Voodoo Lily aka corpse lily ( Amorphophallus konjac )

This plant is one of the reasons I love our subtropical climate. It may take a few years before I see a flower, usually the plant must be 6 years old before flowering.

The leaf is just one leaf which is what you see in the photo right now.

The flower, when it arrives, will be purple and like a calla lily but about 2′ high on a stalk that is about 5′ tall and stinking of rotten meat. The smell only lasts a few days so don’t let that keep you from growing this plant. The plant is fertilized by beetles in its native habitats of Indonesia.

The flower arrives first in the spring usually in May, and after the flower is gone the leaf will arrive a month or so later in June.

This plant wants bog conditions or a pond or at the very least daily watering, but may rot if we have a wet winter. This one died during a summer drought.

Plant in the shade. I find it is susceptible to leaf scorch in dry, windy conditions.

It will eventually form a clump of plants.

Many local gardeners grow this in pots and take it in when cold, but there is no need, it should winter over just fine in Houston.

Each year the tubers of this plant shrink to be replaced by larger ones that grow over the summer.

It is susceptible to nematodes.

Its cousin amorphophallus titanum is the one that makes the news when it blooms. That flower is about 9′ tall.

More information:
This issue of Wayne’s Word is Dedicated to Stinking Flowers

15 thoughts on “Voodoo Lily aka corpse lily ( Amorphophallus konjac )

  1. Hey, Herself,
    I ran across your site while googling Cardboard Palm. In my zone 6, it’s a houseplant except for a summering outdoors.

  2. It’s a cool plant.

    I’m moved down here from New England and most of my old houseplants are growing in my back yard now.

    It’s pretty cool.

  3. i would like all the information i can get about the Konjac. anyone know where i can find complete information about this particular plant?
    Thanks!

  4. If you can tell me more about what information you need I can help. I haven’t found a single source that really covers this plant in depth.

    Are you looking for growing information, or history or something else? I’ll try to hunt it down if you can be more specific.

    If you have a specific question try This forum. There are many Konjac lovers there who might be able to help you.

  5. I’m not sure what you are asking still?

    Grow it in the shade, protect from cold, don’t over water it or it will rot, protect from wind since it is prone to leaf scorch.

    When it gets larger ~ 4 years old it will flower. It looks a bit like a peace lily with a central stalk and one leaf. But the leave wraps around the stalk instead of just sitting behind it.

    It gives off a smell meant to attract flies, not the prettiest scent but that fades in a few days.

  6. what kinda of soil?

    when does it go into dormancy? what do i do when it does?

    i repotted mine the other day, its just a little one, only 7 inches from base to leaf-tip, when i found that this HUGE chunk taken out of it and that it was only staying up by a sliver. it looked like someone mightive bumped against it with a shovel and took a peice out.
    i read somewhere that if somethings wrong with the stalk (rotting or something) but its still standing up then that would be that the bulb is putting forth alot of energy to keep itself alive but if it goes on too long then the bulb will run out of energy and be beyond saving.
    I dont know if i should cut the stalk off to save it or not. :P

  7. It goes into dormancy when it thinks it is winter – depends on length of day and temperature. Outside at about 40’F at night and in the fall. Indoors it may vary.

    Stop watering when it goes into dormancy or water just a tiny bit to keep soil from getting hard. Cold and wet == rot.

    I would leave the stalk until it dies back. It will continue to add food to the bulb until then.

    Soil – just regular garden soil, nothing special for this plant. Any well draining soil will do.

    Cutting off parts of a plant are only necessary if there is bacterial rot inside. Rarely does it do the plant any favors. Whoever started the idea that you should amputate plants to help them obviously hated plants. I’m thinking it was a plant serial killer.

  8. haha funny :p

    thanks for the help!

    do you have any pics on what the bulb? are they round or kindve long?

  9. another thing; do Konjacs need rich (i’m making a compost) or normal miracle grow potting soil? what about loam? sandy or clay?

  10. Any of those is fine, they are not picky about the soil like some plants.

    Anything well drained is fine.

    I’d mix some compost and potting soil together myself.

  11. couple more questions, are they poisonous to animals? i have a bunch or pets and i dont want them to get sick should they ever consume it.

    also can i start growing them inside right now or do i just wait for spring?
    I live in S.w. fl and the weathers a bit sparatic.

  12. I would save it until spring. Just put it some where dry, dark and cool.

    I don’t know if this plant is toxic. It seems everything that grows here in Houston is toxic or has thorns or both.

    I know the powder is used in herbal supplements for humans, but what is safe for a dog or human isn’t always true in reverse. Your vet should know.

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