun, Half shadow
Green stayer: No
Leafs all year: No
Hardy plants: Yes
Self polinating: No
Edible: No
Naturalizing: Yes
Scented: Not Scented
Grafted: No
Cutting flowers: No
Flowering: May - July
Growing Height: 30 - 40 cm
Bulb circumference: 22 cm

There are two ways to grow this plant:

  1. Grow it dry - on a plate on an (unheated) window-sill. The buds will appear after several weeks. It requires no water. This method is done from December to February.
  2. Plant in a large pot in potting compost mixed with sand. Water sparingly to start with - more when the bud is visible. The flower lasts longest if you keep the soil evenly moist.
The tuber can also lie dormant in a paper bag for several months in a frost-free area. Plant out in pot or garden, March or April.

The leaves will appear after the flower. If growing it dry, you will now need to plant it in a pot. Roots form at the same time as the leaves and they help the tuber to grow. Keep the pot indoors as long as there is frost outdoors. Treat your voodoo lily as you would any houseplant. The Sauromatum venosum will be fine in a cool (bed)room. Place outdoors only when all chance of frost is passed.


Sauromatum venosum tubers will thrive in pots if they are regularly fed and watered in the spring. Indoor pots can be gradually acclimatised to the outdoors after the frosts are passed - start off in full shade, graduate to part shade. When summer is over, do not feed or water. The leaves will die off and the tuber will go dormant.

In the garden
Voodoo lily tubers in the garden require feeding and watering too to help them make new tubers for the following year. To do this, feed and water regularly in the first half of the year. The leaves turn yellow and the tuber goes dormant some time in the summer or autumn. Sauromatum venosum are generally hardy and they will sprout again in the spring with their characteristic look.

As a dry flowering tuber

If you want to see the voodoo lily flower indoors again the following year, stand a cane next to it so you know where to find it in November/December. Dig it up carefully and clean off any excess soil. It is quite a large tuber so be careful where you plant your spade. Remove all roots and stand the tuber upright - maybe on a window-sill and this will start the entire growing process again.


Sauromatum venosum is indeed unique! Both flower and leaf are very striking. What is generally seen as the flower is actually a bract which surrounds an ear with lots of tiny actual flowers. The leaf appears after the flower and has an unusual shape having one straight, strikingly mottled stem with 2 shoots sticking out sideways, pointing away from the plant.

Although actually called Typhonium venosum this plant is better known as the Sauromatum venosum. It is a member of the Araceae family.


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