What color is the bat flower

Bat flower | Care of the Tacca chantrieri from A - Z

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Flower color
purple, brown
June, July, August, September, October, November
Growth habit
upright, perennial
up to 110 cm high
Soil moisture
moderately moist, fresh
PH value
weakly sour, sour
Limescale tolerance
Calcium intolerant
rich in humus
Plant families
Yam family, Dioscoreaceae
Plant species
Potted plants, ornamental plants
Garden style
Conservatory, ornamental garden

The bat flower is an exotic beauty from tropical climes that originally comes from the southeastern part of Asia. The plant grows in the herbaceous undergrowth and prefers warm, humid weather. If you want to cultivate the plant, you need a little tact, because the care of Tacca chantrieri requires a lot of attention. The requirements for temperature, water and light are very special. However, some devices increase the success of cultivation. Those who succeed in creating a perfect environment will be rewarded with beautiful flowers - which give the plant its name.


  • botanical species name: Tacca chantrieri
  • Genus: Tacca
  • Family: yams (Dioscoreaceae)
  • German common names: devil flower, bat plant, demon flower
  • Origin: subtropical to tropical regions of Southeast Asia
  • showy inflorescences with brown-purple bracts
  • blooms from June to November
  • Basal leaves
  • black-purple berries
  • between 80 and 110 centimeters high


The bat flower originally comes from regions with high humidity and warm temperatures. The conditions on the windowsill are therefore suboptimal, under which the exotic plant cannot survive. Tropical-like conditions are ideal:

  • bright location
  • no direct sunlight
  • at least 80 percent humidity

For a successful cultivation, you should place the tropical plant in a bright conservatory that you can heat. Alternatively, a greenhouse or a discarded terrarium is also suitable. The bat flower also feels at home in a flexibly designed showcase for indoor plants. You will achieve the best flowering results if you cultivate the plant under glass all year round. With the help of plant lamps, you can regulate the amount of light so that the plants receive around 12 hours of light a day. Indoor fountains ensure a high level of humidity. Tacca chantrieri has special temperature requirements. Warm conditions that remain constant throughout the year are ideal. However, the bat flower also comes to terms with slight fluctuations:

  • Summer temperatures between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius
  • Temperatures in winter around 18 degrees Celsius
  • tolerates short-term minimum temperatures of five degrees Celsius


The soil should have a loose structure and contain humus. You can use normal flower or garden soil mixed with peat. Since cheap soil usually compacts quickly, you should use high-quality potted plant soil. Even if this costs more, the investment is worthwhile. Coarse-grained parts keep the soil loose and airy. The bat flower needs a well-ventilated substrate. You can also add sand to create optimal permeability. Components with small grain sizes act as nutrient and water stores. Alternatively, you can plant Tacca chantrieri in orchid soil.

Tip: Use kokohum instead of peat. The fibers of the coconut offer an ideal water reservoir and are the ecological and sustainable alternative to the plant substrate from bogs.


The Tacca needs a lot of attention because the optimal conditions in the living room at home can only be created with greater effort.


You can put the plant outdoors during the summer months. However, growth success is not guaranteed here. Choose a light location under sparse trees or tall ferns and perennials. Here there is a higher humidity and a constant microclimate with warm temperatures. The bat flower should not be exposed to direct sunlight as it dries up quickly.

to water

Keep the plant dry during the winter months. As soon as the first leaves sprout, water for the first time and increase the amount of water as more leaves appear. The water requirement of the plants is highest in the main growth phase between May and October. The root ball must not dry out. Water the bat flower as soon as the top layer dries up. Let the irrigation water drain well so that the earth does not get too wet. Flat trivets should be emptied after 20 minutes. Too much moisture in the substrate quickly leads to root rot.

  • Use room warm water and water with little lime for watering
  • Slightly moisten the corolla
  • Wet leaves regularly, but do not spray directly

Tip: Always put some water in the leaf axils. This stimulates the plant to form new flower stalks.


The plant's nutritional requirements are moderate. You can fertilize the bat flower regularly when it is in the growth phase. Fertilizing every two to three weeks with special orchid fertilizers is considered a conventional method. Alternatively, fertilizers for flowering plants are recommended. In most cases, however, the plant has enough nutrients that get into the soil from the withered leaves. In winter, the supply of nutrients is completely stopped because the plant is in the dormant phase and does not have to spend any energy on growth.

