Useful information

Takka: indoor cultivation

Tacca chantrieri Black Beauty

Takka is a rather rare and very unusual plant. First of all, attention is drawn to its flowers, which are actually whole inflorescences. They are not so much beautiful as outlandish, even a little scary. Against the background of large emerald-green basal leaves, the wide-spread large bracts imitate the wings of a bat, and the flowers put together seem to be the animals themselves. Hanging down, thin and long, filamentous bracts look like a cat's whiskers. In culture, there are mainly two types: Takka Shantrye (Tacca chantrieri) with dark purple bracts, it is called the Black Bat, and Whole-leaf takka(Tacca integrifolia), with white large bracts, it is called the White Bat.

The plant leaves few people indifferent, and if you are a fan of everything unusual, then add this specimen to your collection.

The takka is quite picky about leaving, often the attempt to keep her at home ends in failure.

Growing in warm and humid tropical forests under the shade of large trees, takka will require approximately the same conditions at home. When the plant is provided with everything it needs, it will certainly delight with its bizarre flowering, which can last almost all year round.

Illumination. Takku is placed in a bright, protected from direct sunlight, well-ventilated place, but without strong drafts. It is optimal to place it near the east or west windows; in summer, light protection from the sun may be required here. On southerly windows, place the tacca behind other plants that will break up sunlight, or to the side of the window so that only oblique rays fall on it. On the northern windows, she may not have enough light for normal growth and especially flowering.

Temperature. Takka is thermophilic, it is desirable to maintain an even temperature of + 18 ... + 21 ° C all year round. In summer, it can be taken out into the garden in a place protected from wind and sun with a temperature of + 18 ... + 23 ° C, takka can withstand heat up to + 30 ° C, but at the same time it is often affected by fungal diseases. Be sure to provide her with fresh air.

This evergreen overwinters at + 18 ° C, cooling below + 13 ° C is undesirable. The damaging temperature for takki is + 4 ... + 5оС.

Protect the plant from both hot dry air from heating appliances and cold current from air conditioners, open windows and ventilation systems.

Watering. The soil is always kept moist, but not damp. A properly prepared substrate with a lot of drainage materials throughout the pot will make it easier to provide the right moisture for the earthy coma.

In summer, watering is abundant, with warm, settled water. Excess moisture that has leaked into the pallet must be removed. In winter, when takka falls into a forced dormant period, and its growth stops, watering is reduced and carried out as the substrate dries up, avoiding overdrying.

Read more about watering in the article Watering rules for indoor plants.

Tacca chantrieri Black Beauty

Air humidity... For takka of whole-leaf air humidity, it is necessary to maintain at least 70%, and for takka Chantrieu, 60% will be sufficient. It is the low air humidity that is most often an obstacle to keeping takki at home.

Spray the leaves and air next to the plant several times a day with warm boiled water, use household humidifiers and other means to increase air humidity.

Top dressing. From spring to autumn, during active growth, use universal complex fertilizers for indoor plants. In winter, all feeding is canceled.

Soil and transplant... The key to successfully growing takki is proper substrate preparation. She needs a light, loose, moisture-consuming, but well-drained soil, pH from 6.0 to 7.5. It is important to ensure constant access of air and moisture to the roots.A mixture for orchids, bromeliads or a ready-made peat substrate with a large amount of perlite (2: 1) is suitable.

Takka is transplanted every few years, as the roots develop all the soil in the pot, and only by careful transshipment. Too much of a substrate, especially a dense one, leads to waterlogging and rotting of the roots. After the purchase, you can not transplant the plant for a year, and then slightly increase the volume, partially and very delicately remove the old soil from the top and sides of the coma, where there are no roots, and add a freshly prepared mixture with a large amount of perlite or other drainage material. A complete replacement of the soil must be avoided, this will lead to severe damage to the roots, they will begin to rot, and the plant will quickly die.

The vertical rhizome is almost completely submerged in the ground, only a few centimeters of the stem with leaves extending from it remain on top, they cannot be buried. Over time, when the rhizome grows strongly, it can be divided into parts during transplantation, thereby multiplying the plant.

Read more in the article Transplanting indoor plants.

Takka Chantrye Black Beauty after flowering in a greenhouse

Reproduction produced by dividing rhizomes or seeds.

Rhizomes without leaves are cut into several parts with a sharp, clean knife, sprinkled with crushed coal and allowed to dry for 24 hours. Then the delenki are planted in small pots filled with loose soil. From the dormant buds on the rhizome, new shoots soon begin to grow. This is the most reliable and fastest breeding method for takki.

In China, Thailand and other countries, the takku Shantrye is often referred to as the Black Orchid, and this is probably where the seed confusion came from. Wanting to order orchid seeds online (Black tiger orchid Flowers Seeds, for example), buyers receive large faceted takka seeds.

Seeds, pretreated with stimulants, are sown to a depth of about 0.5-1 cm in a moist substrate, covered with glass or film on top and placed in a warm place. Seedlings can appear uncommonly for many months.

Pests and diseases... Takka can be affected by common pests of indoor plants: aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, ticks.

About plant protection - in the article Houseplant pests and control measures.

When waterlogged, the roots rot; during extreme heat, takka is susceptible to fungal diseases. In dry air, the plant degrades and dies rather quickly.