How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Bat Flower

The primary time I laid eyes on a bat flower plant, it was love at first sight. I knew my plant assortment would solely be full with this extraordinary specimen. When it first produced its first flower, I knew that this was one distinctive plant.

Plant Overview

Native Space

Southeast Asia, India, southern China


Partial solar, Oblique daylight

Bloom Colours

Black/purple, brown, white, maroon, inexperienced


Root rot, mildew, mildew


A bat flower, planted in a well-tended garden, takes center stage with its captivating purple petals and vibrant green leaves. In the background, an array of other green plants adds to the lush atmosphere.
These crops are incessantly encountered of their native habitat, flourishing in moist and humid environments.

This species is a tropical understory plant. They’re native to the rainforests of southeast Asia, India, and China, rising beneath the cover of bigger crops and bushes. It’s common to search out these crops rising on riverbanks within the wild. They love moisture and humidity, making them an incredible match for a tropical backyard.  

Some inventive names given to those crops embody satan’s flower, tiger’s mustache, bat head lily, or cat’s whiskers. Their distinctive and weird flowers are the supply of those names and significantly curiosity the plant-loving neighborhood. 

The crops will be difficult to search out and are not often carried by typical nurseries. Nonetheless, they don’t seem to be tough to propagate, so they’re enjoyable to share with plant-loving pals if you will get your arms on them. 


A close-up reveals the intricate details of the bat flower, showcasing its velvety, dark purple petals that mimic the shape of a bat in flight. Delicate, wispy tendrils add an elegant touch, while dewdrops glisten on the flower's surface, enhancing its mystique.
Tender perennial evergreen crops within the Tacca genus thrive in tropical climates.

Though some sources might declare it’s an orchid, this plant is a member of the Dioscoreaceae household, generally often called the Yam household. This household encompasses 4 genres, one among which is Tacca.

The Tacca genus consists of about 20 species of bat flowers and Polynesian arrowroot. This arrowroot is to not be confused with the plant that additionally goes by the widespread identify arrowroot however is a member of the Ginger household. 

Vegetation within the Tacca genus are tender perennial evergreens that develop in tropical climates. They’ve a rhizomatic root system, much like a sympodial orchid. 

This tuberous root grows beneath the soil, sending out shoots horizontally. Rhizomes are notably weak to root rot, which is a consideration with this plant. 


A close-up showcases two bat flowers perched gracefully atop their slender stems. In the background, the soft blur of green leaves adds depth to the composition, emphasizing the unique beauty of these blooms.
The big, wing-shaped bracts hanging above the flowers are the standout characteristic.

The flower on this plant is most noteworthy, though the plant itself is fairly engaging. The flowers are uncommon and distinctive, making this plant a novelty. The plant is typically likened to an orchid, and there have been questions on whether or not it’s, in truth, an orchid, however it’s not. 

Probably the most noteworthy a part of the plant is definitely not the flower however the massive, wing-shaped bracts that hover above the flowers. As the commonest colour for these bracts is black, they’re thought to resemble bats, and I are inclined to agree. 

The precise flowers dangle from the middle of the bracts. They’re small and level upward when the bracts open, steadily opening and turning into pendulous. Interspersed with these flowers are lengthy, skinny, whisker-like filaments, which add to the distinctive look of this flowering surprise. 

The flowers are adopted by dark-colored berries, which comprise the seeds. When you need to germinate seeds, these fruits ought to dry on the plant. 

As I discussed, the commonest flowers are deep purple to black. Nonetheless, these flowers additionally are available shades of inexperienced, white, brown, and maroon. In addition they will be softly aromatic, with a candy scent.


The leaves of the bat flower shown are broad and dark green. Their glossy texture and vibrant color enhance the overall visual appeal.
With their distinct tropical look, the foliage options lengthy, shiny, and broad leaves.

Along with its curious flowers, the stunning foliage has a particular tropical look with lengthy, broad, shiny leaves. These leaves will let you recognize in case your plant isn’t getting sufficient moisture or humidity by drooping and turning brown on the edges


You may propagate these tropical beauties by seed or division, though division is the commonest and efficient solution to go. The rhizomatic roots make division a easy course of, supplying you with a second plant that’s an actual clone of the mother or father plant, already mature and able to flower. Rising from seed takes fairly a bit longer to get so far. 


A close-up reveals bat flower seeds nestled within the plant. These unique seeds are surrounded by lush green leaves, creating an intriguing botanical juxtaposition.
Attaining your objective of boosting your plant inhabitants will be successfully completed by rising crops from seeds.

