Black Bat Flower (Tacca Chantrieri): Plant Care & Growing Guide

Written by Iris

Nov 13 2021

Black Bat Flower (Tacca Chantrieri): Plant Care & Growing Guide
The black bat flower (Tacca Chantieri) is an exotic plant with peculiar flowers, which belongs to the orchid type. These flowers are 12 inches wide and look like bats in flight, deep purple with ruffled wings, and long, hanging filaments. It is a great way to grow black bat flowers indoors or outdoors to own a kind of novelty plant. The Tacca bat flowers will bloom from late spring through early fall with new blooms appearing repeatedly throughout the season. The Black Bat Flower is a poisonous plant. Think over whether to grow the black bat flower at home if having children or pets. Meanwhile, growing Tacca chantieri flowers require a little extra care, so let’s take a look at how to grow and care for black bat flower together.
Botanical/Scientific Name Tacca chantrieri
Common Name Bat flower, black bat flower, tiger beard, cat's whiskers, devil's flower
Plant Type Perennial
Bloom Time Late summer through fall
Flower Color Black (dark purple)
Plant Time grown year-round indoors; Planted in spring
Propagation Can be reproduced from seeds or division
Light Requirements Partial sun to dappled shade
Soil Requirements Fertile, well-drained soil
Watering Regular watering to remain moist soil
Suitable Temperature 77 to 84°F during summer; 59 to 64°F during winter
Poisonous Poisonous to cats and dogs

Where to Grow Black Bat Flower

Black Bat Flowers naturally grow in the damp shadows of the tropical jungles in Asia, so it's no wonder that they require warm, humid shade to thrive. Mimic their natural environment by growing them in low light conditions of 40–60% shade, such as under trees or next to walls. They perform well in both the ground and containers, but need light, loamy, nutritious, and well-drained soil. Additionally, the large leaves will tatter and burn if exposed to wind, so be sure to provide some protection and keep indoor black bat flower away from heating or cooling vents.

When to Grow Black Bat Flower

Blooming from late spring until early fall, Tacca Chantieri Bat Flower can be grown year-round indoors in containers and should be planted in spring. When planted within their hardiness zones of 9B–11, Black bat flower can remain in the ground, undisturbed over the winter. In colder regions, bring your potted plant inside, where it will stay handsome all winter long.

How to Grow Black Bat Flower

Black Bat Flower Propagation with Seeds

Black Bat Flower can be propagated from seed. Once the seed ponds dry out or fall, remove and split them open to remove the seeds. Let the seeds dry only a few days before sowing them. When they split along their sides, numerous 0.5cm (0.25 inch) seeds are revealed embedded in a sticky pulp. The seeds should be cleaned of the pulp and air dried. After that, soak the black bat flower seeds 24 hours in warm/hot water. Use a thermos bottle to keep the water hot during this time. Sow at 1.5mm (1/16 inch) deep in trays or pots, using a good, moist, seed starting mix in a propagator or warm place to maintain optimum temperature of 27-30°C (81-86°F). It is essential that the soil temperature is high and kept steady. Germination usually takes 1-9 months. The seedlings benefit from frequent dilute applications of soluble fertiliser. When small, they pass through a stage of almost chronic chlorosis, even with regular fertilisation, but overcome this in a few weeks. Transplant the seedlings when they are large enough to handle into 8cm (3 inch) pots of a recommended potting mixture for mature Tacca Chantieri Bat Flower. During the growing season (late spring to late summer) the plants will need to be watered very regularly and the compost must be well drained. Pot on as required into 10cm (5 inch) and finally 25cm (10 inch) pots. Furthermore treat the plants as mature Black Bat Flower. The plants will reach flowering size in about two to three years.

Black Bat Flower Propagation with Division

The bat flowers can be divided at repotting time in the spring. Make sure each rhizome section contains a bud. Plant the Bat Flowers in pots that are at least 15cm (6 inch) wide – one piece per pot. Use recommended potting mixture for mature plants. Plant the Black Bat Flower upright. Let 1/8 of the rhizome show above the soil when starting. Add compost as the plant grows in the pot. Water the plant weekly during the growing season and once monthly with a foliar fertiliser mixed at half strength. Growing season is spring until late fall. Keep it in a humid area with plenty of indirect light.

