How to Plant Ginger Lilies


The ginger lily, Hedychium cornoraium, is a tropical perennial that is member of the ginger family. Other common names for the plant are white butterfly, garland flower or the butterfly ginger lily. The plant is native to India and is the most fragrant and popular of all the ginger lilies. The plant is grown widely across subtropical and tropical areas and is hardy in USDA growing zones 7 through 11. The ginger lily can reach heights between 3 and 7 feet, when mature, and it can produce leaves 8 to 24 inches long. The plant produces white flowers that closely resemble butterfly wings.

Step 1

Locate a spot to plant your ginger lily. The spot should receive partial shade. The plant does well when planted in low spots in the lawn or around water sources, such as ponds or lakes.

Step 2

Dig a 6-inch hole that is 1 inch wider than the rhizome. If you are planting several ginger lilies, space them 18 to 24 inches apart

Step 3

Take the dirt you removed and mix it together with 1 cup of compost (roughly two handfuls).

Step 4

Place the rhizome into the planting hole. Cover it with 2 inches of the compost-amended soil.

Step 5

Add ½ cup of water to the planting hole. This will compact the soil around the rhizome. After the water has drained, fill the rest of the hole with the amended soil.

Step 6

Water the ground around the newly planted rhizome. Plan to water the area daily. This plant grows best in wet, boggy soil.

Step 7

Add an application of a slow-release tropical flower fertilizer weekly. Refer to the directions on the fertilizer you are using to determine how much to apply.

Things You'll Need

  • Trowel
  • Compost
  • Slow-release tropical plant fertilizer


  • FloriData: Hedychium Coronarium
  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Hedychium Coronarium

Who Can Help

  • Top Tropicals: Hedychium Coronarium
Keywords: plant ginger lilies, planting Hedychium cornoraium, planting butterfly lilies

About this Author

Joyce Maxwell is a writer and editor for print and online markets. She pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English with a psychology minor at a southern university. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, as well as being picked up by health and education groups. Maxwell is a writer and title flagger for Demand Studios.