Arum: planting cultivation maintenance and flowering

There are nearly 25 species of liliesof the rhizome plants which belong to the eponymous genus (Arum) and the family of Araceae. The Arum is a plant of great elegance with its spathes colored, large bracts in the heart of which appear the inflorescences, namely spades. The Arum can be white, purple, brown or yellow. Let’s take a look at planting Arum and the care it needs in the ground or in pots to produce beautiful quality flowers.

Planter un Arum

The best time of year to plant calla lilies is spring, from March in regions with a mild climate. Elsewhere, do not hesitate to wait until May or June if late frosts are still to be feared.

Here’s how to plant an Arum.

  • Dig holes 5 cm deep.
  • Place one rhizome per hole.
  • Cover with planting soil or garden soil enriched either with a mixture of seaweed and manure, or with a fertilizer for flowering plants.
  • Tamp lightly.
  • Water enough.

Whether we choose to plant an Arum in the ground or in a potit is fundamental to grant it a sufficient space to allow its imposing leaves to develop properly.

Thus, if one wishes plant several arums in the ground in order to form a group, it is necessary to take care ofspace the rhizomes 40 cm from each other. The advice is just as valid if you want to combine calla lilies with bulbous plants, which also bloom in summer. About the Arum pot culture, it requires the use of a sufficiently large container. A good forty centimeters in diameter is perfect. As for the tray or the pot, it must imperatively be fully drilled so that drainage is guaranteed.

Growing Arum

The Arum loves well-drained, rich soils. This rhizome plant likes semi-shaded exposures, even moderately sunny. It should not be placed in the scorching sun in summer because it does not support excessive heat. Apart from these few requirements, the Arum is easy to grow.


After planting, water your lilies moderately. Subsequently, on the other hand, from the start of flowering, care is taken to do not allow soil or substrate to dry out completely. It is therefore necessary to adapt the frequency of watering to the weather, knowing however that a potted Arum needs to be watered even more frequently than one grown in the ground. It is necessary to be generous with the waterings in the event of severe drought and/or scorching temperatures.

Watering must be reduced to a minimum once the flowering period is over, then we end up not watering the arums at all in winter, the rains being largely sufficient.


At the beginning of spring, it is useful to make a contribution of fertilizer for flowering plants or plants with bulbs because it allows to obtain an abundant flowering. A single supply is enough for arums in the ground. Those installed in pots or trays should receive a fertilizer to dilute in the irrigation water about once a month between April and September.


From November it is necessary to prune your calla lilies. It consists of cut them short when the plants have possibly suffered the first frosts but above all when the leaves are completely withered. It is very important to respect this point. The plant must indeed be allowed to build up reserves in order to be able to flower the following year. We therefore do not prune the leaves of the Arum when they are still green.

Protect in winter

It is especially in the regions north of the Loire that it is essential to protect an Arum planted in the ground throughout the winter. For example, we put a mulch at the foot and you can also use a winter sail.

L’Arum en pot needs another treatment. We can dig up his rhizomes and rid them of any soil residues. As soon as they are clean, they are placed, for example, in a cardboard box or even in a crate with a few pieces of charcoal which limit the risk of mould. Then there is only store all in a cool place, hours geldry and without window because the Arums must be able to pass the period of vegetative rest in the dark.

The following spring, all you have to do is replant them in brand new, very fertile soil and give them the little care necessary for their growth and flowering.

Note that the rhizomes can also be left in the pots, but they must be overwintered in a suitable room. et completely suspend watering throughout the winter. In March or April, all you have to do is resurfacing or completely replace the old soil with new one, then take out the arum pots so that the plants can once again take full advantage of natural light.

Pests and diseases

Watering enough is a precaution to take to protect the Arum against an invasion of thripssmall parasites that occur in a dry environment. In case of invasion, we can get rid of these undesirables by showering the leaves or even thanks to a spray of garlic decoction.

Note also that some caterpillars can quickly shred Arum leaves. You can simply dislodge them by hand to get rid of them.

Beware of excess humidity, especially in lilies grown in poorly drained pots, which is the case if the bottoms are not pierced. Excess water promotes rotting of rhizomes and early yellowing followed by leaf fall, and stagnant water increases the risk of fungal (or cryptogamic) diseases, i.e. the formation of parasitic fungi. Prevention of these diseases requires just watering but never excessivelya perfectly draining soil, and the respect of a sufficient distance between the plants in order to allow the air to circulate well.

Arum flowering

L’Arum fleurit between May and September. To take advantage of its sumptuous flowering during the winter, all you have to do in autumn is to take a section of a rhizome and install it in a pot with a pierced bottom that you place inside the house, in a bright room but without direct sunlight. The plant will flower again without any difficulty if it benefits from adequate watering and a contribution of fertilizer from time to time.

Gardeners who are lucky enough to have a water point such as a pond or a small pond can install their arums at the edge of the aquatic area. They will develop even better in this place capable of meeting their fairly high water needs.

Special mention for the Arum of Ethiopia with immaculate white flowering. This variety, also called Arum des floristes, loves this type of environment. If its marriage with aquatic plants is so successful, it is because this plant is semi-aquatic. However, it should not be planted in the middle of the pond. But beware, you should know that the Ethiopian Arum is neither Ethiopian nor an Arum, but a Zantedeschia Ethiopianof the group Zantedeschia.

Confusion is common because of the strong similarities between their respective physical characteristics, as we also often tend to to confuse the Arum and the Calla of the marshesthe only species of the genus Calla. Either way, Arum, Zantedeschia and Calla can be grown together in the garden or in pots for their stunning flowering.

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