How to Care for Black Bat Flower

Black Bat Flower Lighting Requirements

In warmer regions, the plant can be grown on the ground. Otherwise, it is better to grow it in containers. For this purpose, you must use wide, shallow pots with good drainage holes. The plant prefers light shade and indirect sunlight. So, it is not advisable to keep it in full sun. If grown Black Bat Flower indoors, it can be placed near a south-facing window, where it will get bright, indirect light. You can also grow it in a greenhouse. It must get at least four hours of bright, indirect light.

Black Bat Flower Soil Care

The soil is one of the most important things for success with Black Bat Flower plants. The mixture needs to be light, very porous and with excellent drainage properties as Black Bat Flower will not tolerate wet soil at their roots. When plant these plants outside in the garden, the soil should be acidic, fertile and rich in organic matter with a loamy to sandy consistency.
Black Bat Flower plants require a soil ph of 6.1-7.5 meaning it does best in weakly acidic to weakly alkaline soil. Alkaline soils will cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Black Bat Flower Watering

Keep regular watering Black Bat Flower during the growing season (late spring to late summer). The soil has to drain well, as sogginess may cause rotting of rhizomes. However, the soil has to remain moist for the plant to grow and bloom well. Make sure that the soil does not dry out completely. During winter, water this plant sparsely. However, keep the soil slightly moist during spring when the plant starts growing after winter dormancy.

Black Bat Flower Temperature & Humidity Care

The ideal temperature range is 77 to 84°F during summer, and 59 to 64°F during winter for Black Bat Flower. It is always better to be on the higher side though. A relative humidity of 50 to 70% is preferred. In order to increase humidity levels, you can keep potted plants on trays filled with pebbles and water. A humidifier can also be used for this purpose. Such measures are not needed for Black Bat Flower plants growing inside a greenhouse. The plant should not be placed near air conditioner/heater vents. Misting should not be done, as the leaves will open their pores to absorb the water. The pores will remain open, thereby resulting in water loss and death of the plant. Though good air circulation is preferred, strong air drafts and winds are not good for this plant.

Black Bat Flower Fertilizer

During the growing season, you have to feed the Black bat flower plant once every two weeks. A general purpose fertilizer can be used for this purpose. It has to be diluted by half before application. Fertilizers meant for orchids are also fine for Black Bat Flowers. Avoid feeding the plant during its dormancy.

Black Bat Flower Pests & Diseases Care

Slugs and snails like Black Bat Flowers.
A tried and true approach, is a bed of coarse sand around your plants. Slugs and snails do not like coarse materials, and will not cross it. This has limited applications. But, it works well during the early stages of fruit that lies on the ground like pumpkins and melons. Gently lift the small fruit a couple inches off the ground. Lay a bed of sand under and around where the fruit will lie, so there is at least a three to four inch perimeter of sand on the ground around the fruit. Add more sand as the fruit grows. In controlling slugs and snails, it is important to remove their habitat and shelter. Keep your garden clean of debris. A board or piece of wood on the ground is a great home for these little pests. Mulches, consisting of large wood chips, also should be avoided.
Soil borne disease is common. To minimize problems, keep soil moist not wet, and provide air circulation.

Varieties of Tacca Chantrieri

Tacca Chantrieri pinnatifida, with finely cut leaves sometimes 4′ foot long, is grown in the tropics as a source of arrowroot, which is obtained from the ground tubers or rhizomes. It has greenish and purplish flowers.
Tacca Chantrieri integrifolia also known as the white bat flower plant is another exquisite species from the yam family.

What to Do with Black Bat Flower Dry Leaves?

But too dry an attitude can lead to problems: as soon as the substrate surface has dried through, the leaves lose their elasticity. But if the Black Bat Flower is then quickly supplied with water, it recovers quickly. All in all, it takes a little tact to find the right amount when casting.