Such a perennial herbaceous plant as tacca is naturally found in the western regions of Africa and in Southeast Asia. For the growth and normal development of this plant, no specific conditions are required. It can grow both in open sunny places and in shaded places (for example: forests, savannahs, thickets). Such a flower is found both on the sea coast and on the mountain slope.
In tacca, creeping rhizomes are represented by a tuberous development system. Glossy, rather large leaves are located on long petioles with a ribbed surface. This plant is quite large and, depending on the species, it can reach a height of 40-100 centimeters. There are plants of this genus that grow up to 300 centimeters in height. On the surface of young shoots, there is pubescence, but it gradually disappears as the flower matures.
This plant stands out among the rest with unusual flowers that have an unusual color and structure. Arrows rise above the foliage, at the ends of which there are umbellate inflorescences, consisting of 6-10 flowers. Some species have elongated bracts. After flowering, tacca produces fruits, presented in the form of berries. In plantain tacca, the fruit is presented in the form of a box. Such a flower has many seeds for reproduction.
Tacca care at home
This plant grows well in shady areas. It should be protected from direct sunlight. It is recommended to place it on an east or west window.
Due to the fact that this plant is tropical, it needs to provide an appropriate temperature regime. In summer, the temperature in the room should be between 18 and 30 degrees. From the beginning of the autumn period, the temperature should be gradually reduced to 20 degrees and try to maintain it at this level throughout the winter and spring. In the room where the tacca is located, it should not be colder than 18 degrees. Fresh air has a beneficial effect on this plant, but when airing the room, do not forget to protect it from drafts.
The flower requires high humidity, while it should be noted that it reacts extremely negatively to dry air. The plant must be regularly moistened with a sprayer, and household air humidifiers should also be placed in the room. The pot should be placed on a wide pallet, into which expanded clay or moss should first be poured and a little water should be poured. Takke is also recommended to regularly arrange “steam baths” at night. To do this, the flower is left in a room filled with steam all night.
How to water
On hot summer days, it is necessary to water abundantly. It is recommended to do this immediately after the top layer of the substrate dries out a little. With the onset of the autumn period, watering should be reduced to moderate. In winter, it is necessary to water the flower only after the substrate dries to a third of the height of the container. Be careful not to over-dry or over-moisten the soil. Watering tacca is recommended with soft, well-settled water, which should not be cold.
Suitable soil for planting should be loose and at the same time very well breathable. Also, for planting, it is quite possible to use a purchased soil mixture intended for orchids. You can make a suitable soil mixture with your own hands, for this you need to combine sod and leaf soil, as well as sand and peat, which should be taken in a ratio of 1: 2: 1: 2.
Top dressing should be carried out from the beginning of spring to the middle of autumn. Fertilizers should be applied to the soil regularly 2 times a month. It is impossible to fertilize tacca in winter. For top dressing, it is recommended to use ordinary flower fertilizers, but you should take ½ of the dose recommended on the package.
Transplantation of such a plant is carried out only in case of emergency. It is recommended to perform such a procedure in the spring, when the roots are fully strengthened after wintering. A new pot should be taken a little more than the previous one. Otherwise, the plant is likely to be flooded. Before planting, a drainage layer must be made at the bottom of the pot.
This plant is propagated, as a rule, by seeds, as well as by dividing the rhizome.
Before proceeding with the division of the rhizome, it is necessary to carefully cut off the part of the plant that rises above the soil surface. Then you need to divide the rhizome into several parts, using a very sharp knife for this. The cut points must be treated with crushed charcoal, and then left for 24 divisions in the open air to dry. Pots for planting should be chosen that will correspond to the size of the divisions, and they need to be filled with light soil.
Before proceeding with direct sowing, it is necessary to prepare the seeds. In warm water (about 50 degrees), you need to place the seeds and leave them there for a day. For sowing, a loose substrate is used, and the seeds are deepened by 1 centimeter. In order to maintain high humidity, the container must be covered with a film or glass on top. In order for seedlings to appear faster, it is necessary to maintain the temperature of the substrate at a level of at least 30 degrees. As a rule, seedlings appear after 1–9 months from the moment of sowing.
Diseases and pests
Most often, a spider mite settles on a plant. If such a pest is found, it is recommended to treat the tacca with an acaricidal agent. If you water the flower too abundantly, then rot may appear on it.
Types of tacca
This is the highest type of such of all known. This plant can reach a height of 300 centimeters. It has pinnately cut very large leaves, which can be up to 60 centimeters wide, and they also have a decent length – about 70 centimeters. Violet-green flowers are hidden under a pair of large pale green bedspreads. Long, pointed bracts in length can reach 60 centimeters. After the end of flowering, fruits in the form of berries are formed.
Tacca whole-leaved or White bat (Tacca integrifolia)
This evergreen plant is native to India. This species differs from the rest in its rather wide leaves with a mirror-smooth surface. In width, they can reach 35 centimeters, and in length – 70 centimeters. The flowers are covered with a pair of white rather large twenty-centimeter bedspreads. The flowers themselves can be painted in dark purple, black or purple. The bracts of this plant are very thin, cord-like and can reach 60 centimeters in length. Fruits are formed, presented in the form of berries.
Tacca Chantrier or Black Bat
This tropical evergreen is closely related to tacca whole-leaved. However, they have obvious external differences. In height, such a flower can reach 90-120 centimeters. Long-leaved wide leaves at the base are folded. On such a plant, up to 20 flowers can appear, painted in a glossy brownish-red color. At the same time, they are bordered by bracts of maroon color, which look like the wings of a bat or butterfly.