Arum: planting, cultivation, maintenance, flowering

Arums are sought after for their abundant flowering, both elegant and original. Their cornet spathes, allowing to create magnificent bouquets which hold well in vase, are of great beauty. Depending on the variety, this bulbous flower blooms from May-June until September, bringing to the garden notes of immaculate white or even very colorful. Let’s see how to cultivate this magnificent ornamental and what care it needs.

Plant arums

These bulb plants like rich and cool soils. Arums appreciate sunny exposures and sheltered from prevailing winds. In the more southerly areas, however, be careful with full sun in summer as this is likely to cause them to die off quickly. Partly shaded exposure may be preferable.

Planting takes place in spring, when the earth is already warmed up and the risk of frost has been eliminated. Arum can be planted in the ground or in a pot.

Planting arums in the ground

It is necessary to start by preparing the ground with a spade in order to remove the stones, the roots of weeds and the various plant debris then amend it with ripe manure.

  • Dig holes (their size must be 3 times greater than that of the bulbs),
  • Place one bulb per hole, well at the bottom,
  • Fill the planting holes with the soil / manure mixture,
  • Water.

Planting an Arum in a pot

  • Choose a pot 25 cm in diameter with a pierced bottom,
  • Place a layer of drainage at the bottom (clay balls, terracotta shards, gravel, etc.),
  • Cover the drainage layer with 5 cm of geranium soil or a mixture of potting soil and enriched topsoil,
  • Place a bulb in the center of each container,
  • Cover the bulb with the rest of the earth so as to cover it with a thickness equivalent to 2.5 its diameter,
  • Pack lightly around the bulb,
  • Water.

A constant humidity should be maintained thereafter, whether for arums in the ground or those in pots, without drowning them.

Growing arums

White, black, orange, yellow, powder pink… Arum is a must-have for gardens that you want to bloom in profusion. It can also be called Calla or Calla lily, depending on the genre to which it belongs. Anyway, it is easy to afford different varieties, even some hybrids, in order to take advantage of their beauty but also – for some arums at least – of their sweet fragrance. It also allows for staggered flowering from mid-spring to late summer.

Maintain the Arum (Calla, Zantedeschia)

When planted in the right conditions, arums need simple care to grow and they do not pose any particular problems.


They are water hungry. The soil should always be very moist. We do not therefore wait until it has dried to water again.


Arum needs extremely rich soil. It is therefore as greedy in nutrients as in water. Every year in early spring it is absolutely necessary to amend the soil with organic fertilizer.


Regarding hybrids Rehmannii as well as hybrids Elliottiana, it is recommended to dig up the rhizomes before the first frosts, with a spade and without injuring them. They are colorful arums that are not hardy. They must therefore pass winter out of the ground, in a dry and cool room, but also blind (that is to say without a window).

Flowering of Arum

You can only get beautiful flowers by giving the Arum the care it absolutely needs. In addition, from the end of flowering, it is advisable to remove withered flowers.

The leaves must be kept because it is thanks to them that the bulbs make reserves to be able to bloom again the following year. We must therefore wait until they are totally dry to cut them at the base, which should be done no later than the arrival of the first frosts. All that’s left is to protect the bulbs which will spend all winter in the garden, installing a thick mulch of dead leaves. As for those grown in pots, they must be brought in.

If we were used to seeing our arums bloom every year and suddenly they no longer bloomis that they lack water and / or nutrients. As mentioned above, these plants are very greedy. In addition to regular watering to keep the soil always moist, one or two organic fertilizer applications are needed for arums, callas and calla lilies in open ground, between May and September, and every 8 weeks for potted specimens. The fertilizer applications are stopped when the flowering period is over.

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