Red ginger (Alpinia purpurata) is a must-have for the tropical landscape. This exotic-looking shrub is so named because it grows from a tuber, which superficially resembles culinary ginger. It produces masses of 3- to 10-foot stalks, which are flanked with long, dark green leaves, and topped by brilliant red, cone shaped flowers. Lovely pink flowered cultivars are also available. A native of the South Pacific, red ginger is easily grown in warm, moist, sheltered locations. It can be grown in large pots indoors, provided it receives constant moisture and humidity.
Fill a clean 2-gallon pot with rich, organic potting mix.
Place one red ginger rhizome horizontally, with the sprouting eyes facing upwards in the center of the pot, and cover it with 1 inch of soil.
Water the pot until it drains, and then place it in a warm, sheltered location out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times.
Move your red ginger plant into partial or full sun when new shoots emerge.
Plant your young red ginger plants in a sheltered location with deep, rich moist soil, which receives partial to full sun. Choose partial shade in drier environments. Grow red ginger in large pots where winters are cold, and be sure to move them indoors before nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Feed red gingers with a balanced liquid plant food, once a month during active growth. Do not feed container plants in the winter months if they have to be kept indoors.
Water your established red ginger deeply twice a week during warm months. Do not let the soil dry out at any time. Water more often if you notice the leaves beginning to curl or turn brown.