How to Plant Voodoo Lily


Voodoo lily, sometimes called devil's tongue or stink lily, is an unusual looking wildflower native to the Balkans and Greece. This plant has 12- to 18-inch-long yellowish-green leaves and a purple- and green-spotted stem. In late spring or early summer, the dark purple "bloom" appears, which is actually called a spadex, and can grow from 10 inches to 53 inches in length. When in bloom, the voodoo lily releases a pungent, unpleasant odor similar to that of rotting meat.

Step 1

Dig a hole that is two times the length and width of the tuber, which is the bulb-like root of the voodoo lily. Add four inches of African violet potting mix to the planting hole.

Step 2

Place the tuber into the hole with the usually pointed top directed upward. If you are unsure which end is the top, plant the tuber sideways.

Step 3

Back fill with the loosened soil and tamp down well.

Step 4

Water until the soil is moist, but not soaked. Continue to check the soil daily and water whenever the top inch no longer feels damp to the touch.

Step 5

Fertilize every other week with a water-soluble fertilizer mixed according to package directions once growth begins.

Tips and Warnings

  • The odor from the voodoo lily is strong and while it only lasts a few hours, it is quite unpleasant, so you may want to avoid planting it close to your home.

Things You'll Need

  • African violet potting mix
  • Garden spade
  • Water-soluble fertilizer


  • University of California Cooperative Extension: Dracunculus
  • Backyard Gardener: Sauromatum guttatum ( Voodoo Lily )
  • Plant Voodoo Lily
  • Iowa State University Extension: Voodoo Lily
Keywords: voodoo lily, plant voodoo lily, grow voodoo lily, tuber, stink lily, devil's tongue

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.