How to Plant Torch Ginger Seeds


The torch ginger (Etlingera elatior) plant is known for the firy red flowers for which it's named. The tropical perennial--it's hardy only down to USDA Zone 10B--thrives in partial shade to full sun and attracts butterflies and bees. Though torch ginger plants can be purchased as seedlings or mature plants, starting torch ginger by planting its seeds is more economical.

Step 1

Place the torch ginger seeds in a shallow dish of water. Allow the seeds to soak for seven to 10 hours.

Step 2

Prepare a planting pot while you're waiting for the seeds to soak. Fill a gallon-sized pot with a soil-less potting mix. If the pot doesn't have drainage holes at the bottom, add an inch of gravel before pouring in the potting mix.

Step 3

Plant the torch ginger seeds when the soaking time is complete. Bury two seeds in the center of the pot, approximately half-inch below the soil surface and separated by 2 to 3 inches.

Step 4

Water the pot so that the soil is moist to a depth of 3 to 4 inches.

Step 5

Place the pot in a plastic bag or cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. This seals the moisture in the pot. Set up the pot in a warm area with an average temperature of 75 to 85 degrees F. The seeds will sprout within three to four weeks.

Step 6

Take off the plastic wrap or remove the plastic bag from the pot when the seeds have sprouted. Water twice a day or as needed to keep the soil moist. After the seeds are a couple inches in height, remove the smaller seedling.

Things You'll Need

  • Torch ginger seeds
  • Gallon-sized pot
  • Soil-less potting mix
  • Plastic bag or plastic wrap


  • "Tropical Flowering Plants: A Guide to Identification and Cultivation"; Kirsten Llamas; 2003
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Etlingera Elatior Profile
  • University of Florida: Etlingera Elatior
Keywords: grow torch ginger, plant torch ginger, torch ginger plants

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.