Tropical and exotic ornamental gingers (Alpinia spp.) supply lush, variegated foliage and impressive flowers to your garden bed. Although these gingers aren't edible like the culinary variety, their red, pink, purple or white blooms still make them a welcome addition to your landscape. Ornamental gingers grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, where they rarely suffer from pests or diseases. You can also grow the plants as annuals or overwinter them indoors so they aren't exposed to frost.
1 Plant ornamental ginger in a well-drained garden with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8, which you can determine with a home soil testing kit. Select a location that receives six hours or more of direct daily sun.
2 Water ginger when the top 1 inch of soil just begins to dry out, approximately one to two time per week. Supply about 1 inch of water, which is enough to moisten the soil to a 6-inch depth. Spread a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch over the soil to help prevent rapid soil drying.
3 Fertilize the plant once monthly in spring and summer when the ginger is putting on active new growth. Mix 1 tablespoon of a 24-8-16 fertilizer with 1 gallon of water, and water the ginger with the fertilizer mixture.
4 Cut back the older flower stems to the ground as soon as the blooms fade. Trim out yellowed, damaged or overgrown foliage at any time.
5 Dig up the rhizomes in fall, and remove the foliage before the first expected frost if you live in a climate with cold winters. Store the rhizomes in a box of dry peat moss in a cool, dark location. Replant the rhizomes in spring after frost danger has passed. Plant rhizomes 2 inches deep, and space them 24 to 36 inches apart.
Items you will need
- Soil test kit
- 24-8-16 soluble fertilizer
- Watering can
- Pruning shears
- Peat moss
- Ornamental gingers can grow well as a houseplant if you provide them with full, all-day sunlight and water them when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry. You can also grow ginger in pots outdoors and overwinter the plants inside.
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