Amorphophallus, commonly called Voodoo Lily, are exotic plants in the aroid family, famous for their huge flowers whose odor leaves no doubt as to why they are also called Corpse Flowers. While several amorphophallus have proven to be winter hardy for us, most are grown as potted curiosities. Some tubers can be stored dry while others must remain potted (see individual descriptions). Amorphophallus rarely sprout before mid-to-late June, so don't panic when you don't see any signs of life in early spring.
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.
Overwintering Your Voodoo Lily
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 voodoo lilies for sale.
Check out our article: How to Grow Amorphophallus titanum