Tacca chantrieri is the latin name of the black bat flower which is also known as bat faced flower, cat whiskers, black tacca, devil flower and bat head lily. When you order black bat flower from a catalog it typically comes as an elongated bulb or tuber with roots emerging from the bottom. Always grow bat flowers in containers as they are fussy plants needing the right type of light, soil and the right amount of water and fertilizer to produce blooms. Most bat flowers bloom in August and September but there are now cultivars available that start blooming in July.
Plant bat face flowers when nighttime temps stay above 55 degrees F. Plants will emerge two to three weeks after planting.
Choose a 10- or 12-inch container that has a hole in the bottom for drainage.
Fill the bottom one-quarter to one-third of the container with gravel or small rocks. This increases the weight of the container which will prevent the bat faced flower plant from tipping the container over while improving drainage.
Use a general purpose potting mix. The potting mix should drain well while retaining moisture. You may also use a potting soil formulated for orchids.
Fill your container halfway with the potting mix.
Mound enough potting mix in the middle of your container to place the top of the bat flower bulb 3 to 4 inches below the rim of your container.
Place the black bat flower bulb on the top of the mound. Spread the roots so that they hang down over the sides of the mound. Fill the container with potting soil covering the bat flower bulb with 1 to 2 inches of soil. Only plant one bulb per container.
Place the pot with the black bat flower in bright, indirect light.
Water your bat flower with warm water. Keep the soil evenly moist during the growing season.