How to Plant & Care for Ginger Lilies


Ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium), also known as butterfly ginger, is an herbaceous perennial plant valued for its attractive blossoms, large leaves and ease of cultivation in the home garden. The plant blooms during summer and fall, producing flower stalks covered in clusters of fragrant white flowers. The plant's dark green leaves reach up to 24 inches in length and have sharp, pointy tips. Native to India, ginger lilies require warm temperatures to flourish and thrive in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 11.

Step 1

Choose a planting site that receives partial shade to full sun and consists of well-drained, moist, fertile soil. Plant ginger lilies during early spring, just after the first frost-free date has passed, for the best results.

Step 2

Use a shovel to dig a hole in the soil 2 inches deep and about 2 inches wider than the ginger lily rhizome. Insert the rhizome into the hole, gently cover with soil and water lightly to initiate new growth. Space ginger lilies 24 to 36 inches apart.

Step 3

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch over the ground surrounding ginger lilies to deter competitive weeds, provide insulation for the roots and improve water conservation. Allow at least 3 inches between the plant's crown and the mulch to allow enough air circulation.

Step 4

Water ginger lilies once per week during the spring, summer and fall months to keep the soil consistently moist. Decrease the frequency of watering during winter to once every two weeks. Soak the soil to a depth of at least 2 inches at each application to ensure the roots come into contact with enough moisture.

Step 5

Feed ginger lilies twice per year, once during late spring and again in mid-summer, using an all-purpose 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer for proper dosage. Water immediately after feeding to prevent root burn.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer


  • Floridata: Hedychium coronarium
  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Hedychium coronarium
  • "Georgia Gardener's Guide"; Erica Glasener, Walter Reeves; 2004

Who Can Help

  • The United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: ginger lilies, ginger lily care, Hedychium coronarium

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including