Rising these crops from seed is comparatively straightforward however is rather more time-consuming than dividing the plant. Nonetheless, if you wish to develop extra crops, rising from seed will obtain this objective

  1. Harvest or get hold of seeds from a good supply. Enable the seed pods in your plant to mature and dry on the plant earlier than harvesting the seeds.
  2. Soak your seeds in water in a single day to assist in germination.
  3. Use a wealthy, well-draining potting combine in a container massive sufficient for the plant to develop robust, as they don’t wish to be transplanted. A big seed beginning tray ought to do the trick.
  4. Moisten your soil and calmly press seeds into the highest layer.
  5. Cowl your container with plastic, and set it in a heat area. Warmth will encourage quicker germination, so the usage of a warmth mat is really helpful.
  6. Now for the tough half. The seeds take 8-12 weeks to germinate, so it’s an train in persistence to attend for them. Preserve the soil moist within the meantime.


A close-up reveals the exquisite beauty of bat flower blooms. The intricate petals, deep purples, and elongated tendrils make it a mesmerizing floral spectacle. The flower exudes an aura of mysterious elegance.
Keep in mind that this plant dislikes frequent transplanting, so it’s advisable to take action sparingly.

Due to the kind of roots this plant has, division is a reasonably easy solution to propagate. Keep in mind that they don’t love being transplanted, so it’s finest to do it as occasionally as doable. Make your divisions within the fall after the plant has stopped blooming.

You don’t have to thoroughly re-pot your plant if the mother or father plant has small suckers rising towards the skin of the plant. You may merely push a few of the soil apart and use a pointy instrument to chop away these small child crops after which pot them individually. 

If you’re re-potting your plant anyway, it is a good time to take cuttings. Search for these smaller plant offshoots that aren’t hooked up to the central rhizome. They need to have some roots of their very own to determine themselves. Reduce these parts away and plant them in small pots of their very own.


A close-up of bat flower blooms. Nestled against a backdrop of lush, green leaves and the pot they call home, their striking appearance demands attention. The juxtaposition of blooms and foliage paints a captivating natural scene.
When the plant is in bloom, it’s advisable to chorus from re-potting or disturbing it.

One of the best time to re-pot or plant this species within the floor is within the spring. It’s at all times finest to keep away from re-potting or disrupting the plant whereas it’s in bloom. If planting within the floor, dig a gap that’s twice as extensive and solely as deep because the container it’s in. This loosens the soil across the plant for roots to develop. 

How you can Develop


A close-up of a single bat flower bloom, its distinctive characteristics are highlighted against a background of neighboring potted bat flower plants. The leaves of these plants exhibit a rich, glossy green hue, adding to the allure of this exotic species.
Deciding on an applicable container is essential for the plant’s well-being.

Fastidiously selecting a container is essential for this plant. The primary consideration when potting is to give your plant area to develop. The rhizomatic root system wants area to unfold out. 

When you plant in a container that isn’t massive sufficient, your plant will turn out to be pot-bound, and this one received’t be joyful that approach. Select a pot that’s a number of inches wider than the pot your plant got here in. When re-potting, be certain that to go up in dimension as effectively. 

The second essential think about selecting a container is drainage. This species has delicate roots that don’t like to sit down in soggy soil. They love moisture, however an excessive amount of moisture can result in root rot. Select a container with ample drainage, giving this plant the perfect probability of thriving. 


A close-up of a bat flower plant reveals its striking black, spiky blooms with long whisker-like tendrils. Surrounding the flowers are lush green leaves with prominent veins.
If the sunshine in your chosen location is simply too robust, think about using a sheer curtain to filter it.

Gentle necessities are similar to a Phalaenopsis orchid. An excessive amount of direct daylight will scorch the leaves and take a unfavorable toll on the plant’s total well being. Just a few hours of direct solar within the morning will doubtless be okay. The afternoon solar goes to be too intense for this plant.

The best scenario is shiny however oblique mild for many of the day. This may be achieved indoors by putting your plant close to a brightly lit window. Utilizing a sheer curtain is one other solution to filter the sunshine whether it is too intense in your chosen spot. 

If you’re rising open air, they do finest underneath the cover of a tree, the place mild reaches them, however circuitously. 40-60% shade is the target, so shade fabric on this vary is one other nice solution to create the proper atmosphere on your plant. 


A close-up of a gardener's hands holding a handful of rich, dark soil, while the other hand wields a small green shovel filled with soil. The gardener is carefully assessing the soil quality for gardening.
A stable basis lies in wealthy soil teeming with important vitamins.

These crops want loads of vitamins, and wealthy soil is the muse for offering them with these vitamins. In addition they have rhizomes which can be delicate to overwatering, so their soil must have glorious drainage. 

