Tacca?

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paphioboy

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oh, the black lily... it is sold here as believe-it-or-not, a Chinese New Year plant... suppose to bring good luck too... ;) i have no experience growing it, but i think it should do well grown as any tropical plant. it may like high humidity, as i often see it planted in sphagnum... good luck with it..
 

TheLorax

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How about chantrieri, nivea, and integrifolia. These plants were my bane for a while. Personally, I think chantrieri was the most beautiful of them all and the easiest to grow. I believe I purchased mine from Top Tropicals but some of the very first ones that I tried came from the Fairchild Gardens plant sale- I killed those in no time flat.

Suggestion- if you are going to buy this plant, you might want to consider having it sent pot and all. Seems as if you can consider your money gone the minute the plant gets barerooted. These plants do not seem to ever recover from the shock of being barerooted and transplanted no matter what time of year you buy them. I lost every one that was sent to me bare rooted and so did my friends.

Suggestion #2- If you buy a plant in spike, remove it. I know it is hard to resist the temptation of letting it bloom but tacca seem to need every bit of energy they have to try to re-establish themselves once they are shipped. Let it bloom, and that might be the end of your plant. It was for me.

Suggestion #3- Consider germinating them from seed which will require a good soaking possibly in a mild bleach solution, a seed mat, and could take up to a year. Yup, these seeds can take up to a year or longer to germinate. I successfully germinated tacca seed and promptly sent them back to the person who sent me the seed. They could grow the plants but couldn't get their seed to germinate and I could germinate from seed but could never get the tacca plants to live back then.

Suggestion #4- don't mist the plant. You might kill it. Why I don't know but if you are into misting your plants and you mist a tacca, it seems to die. Weird, very weird considering they like high humidity.

Here's a decent potting medium to try that worked for me-
TACCA
50% Top quality Humus and Manure Mix
25% Scott’s Mushroom Compost
25% Regular old top soil
3 Cups Bone Meal
Toss in a little bit of Osmocote

They seem to like a little bit of acid so you could give them a little drink of Miracid at 1/3 strength about once a month while they are actively growing and that might help.

When you water your plants, try adding 1 C Hydrogen Peroxide per gallon. These plants can't be allowed to ever dry out. They seemed to like their soil on the damp side but never wet. They also like high humidity and a tremendous amount of air circulation so an oscillating fan might be a good idea.

The white bat plant can get pretty big but it can take more direct light than the others if that's a consideration for you.

Tacca don't seem to like to be moved around much. Everyone I know who tried to move them outside for the summer lost their plants within a week of moving them, myself included. If you are going to grow them inside, they will probably go dormant for the winter at which point you would want to consider backing off the water and allowing the medium to be ever so slightly damp to the touch.

There was an excellent site on the web about how to grow them successfully that helped me considerably. She has since taken down the site. I am doing a search right now of my hard drive for you to see if I can find where I saved everything from her site. If I find it, I will pm you and get your e-mail address and forward the whole kit and kaboodle to you.

I know people who grow these plants effortlessly in Florida. I have killed at least 10 of these plants, probably more like 20, that I tried to grow over the years. By the time I figured out what worked for me, I couldn't get rid of them fast enough. I sent them to a friend in Florida... pots and all. They were finally growing nicely but I must admit I felt a wave of relief as I shipped them off. To say these plants are touchy to grow inside would be an understatement.
 
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Wow, thanks so much for the information. I'm glad to hear from someone who has attempted to grow them, I think that I was trying to convince myself that I could handle growing them here. That website is great, I was looking at that website the other day. Well, I think that I am hold off for now. I can't stand the thought of taking in a plant that I have a reasonable chance of killing.
 

TheLorax

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I certainly know how to kill them. I killed them much better than I grew them.

That website is the sole reason why I finally was able to get tacca to survive beyond 6 months with them even putting out new growth. I'm glad you found it. Taccas are tough.

What about experimenting from seed? I've seen seed available from time to time. If you failed, all you would be out would be the cost of the seed. Misery loves company, I think you should try tacca ;) Matter of fact, everyone should try growing tacca inside ;)
 
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Yeah, I've heard germination can take up to 9 months, and I have a fear of commitment. We'll see, I seriously doubt that I will be able to resist for too much longer, I'll let you know when I give in.
 

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