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How to Care for Hawaiian Ginger Plants

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How to Care for Hawaiian Ginger Plants

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Overview

Hawaiian ginger, also called red ginger or awapuhi ginger, was introduced to Hawaii from the South Pacific. Hawaii's humid, tropical climate proved an ideal environment for this ornamental ginger. According to the University of Hawaii, red ginger is naturalized on the islands, where it can be found growing wild in the jungles. A true tropical, hawaiian ginger can not withstand cold weather and dry conditions. Plant red ginger outside in USDA planting zone 11; in colder climates, grow it in a pot and enjoy the tropical flowers indoors.

Step 1

Fill a pot half-full with potting soil. Select a pot that has at least one drainage hole in the bottom. To prevent the soil from leaking out, cover the holes with a piece of loose-fitting pottery. For outside planting, select a location that gets full sun throughout the day.

Step 2

Slide the hawaiian ginger plant out of the nursery pot and place it in the prepared planting pot. For outside planting, dig a hole slightly wider than and as deep as the plant's root ball. Place the root ball into the soil and fill in around it. Press down gently to secure the plant in the soil.

Step 3

Water immediately after planting until the soil around the root ball is damp to the bottom of the pot or planting hole. Water ginger plants in the ground every other day for a total water application of 1 inch per week. Water potted plants when the top of the soil begins to feel dry to the touch.

Step 4

Keep potted hawaiian ginger indoors in an area where the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist the leaves with water once a day to keep them clean and humid. In dry climates, put the ginger plant in a humid bathroom or greenhouse.

Step 5

Cut the flowers from the stalk when they begin to fade. Use a sharp pair of shears and cut the flower stalk to the ground. Remove any yellowing foliage at the ground.

Step 6

Fertilize one a month with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Check the back of the package for the proper dilution. According to the University of Hawaii, nitrogen-rich fertilizers increase the flower production of hawaiian ginger plants.

Step 7

Cut mature flowers at the base of the stalk for vase arrangements. Make a clean cut at the base of the stem at a 45-degree angle. Mature flowers can last up to 25 days in water; adding sugar solutions helps to extend the flower's life in the vase. Young, immature flowers last up to five days in a vase.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Pottery shards
  • Shovel
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Shears

References

  • University of Hawaii Extension Program: Ornamental Ginger, Red and Pink

Who Can Help

  • The United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: growing ornamental ginger, awapuhi ginger, ginger care, tropical plant care

About this Author

Eulalia Palomo has been a freelance writer since 2009, with her work appearing on GardenGuides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University.