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How to grow arisaema

Overview

Arisaema speciosum is an unusual perennial from the eastern Himalayas. It grows from fat, knobbly tubers, which are best planted singly in large pots for stability.

You will probably find a shoot already emerging from one end of the rhizome, so plant it with this just poking through the compost. Keep it warm and well watered, and a bulging, pointed shoot will quickly develop into a mottled stalk, topped by three leaves.

The flower (or, more correctly, the spathe and spadix) will develop alongside the stem, with closely spaced white stripes decorating the trumpet. The result is not very long-lasting, but it is dramatic!


How to do it

Filling a terracotta pot with potting compost

1Place a layer of drainage material in the base of a large, deep pot, followed by a few handfuls of potting compost.


Adding compost around an arisaema corm

2Sit the tuber in the pot and fill in around it with more compost, until just the new shoot is poking through the surface.


Topping up potting compost around emerging arisaema shoots

3As the mottled leaf stalks emerge, top up the pot with more compost and water regularly to prevent it drying out.


Purple arisaema flower

4The exotic striped spathe will form on the side of the leaf stalk and lasts about one week before beginning to fade.


Adam's tip

Add loam or John Innes to your compost to improve nutrient levels, and start feeding every week once your plants are growing strongly



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