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How to Plant Voodoo Lily Bulbs

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

The voodoo lily's beautiful, unique inflorescence makes it a favorite among gardeners with an affinity for the exotic. Voodoo lilies are fairly easy to plant and grow, and once in the ground, they grow quite large quite quickly. And this can put a lot of demands on the soil they are planted in. Before you plant voodoo lilies, it is a good idea to obtain a soil test. For a nominal fee, your local county extension office will reveal the nutrient content in your soil and recommend any amendments or fertilizers that should be incorporated before you plant. Although not an essential step, this is the best way to ensure that your voodoo lily has the fertile soil it needs to thrive.

Dig a hole for each voodoo lily bulb that is twice as wide as the bulb itself and deep enough to allow 5 inches of soil to cover the top of the bulb. Dig neighboring holes at least 9 inches apart.

Plant voodoo lily bulblets pointed end up. Plant larger voodoo lily bulbs with the circular depression in the center of the bulb facing upward. Cover the bulbs with soil and pat them down gently with your hand.

Water the bulb with enough water to moisten the soil to the depth of the bulbs but not soak it. If water pools on the soil before it is moist to the correct depth, stop watering until the water absorbs, then start again. Use your finger or a wooden dowel to test that the soil is moist below the voodoo lily bulbs before you stop watering. Continue to keep the soil moist in this matter until the voodoo lily bulbs germinate in summer.


Things You Will Need

  • Spade


  • Voodoo lily bulbs are hardy perennials in zones 8 to 10. In zones 6 and 7, they must be dug up each winter.
  • Once established, the voodoo lily is quite drought-tolerant, but it prefers moist soil.
  • Plant voodoo lily bulbs in late spring once the ground's temperature has reached at least 60 degrees.
  • Voodoo lilies prefer partial to full shade.


  • The voodoo lily's inflorescence will smell like rotting meat for the first day or so after it blooms.
  • The voodoo lily is poisonous if ingested.

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.