Growing Arisarum in Containers- Growing Mouse Plant

Arisarum make beautiful plants in containers
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In this article, we will discover how to grow Arisarum in containers. In a previous article, we discussed how to grow Arisaema in containers, a member of the Arum family, but now we turn our attention to another member –Arisarum. This is a plant that is native to the Mediterranean regions, especially east of the Caucasus and West of this area.

Arisarum make beautiful plants in containers
Arisarum make beautiful plants in containers

It is a rhizomatous hardy perennial that produces the typical arrow-shaped, glossy and long green leaves often found with plants in the Arum family. It is grown for the novelty factor because the flowers that appear in spring- a dark purple/brown and white spathe with a long narrow tail- give an appearance of a mouse tail sticking out of a hole. The flowers appear above the leaves. Like all arums, there is a spathe and there is a spadix. The spadix is not easily noted but it bears tiny flowers and is covered with the tubular spathe described above. The tail can be 15cm long and so not difficult to see.

Find out how to grow this unusual looking plant in this article.


You will often need to grow this plant from shop-bought plants as they will not grow more than 10cm high. First, choose a large enough container to hold a plant or three and make sure it is well-proportioned and suits the plants in question. Whatever, you use make sure it has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom.

To this container add a 1cm layer of gravel to aid drainage. Next, make an enriched, well-draining compost by mixing 80% by volume multipurpose compost with 20% by volume horticultural grit. To this mixture add a couple of handfuls of manure to enrich the compost. Fill the container to within 5cm below the rim with this growing media.

Dig holes at a distance of 30cm apart and slightly bigger than the root ball of the original container. Drop the plants in so that the top of the root ball is at the same level as the top surface of the compost. Backfill with the growing media so that no gaps remain, using more compost if you have to. Firm the plant in and water well.


Arisarum proboscideum
Arisarum proboscideum

Place the container in a light shady area for it to do well. It is fully hardy and will take UK winters well. Once established it will take drainage pretty well but until then, water regularly. Water when 5cm below the top surface of the compost feels dry to the touch.

Every spring you can apply a slow-release fertilizer to build up reserves to get it through until it goes dormant. The flowers appear in March but by August it would have disappeared, so no pruning is required. At this time, you can add a 2cm thick layer of mulch to protect the plants from frosts and winter rains.


The plants seem resistant to most pests and diseases but spider mites can be a problem. If you do notice this you may need to spray with a suitable miticide that will target this pest. You may need to be patient but they can be dealt with.

Overwatering will kill the plant and so it is important to make it free-draining, especially in winter during the dormancy period. Get the growing media right and you will have won the battle.


Arisarum vulgare
Arisarum vulgare

There are only two species that you will find; one hardy and the other tender.

A. proboscideum is the one that has been described in this article in great depth. I will not repeat it here but it is not a difficult plant to find. It is the hardy one of the two varieties that you are likely to find.

A. vulgare is similar but tender and instead produces brown and green striped flowers with a brown head.


In this article, we have discovered how to grow the wonderful rhizomatous perennial of Arisarum in containers. If you are looking for an easy to look after plant that has a novelty value, then this is the plant for you.

Make sure you do not overwater and it should give you many years of happiness. If you have any questions or comments that you wish to make on growing Arisarum in containers, please do so in the comment box below.

Happy Arisarum in Containers.

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