In my perspective, the ‘Mahachok’ (ว่านมหาโชค) bulb plants are among Thailand’s loveliest tropical flowering herbs. These evergreen bulbs thrive in hot tropical climates and produce attractive fragrant white blooms from time to time.
The ‘Mahachok’ (ว่านมหาโชค) bulb plants are a vintage herbaceous bulb with evergreen leaves that thrives in Thailand’s hot and humid tropical climate. Though they physically resemble the ‘Mahalab’ (ว่านมหาลาภ) bulb plants that seem to be more widespread among Thai gardeners nowadays, there are three key differences:  Unlike the light green leaves of the ‘Mahalab’, the leaves of ‘Mahachok’ bulbs are larger and darker green with thicker stems,  Unlike ‘Mahalabs’ that do quite well when naturalized in the soil, ‘Mahachok’ bulbs prefer to be potbound in large pots and remain evergreen throughout the year,  Unlike the delicate orange-reddish blooms of ‘Mahalab’ bulbs, the white blooms of ‘Mahachoks’ are larger, sturdier, and fragrant.
In Thailand, ‘Mahachok’ (ว่านมหาโชค) bulbs can be easily planted year-round in large well-drained earthen pots filled with rich loamy soil mixed with small amounts of sand and organic fertilizer. Place 4-5 bulbs in a large, deep earthen pot that is about 40 cm in diameter, so that their tops are approximately 1-2 cm below the surface of the soil. Water well after planting.
‘Mahachok’ bulb plants are slow growers, but in approximately 1-2 months after consistent rain or moisture, dark green leaves will start to appear above the soil as the plants continue to grow.
Tall stems bearing clusters of fragrant white flowers will soon appear 2-3 months after the bulbs have been planted. ‘Mahachok’ bulb plants prefer partial shade, and in Thailand’s tropical gardens their ideal locations would be close to larger trees along the eastern or western walls where they receive morning or late afternoon sunshine, but are shielded from the scorching tropical mid-day sun.
In the Thai language, the term ‘Mahachok’ (ว่านมหาโชค) translates to “The Great Fortune” in English, which is why traditional Thai gardeners consider them to be very auspicious and lovely plants, a perfect addition to any tropical garden.
Happy gardening, wherever you are in Thailand, and around the world!
Lat (Ratasit C.)