How to Plant a Black Bat Flower


The Tacca integrifolia, commonly known as bat flower, cat’s whiskers or devil flower, is a tender, tropical perennial. This flower is a native to West Africa and Southeast Asia. It has rhizomes rather than stems, and the leaves are dark green and oblong in shape. But it is the flower that draws people to this plant. The bat flower is hardy outdoors in zones 10 and 11, but elsewhere the plant must be kept indoors when the weather turns cold. You need patience–the bat plant may not flower for three years.

Things You'll Need

  • Bat plant root
  • 10-inch diameter pot
  • Orchid mix potting soil
  • Pen or felt-tip marker
  • Water
  • Shallow dish
  • Balanced liquid fertilizer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Choose a pot that is 10 inches in diameter. It may look like you have more pot than rhizome. The plant grows very large in one season.

  • Fill the pot with well-draining soil mix. The best kind of soil is the orchid mix. It needs to be well-draining or the bulb will rot.

  • Take a pen, felt-tip marker or your finger and poke a hole into the soil. Plant your bat root into the hole. Barely cover the top of the root with potting soil.

  • Water the soil.

  • Place the pot in a bright location, but not in direct sunlight. Avoid an area that is too dark or shady or the bat plant will not flower. You may place the pot outside if the temperatures do not drop below 60 degrees F. It prefers temperatures around 85.

  • Place shallow containers of water around the bat plant to raise the humidity if you live in a dry location. Water the pot every day until it begins to grow and then water to keep the soil moist.

  • Water the soil with a balanced liquid fertilizer every other week. When growing, water periodically with 1 gallon of water and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide. This will increase the oxygen that inhibits fungus from growing.

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