How to Care for a Varigated-Shell Ginger Plant


Variegated shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) is a dramatic plant, growing as high as 6 feet at maturity. The plant, native to the South Pacific, is hard to miss with its seashell-shaped blooms and leaves marked by alternating green and yellow stripes. A native of India and Southeastern Asia, variegated shell ginger won't tolerate a hard freeze and is hardy to USDA zones 8 to 12. Variegated shell ginger is also known as "pink porcelain lily." In cold climates, variegated shell ginger can be grown as an indoor plant.

Step 1

Keep the soil evenly moist at all times. Give the plant at least an inch of water every week when there is no rain. Plenty of water will ensure big, beautiful blooms.

Step 2

Feed the variegated shell ginger plant every month, using an all-purpose granular or liquid fertilizer. Read the label on the fertilizer container and follow the directions regarding the rate of application.

Step 3

Use pruners or garden shears to cut back stems when the flowers are finished blooming. Cut the stem to the ground.

Step 4

Plant variegated shell ginger in a container to grow it as an indoor plant. Use a container with a drainage hole. Fill the container with commercial potting soil. Place the plant in bright sunlight and keep the potting soil evenly moist. Feed the plant once every month, using a liquid fertilizer for indoor plants.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose granular or liquid fertilizer
  • Pruners or garden shears
  • Container with drainage hole
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Liquid fertilizer for indoor plants


  • University of Hawaii: Ornamental Ginger
  • Floridata: Alpinia Zerumbet
  • University of Florida: Alpinia Zerumbet
Keywords: variegated shell ginger, grow shell ginger, shell ginger care

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.