How to Plant Black Bat Flower


Bat flower (Tacca chanterieri) is a native of the Southeast Asian jungle which can be grown outdoors in zone 10 and southward, but is best grown in containers and brought indoors for a period of winter dormancy in cooler growing regions. Available in white as well as a purple so deep as to appear black, the bat flower bears highly dramatic, almost spooky flowers 10 to 12 inches across with long floating whiskers. Plant your bat flower in conditions that closely mimic its native jungle environment.

Step 1

Add rain water to peat moss slowly, allowing it to soak in, until peat moss is the texture of a moist chocolate cake.

Step 2

Place 6-inch flower pot inside old pillowcase or burlap sack. Twist the end of the pillowcase or sack shut, and holding the end carefully out of the way, pulverize the flower pot with the metal hammer until it is in pea-sized pieces.

Step 3

Fill the 10-inch pot 1/3 of the way with moistened peat moss and an additional 1/3 of the way with shredded fir bark. Add pieces of crushed 6-inch flower pot and one handful each of aquarium charcoal and well-aged compost. Mix well by hand.

Step 4

Use your finger to make a hole in the potting mix just the length of the black bat flower root piece. Tuck the root into the hole so that its top sits just below the surface of the potting medium. Water lightly with rainwater.

Step 5

Set the 10-inch pot in its saucer and place the planted black bat flower in a warm location with indirect light. Water daily for one week, then frequently enough to keep the potting medium moist.

Step 6

Add fish emulsion fertilizer to the watering weekly, and once a month add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of rainwater and water the black bat plant with this solution.

Things You'll Need

  • Black bat flower plant root
  • 10-inch clay or ceramic pot with saucer
  • Peat moss
  • Aquarium charcoal
  • Shredded fir bark
  • Compost
  • 6-inch terra cotta flower pot (cracked or broken is fine)
  • Old pillowcase or burlap sack
  • Metal hammer
  • Fish emulsion fertilizer
  • Rain water
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup measure


  • Houston Gardening Examiner: Bat Flower Is an Exotic Delight
  • Vesey's: How to Grow Bat Flower
Keywords: bat flower, plant flower, black bat

About this Author

Cindy Hill has practiced law since 1987 and maintained a career in freelance writing since 1978. Hill has won numerous fiction and poetry awards and has published widely in the field of law and politics. She is an adjunct instructor of ethics and communications.