How to Grow India Voodoo Lily


India voodoo lily, or sauromatum venosum as it is known botanically, is a tropical flowering aroid that is native to the Himalayas. It is well known for its tall, purple, specked flower reminiscent of an arum lily, spotted stem and putrid odor when the bloom opens. It is a spring flowering tuber that goes dormant in the winter months. It grows in warm, moist climates, under filtered sunlight such as you would find in a lightly forested jungle canopy. It can be grown in the ground or in containers but should not be situated near dwelling windows and doors, due to the distinctively foul smell of its annual flower.

Step 1

Site your voodoo lily where it will grow in nutrient rich but well drained soil. Provide a light shade or filtered sunlight exposure that replicates the under-canopy of the jungle.

Step 2

Water your India voodoo lily weekly, to maintain evenly and lightly moist but not wet soil. It prefers humid conditions, and in climates with very hot and dry seasons it may require more frequent watering.

Step 3

Feed your lily with a complete and balanced fertilizer in early spring, early summer and again in late summer, following label dosing directions. Alternatively, use a once per year granular slow-release fertilizer formulation instead. Water either well at application time.

Step 4

Mulch around the base of your voodoo lily to feed the soil and hold moisture in. Use compost, shredded bark or cocoa bean hulls for best effect.

Step 5

Cut off the leaves at the base of the plant as they begin to brown and die back. Cut off the flower stalk down to the crown, after it has peaked and begins to fade and collapse on itself.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Balanced complete slow-release fertilizer
  • Organic mulch
  • Loppers


  • International Aroid Society: Sauromatum venosum
  • University of Connecticut: Sauromatum venosum (Aiton) Kunth
  • Pacific Bulb Society: Sauromatum
Keywords: India voodoo lily, spring flowering bulb tuber rhizome, sauromatum venosum

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.