Lords And Ladies Plant Care – Tips On Arum Maculatum Propagation

Arum maculatum (Ladies’ Lady’s Finger) is one of the most popular plants in our garden. It grows very well in tropical areas, but it does not grow so well here in North America.

You might have seen some lady’s finger growing on your house or balcony. They are actually tiny white flowers with pink petals. These plants look pretty, but they can cause a great deal of harm if you don’t know what to do when you see them.

The leaves are small and pointed at the tip. Their color ranges from pale yellow to light green.

There is no particular way of identifying these plants other than their name, which means “little finger.” Some people call them “white fingers” because of their whitish tips. Others say they resemble little white fingernails.

They are usually found growing along the ground near water sources and around rocks. They like moist soil, but will tolerate dry conditions better than many other plants.

They prefer full sun, but will survive in partial shade better than most plants. This is why you will find them growing in the cracks of buildings and houses. They are fast growers and bloom non-stop from spring all the way into fall.

Most people will accidentally step on a few of these plants over the course of the year. Their fine needles puncture through shoes and into feet.

If this happens, do not panic. It will hurt a lot, but it is fairly safe to handle. This plant is also known as “touch-me-not” because it is said that if you touch the plant, the fruit will explode and send seeds flying everywhere. This is untrue for the North American varieties. The seeds are poisonous, however, so be sure not to eat them.

Sensitive people may experience an allergic reaction after getting the oils from the leaves into a cut or on their skin. If this occurs, seek medical attention right away.

The plant can be eaten once cooked. Their taste resembles that of asparagus.

They also make a good soup stock.

The plant is poisonous if consumed in large quantities. It can also be used as medicine.

Lords And Ladies Plant Care – Tips On Arum Maculatum Propagation - igrowplants.net

Since the plant contains a toxic acid, it should not be applied to the skin. It can cause blisters and permanent scarring.

In small quantities, it can act as a very weak sunscreen (it will still burn you if the sun is particularly strong, however). It can also be used as a dye.

Lords And Ladies Plant Care – Tips On Arum Maculatum Propagation

The lady’s finger plant (Arum italicum), is also known as the cuckoo plant, since its flowers look a little like the cuckoo bird. It has long been popular in flower arrangements for its interesting foliage and gorgeous flowers.

But this plant can also be deadly if ingested. The leaves, roots, stem and seeds all contain toxic substances, so it’s important to plant this plant in a safe location where the general public won’t have access to it.

How to Grow Lady’s Fingers

This is one of the easiest plants to grow from cuttings since rooting one piece can result in several new plants. The best time to do this is during the spring or summer.

Collect an armful of leaves and strip them from their stems. Make sure the leaf blades are free of any flower buds, since these can become roots on their own (and will produce non-fertile seedlings).

Fill a bucket up with water and add a small amount of fertilizer to it. Stir it around to ensure that the entire concentration is mixed well.

Soak the leaves in this solution overnight. This process will cause them to form roots faster.

Take a sturdy plastic container and put a few inches of the same soil you used for your main plant in the bottom. This will help create a good drainage layer, so the cutting doesn’t sit in water and rot.

Make sure all the leaf blades are free of any flowers or buds. Carefully, take each leaf and push it into the soil.

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Since they will be placed very close to one another, try not to tear or damage them. Once you’ve pushed the first few inches of the blade into the soil, place a couple of rocks on top of the soil to hold it down and keep it in place.

Place the container in a warm location (but not in direct sunlight) and keep the soil lightly moist. Within a month or so, you’ll see new growth coming from the leaf stems.

Once the new plant is well-established, it can be carefully removed from its container. At this point, treat it the same as any other young plant and care for it according to its needs.

Once you have at least two successful cuttings, you can try to root the leaves in the same way, but place them in a sunny window. A heat lamp can also be used to provide bottom heat.

Keep them moist and watch for new growth in about a month or so.

Lords And Ladies Plant Images

Here are some images of Lords And Ladies plants – Arum maculatum (cuckoo pint).

Lords And Ladies Plant Care Conclusion

The arum maculatum, also known as lords and ladies plant, cuckoo pint, and jack-by-the-hedge, is an interesting flower that can be quite dangerous if consumed. It has a long history of use as both a food and medicine, mainly in Europe.

Today, it’s popular for ornamental use in gardens where it can be seen blooming from May through June. The leaves, flowers and roots can all be eaten and have a flavor similar to sour gherkin.

The plant prefers a shady location in well-draining soil.

It’s also quite easy to grow from cuttings. If you’d like to add this plant to your garden, be sure to collect some leaf cuttings in the spring and give it a try!

Sources & references used in this article:

Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants by LS Nelson, RD Shih, MJ Balick, KF Lampe – 2007 – Springer

Taylor’s Guide to Bulbs: How to Select and Grow 480 Species of Spring and Summer Bulbs by BW Ellis – 2001 – books.google.com

A Floral Guide for East Kent, Etc: Being a Record of the Habitats of Indigeneous Plants Found in the Eastern Division of the County of Kent, with Those of … by DG Hessayon – 1995 – Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

Arum italicum by M Bennett, M Bennett – 2003 – Batsford

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