FAMILY : Araceae
ORIGIN : India
SIZE : 4'-5'
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS : shade/ partial sun
WATER REQUIREMENTS : keep dry during dormancy,
keep moist during growing period
MIN. TEMP. : don't let the soil freeze
FLOWER : in the spring on mature plants
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius is perhaps one of the ugliest flowers (inflorescence) in the world and to accompany it, it has one of the worst scents that you can imagine. It's hard to get close to the flower when it's releasing its perfume. Fortunately, the foul odor only lasts for a few hours after the flower opens. The plant only blooms when mature and even so it doesn't bloom every year. Flowers last only about 5 days. Even more interesting, during this phase the plant generates heat which can be felt if you have the guts to stick your hand inside the inflorescence. The heat and the smell mimics an animal that has recently died to attract the flies that will pollinate the flower.
Amorphophallus will go dormant in the winter. Plant the tubers in pots at least 4" wider than the bulb. Bury them about 8"-10" deep for big bulbs, 5" for medium size bulbs, and 1" - 3" for small bulbs and use a good quality potting mix. Make sure that the top of the plant is facing up. When dormant, don't give it too much water, let the soil dry out. Keep it dry for a couple of weeks and then water it again. Don't fertilize. Repeat this process until the tuber wakes up in the spring. At that time you can start watering regularly and fertilizing the plant.
In the spring, if the plant is mature enough, you will see the flowers, otherwise a leaf will sprout. Very often they form clumps with the flower appearing between the leaves. Water and fertilize when growing. They should start going dormant again in the fall. The tuber can be dug up by late winter if necessary.