The Voodoo Lily

When searching for an interesting and exotic new houseplant, there is no reason to look any farther than the Voodoo Lily. The Voodoo Lily, also known as Amorphophallys rivieri, qualifies as an exotic houseplant because it does not require soil or water to grow when it first begins to flower from a tuber. Simply place the tuber on a windowsill and watch its maroon flower immerge. This amazing event occurs a couple of weeks after the tuber has been set on the windowsill and has had time to soak up the sunlight it needs. But be forewarned, along with this interesting flower comes a terrible fragrance, which also makes it a little different from most flowering plants. When the fragrance gets too unbearable, move this stinking, flowering tuber outdoors to an area where it will be safe from getting frost bitten.

After the flowering stage has passed, the tuber can be planted in a pot with well-draining potting soil. The tuber should be planted three to four inches deep in a pot that is at least twelve inches deep. After planting the tuber, it is all right to either leave it indoors in a sunny location or return it outside, but be sure to keep it out of direct noonday sunlight because the green leaves will scorch. During this growing season, the old tuber will wither and a new one will grow over it. The root system will transport the new tuber to the same depth as the old tuber and the foliage continues to grow. The different stages of this plants life easily qualify it as an exotic houseplant. The changes in care that have to be made after the tuber flowers, so that the actual plant can survive, are very important.

After the foliage has emerged, this exotic houseplant will require two to three hours of morning or afternoon sunlight. It will also require water when the soil is dry to the touch until the foliage is fully-grown. At this time, the soil will need to be kept barely moist. Fertilizer can be used, a 15-30-15, occasionally through out the summer months. With the correct care and attention, the foliage that appears after the flowering is over will thrive nicely, then it will die away and the tuber can be removed from the pot. Remove any remaining vegetation and place the cleaned tuber in a dry, frost-free place. Leave the tuber alone in storage until the next spring when the entire process can begin again.

Because of the interesting behavior of the Voodoo Lily, it is a good choice of for anyone looking for an exotic houseplant, except for the fragrance that it emits with blooming. If you have children, this is really a good choice of plant for them to watch as it goes through the changes. This exotic houseplant also has beautiful, large leaves that add to the beauty of the home, whether it is placed indoors in a sunny location or outdoors on a patio. For more information visit www.davesgarden.com or www.directgardening.com.

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