If you have ever seen a flower that resembles a white flag fluttering in the breeze, you may have come across an arum lily. This graceful and exotic flower originates from South Africa, but has been grown around the world for its charm and scent. Arum lily, also known as calla lily, is not really a lily, but belongs to the arum family, which includes plants like philodendron and anthurium. In this blog post, we will teach you how to grow, care for, and propagate arum lily in your home or garden.
How to Grow Arum Lily
Arum lily is a perennial plant that grows from rhizomes, which are underground stems that store water and nutrients. Arum lily likes moist, well-drained, and slightly acidic soil, with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. It can handle some dryness, but not flooding. Arum lily also enjoys bright, indirect light, and can grow in full sun or partial shade. However, it may need some shelter from harsh sun or frost.
Arum lily flourishes in warm and humid climates, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. There are many types and colors of arum lily available, from pure white to yellow, pink, orange, red, and even black. Some have dotted or streaked leaves, while others have plain green ones. Some have big and flashy flowers, while others have smaller and more subtle ones.
You can pick the type that matches your preference and style, or combine them for a dazzling display. To plant arum lily, you need to prepare the soil by adding some organic matter, such as compost or manure, and breaking it up with a fork or spade. You can also add some sand or perlite to improve the drainage.
Then, dig a hole about 10 cm deep and 15 cm wide, and place the rhizome horizontally, with the eyes facing up. Cover it with soil, and water it well. You can plant arum lily in spring or autumn, depending on your climate. Space them about 30 cm apart, to allow for air flow and growth.
How to Care for Arum Lily
Arum lily is an easy-care plant that does not need much attention once established. However, there are some things you can do to keep it healthy and happy. Here are some tips on how to care for arum lily:
Watering: Arum lily likes to be kept moist, but not wet. Water it regularly, especially during the growing season, but let the top few centimeters of soil dry out between waterings. Reduce the watering frequency in winter, when the plant is dormant. You can also use a mulch, such as bark or straw, to preserve moisture and prevent weeds.
Fertilizing: Arum lily benefits from a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, applied every two weeks during the growing season. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer, such as osmocote, at the start of spring. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can cause leaf burn and reduce flowering.
Pruning: Arum lily does not need much pruning, except for removing dead or damaged leaves and flowers. You can also cut back the foliage after the flowering season, to encourage new growth. You can also use the cut flowers for bouquets or arrangements, as they last for a long time in water.
Pest control: Arum lily is relatively pest-resistant, but it may attract some insects, such as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and thrips. You can control them by spraying them with a mild soap solution, or using a natural predator, such as ladybugs or lacewings. You can also use a systemic insecticide, such as imidacloprid, if the infestation is severe.
Arum lily may also be affected by some diseases, such as fungal rot, bacterial soft rot, and mosaic virus. You can prevent them by providing good drainage, air circulation, and hygiene. You can also use a fungicide, such as copper sulfate, or a bactericide, such as streptomycin, if the infection is serious. Arum lily has many benefits, besides its beauty and fragrance. It is a long-lasting and versatile flower, that can be used for various occasions and purposes.
For example, you can use arum lily as a symbol of purity, innocence, and faith for weddings, baptisms, or funerals. You can also use arum lily as a sign of admiration, gratitude, and appreciation for birthdays, anniversaries, or thank-you gifts. You can also use arum lily as a way of expressing your love, passion, and devotion for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or any romantic gesture. Arum lily is a flower that can convey many emotions and messages, depending on the color and context.
How to Propagate Arum Lily
Arum lily is a plant that can be propagated by two methods: division and seed. Division is the easiest and fastest way to propagate arum lily, as it involves separating the rhizomes into smaller pieces and replanting them. Seed is the more challenging and time-consuming way to propagate arum lily, as it involves collecting, sowing, and germinating the seeds. Here are the steps for each method:
Division: You can divide arum lily in spring or autumn, when the plant is dormant. To do this, you need to dig up the rhizome carefully, and cut it into sections, each with at least one eye. You can use a sharp knife or a spade to do this. Then, you need to plant the sections in prepared soil, about 10 cm deep and 30 cm apart. Water them well, and wait for them to sprout and grow.
Seed: You can collect arum lily seeds in summer, when the flowers have faded and the seed pods have turned yellow. To do this, you need to cut off the seed pods and place them in a paper bag. Then, you need to shake the bag gently to release the seeds. You can store the seeds in a cool and dry place until you are ready to sow them. To sow the seeds, you need to prepare a seed tray with moist potting mix, and sprinkle the seeds lightly over the surface.
You can cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, and place the tray in a warm and bright place. You need to keep the soil moist, but not wet, and wait for the seeds to germinate, which may take several weeks or months. Once the seedlings have grown, you can transplant them into individual pots, and later into the garden.
See also: Moon Flower
Arum lily is a plant that can add elegance and exoticism to your home or garden. It is also a plant that can offer many benefits and meanings, depending on how you use it. By following these tips, you can grow, care for, and propagate arum lily successfully, and enjoy its beauty and fragrance for years to come.