Q: I have a question that’s been driving me batty. My large bat plant is lovely when it blooms, but that rarely happens. I have mine in a moss basket that sits in a tray of water, and I occasionally apply Miracle Grow. What am I doing wrong?
A: Ah, the hauntingly beautiful bat plant, also known as Tacca chantrieri. It enjoys filtered sunlight and warm, humid temperatures but does not like to sit in standing water (its roots are very delicate and will rot if left in the water too long).
Instead, fill your tray with pebbles and water, but don’t let the pot touch the water. This way the water can evaporate and provide air moisture around the plant. Also replace your Miracle Grow with a fertilizer that’s formulated for orchids and fertilize twice a month (except in the winter when the bat plant goes dormant).
Many people think it’s a scream to buy bat plants around Halloween and display them at parties as fun conversation pieces. And of course, the bat plant never disappoints. But I’ve heard too many horror stories about people letting their bat plants die a frightfully slow death because they just got tired of caring for them. At least yours stands a ghost of a chance because you took the time to write in! Good luck and we hope you enjoy continuous blooms next year.