Tip: Try out for yourself how your plant will develop with and without fertilization. You should always use fertilizers sparingly to avoid over-fertilization.

To cut

Completely dead stems can be removed. When the site conditions fluctuate between summer and winter, the bat flower withdraws. It takes the excess energy from the leaves and stores the substances in the underground rhizome. As soon as the leaves are completely withered, they can be cut off close to the ground. This measure is not absolutely necessary. If you don't remove the leaves, over time the soil organisms will break them down. This creates a natural cycle from which no nutrients are withdrawn. In the coming spring, the plants will sprout from their rhizomes again, provided the conditions are right.

Pot culture

In Central Europe, the yam plant is grown in pots. However, it is not suitable as indoor plants because the requirements are very specific and cannot be guaranteed in the living room or kitchen. Cover the bottom of the pot with potsherds or pebbles so that water does not build up in the substrate. The plants should be planted so that the roots are thinly covered with substrate. In summer, the plant enjoys a location on the terrace or balcony. The following conditions are important:

  • partially shaded location
  • wet with water regularly
  • Put in a warm place if the temperature drops at night

Tip: Use a planter and sprinkle gravel on the floor. The irrigation water collects in this layer and can evaporate, so that the air humidity in the area of ​​the leaves is increased.


After the winter drying break is over, the rhizome is placed in fresh soil. It is also sufficient if you repot the plant every two to three years. Choose a container that is only slightly larger than the old pot. So that it does not come to rot, leaf remnants should lie above the ground and not be covered by the substrate. Moisten the substrate daily after repotting to stimulate the rhizome to form new roots.


The tropical plants are not hardy, but can be overwintered both warm and cool. Warm overwintering should be preferred, because prolonged temperatures below five degrees Celsius can damage the plant. If the thermometer drops to around ten degrees Celsius, the plant withdraws and, with the help of the rhizome, survives until the conditions improve. If you offer your Tacca chantrieri temperatures of around 18 degrees Celsius in a greenhouse during the resting phase, you can also enjoy the leaves in winter. Although the plant stops growing, the foliage is often preserved. Pay attention to the correct care during a warm winter:

  • Moisten the substrate lightly with water
  • daily exposure of about twelve hours
  • refrain from fertilization

Note: If the leaves suddenly wither during warm wintering, then there is nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, the plant sprouts again in spring.


Bat flowers can be propagated in two ways. Rhizome division is a good method, whereby care must be taken to ensure optimal environmental conditions. Otherwise, the pieces may not grow. Propagation via seeds requires a little more patience.


If you repot your plant in early spring, you can carefully divide the rhizome. However, it should still be in the dormant phase, be well developed and have several buds. Each section needs at least two of these sleeping eyes, because this is where the dividing tissue is located. Without these structures, the rhizome cannot sprout. Cut the tuber into two parts at most and put the pieces in separate pots. They shouldn't be buried too deeply in the ground. Cover the upper piece of rhizome only lightly with soil.


Propagation by seeds is possible, but it is difficult to obtain seeds. The bat flower is pollinated by various two-winged birds. Since the plants are hermaphroditic, the flowers can also be pollinated manually with the help of a brush. With a little luck, the plants will develop fleshy berries that can be harvested when ripe. Remove the pulp from the seeds and let the seeds dry. Alternatively, you can purchase seeds from qualified dealers and sow them all year round:

  • Use a nutrient-poor growing medium
  • Cover the seeds thinly with soil
  • Place seed pots in the greenhouse
  • Ensure temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius
  • moisten regularly

It takes about four to six weeks for the cotyledon to show up. After another six to eight weeks, the young plants are ready to be pricked out. They can be set in orchid soil that has been mixed with coconut fiber.

Diseases and pests

The bat flower proves to be resistant to attack by pathogens or voracious pests. However, what is not good for you is a substrate that is too wet. When the roots are in the water, putrefactive processes begin. The rotten areas offer fungal spores an optimal breeding ground. They settle at the roots and penetrate the plant organism with their mycelium. Gray mold is often involved in root rot. The plant can only be saved if the putrefaction process has not progressed too far. Cut out the affected areas generously and place the plant in fresh and dry substrate. In order for it to recover, you should water the substrate very carefully.