Begin with a very good high quality, commonplace potting combine. Your potting medium ought to be about 50% made up of this. 10% of your potting medium ought to be a substance that will increase drainage, comparable to perlite or coarse sand. This retains the whole lot from breaking down an excessive amount of and compressing.

The remaining 40% of your potting combine ought to comprise nutrient-rich amendments comparable to compost, pine bark, and peat moss. Including these amendments helps to enhance drainage and provides further vitamins to the potting combination.


A close-up of a bat flower bloom, displaying its unique dark petals and elongated tendrils. In the blurred background, vibrant green leaves provide a lush backdrop to the exotic bloom.
In case your container has correct drainage, you may water it weekly with out fear.

Bat flowers want to remain constantly moist. They use loads of water throughout their rising season, so preserving a watch on the soil is important. When you maintain it open air, verify on it usually. You could have to water it as a lot as each 2-3 days in hotter climates. 

It will likely be simpler to observe the plant’s moisture degree indoors, permitting you to train warning when watering to keep away from overdoing it. If the container has ample drainage, try to be high-quality watering it as soon as weekly. In case your container has no drainage, verify that the highest inch of soil is dry earlier than watering. 

When planted open air in a shaded spot, it ought to be watered incessantly, in line with the temperature and rainfall. So long as the world has good drainage, you may water each one to 2 days open air. 

In all conditions, keep away from permitting the soil to dry out. In indoor settings, preserving a saucer beneath the plant is an effective solution to keep away from letting the soil dry out. These tropical crops want loads of moisture to thrive and produce these distinctive flowers. 

Within the winter, whereas your plant is dormant, it can want considerably much less water. Enable the soil to dry out between waterings to keep away from root rot.

Local weather and Temperature

A close-up showcases the intricate details of the bat flower bloom, highlighting its velvety texture and intriguing morphology. The bloom's dark, wing-like petals are attached to the top of a slender stem.
Elevating humidity round your plant will be achieved by way of a number of strategies.

Tropical crops don’t do effectively in chilly climate. When you reside in zones 9/11, you may develop it within the floor all 12 months. In some other zone, it must be a container plant. The best temperatures for this plant vary from 59°-84°F.

Thankfully, these crops do effectively in containers and can thrive indoors with sufficient humidity. The minimal humidity degree is 50%. They like humidity to be extra within the 60-90% vary, and leaves might flip brown on the edges if the air is simply too dry. 

There are a number of methods to lift the humidity round your plant. My bat flower is sort of joyful in my lavatory, close to to, however circuitously in entrance of, a window. The humidity is often greater within the lavatory than in different rooms. 

One other technique of elevating humidity is with a humidifier. This can be a good solution to do it so long as you aren’t involved about different gadgets in your house being broken. A pebble tray is one other solution to increase the humidity instantly across the plant moderately than within the surrounding space. 


A spoon is brimming with white and gray granulated fertilizer, ready to be spread onto the rich, dark soil below. The contrast in colors emphasizes the readiness for nurturing the plants.
You may fertilize Tacca crops each two weeks through the rising season, spanning spring to fall.

Tacca crops will be fertilized on the identical schedule as orchids. If you’re an orchid collector, you may lump this plant in along with your different orchids.

Orchid fertilizer is good, though a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer will work high-quality. Fertilize each two weeks through the rising season (spring-fall). 

Upkeep and Care

A close-up of a bat flower plant reveals a mesmerizing bloom. The bat flower's petals are velvety black, resembling a bat's wing, with a long, tendril-like structure extending from the center. The deep green leaves and stems provide a stark contrast to the dark bloom, creating a striking botanical composition.
As soon as the blooms have pale, you may take away them.

Bat flower crops are reasonably sophisticated by way of their wants. Care must be taken to keep away from overwatering. That mentioned, these crops love moisture by way of watering and humidity. A fragile balancing act have to be carried out with this plant, involving creating a damp atmosphere with loads of air circulation to keep away from fungal illnesses.

You may deadhead as soon as the blooms have wilted. Bear in mind to maintain the seed pods intact till they’re dry if you wish to retrieve seeds. No common pruning is critical, however eradicating broken foliage will maintain your plant directing vitamins to wholesome, new progress.



A close-up of a black bat flower's bloom. Its petals, resembling the wings of a bat in flight, are richly detailed with intricate veining. Surrounding the bloom, lush green leaves add a vibrant backdrop, creating a captivating botanical display.
This showy bloom on Halloween can create an ominous ambiance.
botanical identify

Tacca chantrieri
solar necessities

Partial solar, oblique mild

hardiness zones


First described by French horticulturist Edouard Andre in 1901, T. chantrieri is the black selection, the commonest and best to search out within the genus. The flowers of this species are sometimes inexperienced once they first open, deepening to a darkish purple to black over time. 

