How to Grow Arum Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Cuckoopint, and Lords-and-Ladies

Plants in the genus Arum can either be half-hardy or hardy perennials.

Some of the common names for the plants include Cuckoopint and Lords-and-Ladies.

Arum plants typically flower from early to mid spring.

Arum palaestinum
Arum palaestinum by Hortulus.

Description of Cuckoopint - Arum

Arum plants are often compact in size. They are usually upright with arrow shaped leaves and elegant pitcher shaped flowers. They are a great plant to grow near water features.

Arum italicum
Arum italicum by Jitze.

Arum Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Lords and Ladies, Cuckoopint, Italian Arum.
Family: Araceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy Perennial, Half Hardy Perennial.
Height: 8 to 24 inches (20 to 60cm).
Native: North Africa, West Asia, Europe

Growing Region: Zones 5 to 9
Flowers: Spring
Flower Details: White, Brown, Purple or Yellow. Pitcher like.
Foliage: Arrowhead shaped leaves.

Sow Outdoors: 1/8 inch (3mm); Plant tubers 3 inches (8cm) deep. Autumn. Spacing 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm).
Sow Indoors: Germination time: one to six months. Temperature 55 to 65°F ( 13 to 18°C). 12 weeks before transplanting outdoors in spring or autumn.

Requirements: Full Sunlight or part shade (especially in hot areas). Moist soil. Humus rich soils. Regular watering to keep soil moist. Supply mulch to keep soil cool. Use slug pellets. Occasional feed. Propagate by division of tubers in the autumn.
Family: Araceae.
Miscellaneous: Carries red or orange berries. Noxious plant due to presence of Calcium Oxylate; use gloves when handling. Can be invasive in warm areas; use container to prevent spread of tubers.

How to Grow Arum

It is best to sow Arum seeds outdoor in the autumn at a depth of 30 mm; if growing from tubers, then they should be buried at a depth of 7 to 8 cm.

If you intend to start seedlings off inside, then seeds should be prepared 12 weeks before they are due to be planted out (in the spring or autumn).

Cuckoopint and related plants can take from between one to six months to germinate, and ideally should be germinated at a temperature of 13 to 18 degrees Celsius.

Seedlings should be transplanted at a distance of 30 to 45 cm apart, in either sunny or partially shaded areas of the garden (in hot summers, Arum may need to be shaded in the afternoon for protection).

The soil should be cool, humus rich and moist.

Caring for Arum

During growth the soil that Arum (cuckoopint, lords and ladies) is grown in should be kept moist. The soil should be kept cool by mulching and the plant should be regularly fertilised.

The plant is able to self seed, but tubers can also be divided in the autumn if more plants are required.