BAT FLOWER (TACCA CHANTRIERI)
The black bat flower scientifically known as Tacca chantrieri is a specie of flowering plant belonging to the yam family, Dioscoreaceae. The name “black bat flower” stems from the bat-shaped nature and black flowers of the plant. These flowers have long “whiskers” that are about 12 inches across and can grow up to 28 inches long. This exotic plant’s deep purple flowers imitate a bat in flight with long, hanging filaments and ruffled wings.
Bat flower plant is native to Asian countries, especially Southeast Asian tropical regions such as Malaysia, Thailand and the Yunnan Province of Southern China. This plant is an understory plant which implies it naturally grows under shade. They grow best under shade with high humidity and excellent air circulation.
Growing bat flower plants
Since Tacca blooms mostly from late spring until early fall, it can be grown round the year in indoor containers, and then planted in the spring. It can stay undisturbed in the ground over the winter when planted within the hardiness region of 9B–11. However, in colder zones, the potted plant should be brought inside to stay temperate all through the winter.
Growing bat flower plant is a pleasant way to have an unusual flower around. Bat flower is an orchid plant. People living in warm areas can learn how to grow this unique bat flower outdoors. In more seasonal regions, this plant and its frilly flower grows indoors with vigour when the growing conditions are satisfying. It usually a requires a little bit of extra care for this plant to blossom. But the unusual specialty of this plant makes the extra care worthwhile. The best gardeners I know who can grow the plants is LDN Gardener who are based in London.
How to plant bat flower
For indoor planting, use a container having sufficient drainage holds, filled with loamy, well-drained, nutritious and light soil. Plant the Tacca rootstalk upright in a way that the leaves are exposed above the soil.
For outdoor planting, find a less windy location with about 40 – 60% shade, and well-draining soil. Plant the Tacca rootstalk upright in a way that the leaves are exposed above the soil.
Once planting is done, water the plant gently to soak the soil without getting waterlogged.
Soil conditions to grow bat flower.
It is a must to use well-draining soil when growing bat flowers. The soil must remain moderately moist on regular basis. It should be light and capable of retaining moisture in a way that it won’t get soggy.
If possible, fertilize the soil every six weeks with a regular house plant food and once in a while, with an acid boosting plant food.