This can be a nice plant to have round within the fall; a bat flower in bloom on Halloween is undoubtedly a foreboding harbinger or at the least creates a stunning, spooky ambiance. If nothing else, it actually is a dialog piece. Individuals received’t be capable of assist themselves from watching this curious and quirky plant. 

Tacca Borneensis

A close-up of a bat flower's bloom. Delicate, veined petals unfurl, revealing a deep maroon hue at their core. Tiny, hair-like structures adorn the edges, adding a touch of elegance to this exotic flower.
In contrast to different species, the bracts on this species are uniquely organized.
botanical identify

Tacca borneensis
solar necessities

Partial solar, oblique mild

as much as 6’

This selection resembles T. chantrieri, however T. borneensis is endemic to Borneo and has the biggest, most spectacular leaves. The bracts on this species are organized otherwise from different species, with the bigger bracts vertically enveloping the smaller, horizontal bracts. 

T. borneensis additionally has much less pronounced filaments than T. chantrieri and is usually a much less flamboyant flower. The flowers are comparable in colour, beginning inexperienced and steadily darkening to a purple-black shade. Additionally it is a taller, extra imposing plant than the black selection. 


A close-up of a white bat flower showcases its unique details, including delicate tendrils and distinctive petal shape. The background features blurred green leaves from other plants, adding to the botanical diversity.
The white selection showcases distinguished white bracts adorned with purple veins.
botanical identify

Tacca integrifolia
solar necessities

Partial solar, oblique mild

hardiness zones


Though rarer than its shadowy counterpart, the white bat flower has gained some momentum amongst plant collectors. It’s bigger than the black plant, and the flowers are additionally barely totally different. 

The big bracts are white with purple veining. Whereas the black model’s bracts deceive the edges and prime, the white selection has two massive bracts resembling cat ears atop the flower cluster. 

Pests and Illnesses

This showy tropical perennial is surprisingly immune to most typical backyard pests. There are only a few illnesses to deal with both. Most of this plant’s main considerations are environmental and preventable.

Snails and Slugs

A close-up captures a slug's journey on a slender green stem. The slimy, brown slug crawls with deliberate, unhurried movements, leaving behind a glistening trail. Its moist, translucent body contrasts sharply with the vibrant green of the stem.
Though slugs and snails will be useful in your compost pile, they need to be avoided your backyard.

Whereas most pests will go away this plant alone, it will possibly fall sufferer to slugs and snails. These widespread and damaging pests will come on your crops open air. Slugs and snails will be very useful in your compost pile, however outdoors of that, they don’t seem to be a welcome sight within the backyard. 

Thankfully, there are many methods to discourage these little critters. Beer traps and copper tape are nice deterrents. Diatomaceous earth will remove them successfully, and industrial repellants will be discovered at most native retailers, together with natural choices. 

Root Rot

The ravages of root rot are shown. Brown roots, once vibrant and full of life, now show signs of decay. A gardener's hand reaches in, a testament to the efforts to salvage what remains of these ailing roots, highlighting the importance of diligent care.
To proactively handle root rot, use well-draining soil and a container with ample drainage.

We talked in regards to the delicate stability in the case of moisture. Root rot is sort of at all times attributable to overwatering, which is normally preventable. You will get forward of the basis rot difficulty through the use of soil that drains effectively, together with a container with correct drainage. 

If you’re coping with root rot, the perfect motion is to re-pot your plant. Very gently take away all soil from the basis system and use a clear, sharp instrument to trim away affected root tissue. You may deal with the roots with a copper-based fungicide earlier than re-potting in new, contemporary potting soil.

Mildew and Mildew

A close-up view of a green leaf reveals the presence of powdery mildew. The once pristine leaf now bears a delicate white coat, resembling a dusting of powdered sugar. This fungal infestation stands out starkly against the leaf's lush green background, showcasing the ongoing battle for plant health.
The excessive humidity these crops require supplies a super breeding floor for a number of mildew varieties.

Different fungal points can crop up with these crops if there may be not sufficient air circulation. Their want for humidity additionally creates the proper atmosphere for a lot of kinds of mildew to develop. I can’t stress sufficient that air circulation is important to your plant’s survival.

Ultimate Ideas

Cultivating bat flower crops isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. Preserving these crops wholesome takes fairly a little bit of consideration to the atmosphere. Whereas they don’t seem to be associated to orchids, they’ve many comparable wants, so if you’re good with orchids, likelihood is good which you can efficiently increase this spectacular plant.

Give your plant loads of moisture, a container and soil with good drainage, and ample humidity. When you strike the proper environmental stability with this plant, it ought to reward you handsomely with a few of the most attention-grabbing flowers within the backyard. 

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