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How to Care for Ginger Lily Plants

Ginger lily, also known as butterfly ginger or by its scientific name, Hedychium coronarium, is an herbaceous flowering plant native to India. The tropical plant thrives in warm temperatures and is winter hardy in zones 7 through 11 in the United States. Although it may die back to the ground with a hard freeze, ginger lily typically returns when temperatures warm again. Gardeners value the plant for its fragrant flowers, attractive form and ease of care in the home landscape.

Plant ginger lily plants during mid-spring in a location that receives full sunlight to partial shade throughout the day. Ensure the locations is composed of rich, moist, well-drained soil for optimal growth. Space ginger lily plants 24 to 36 inches apart.

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding ginger lily plants to insulate the soil, increase moisture retention and reduce the growth of weeds. Replenish the mulch whenever necessary to keep it at least 2 inches thick.

Water plants once every five days during the first two months of growth to help establish the roots. Reduce the frequency of watering thereafter to once every 7 to 10 days to prevent the soil from drying out completely.

Feed ginger lily plants once every month using an all-purpose 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Water immediately after fertilizing to release the nutrients into the soil and prevent injuring the plant's roots. Apply at the rate recommended by the manufacturer's instructions.

Remove dead and faded ginger lily flowers as soon as possible, a process known as deadheading, to encourage the formation of additional flowers and extend the blooming season. Pinch off the flowers close to the stem to minimize damage to the plant.


Ginger lily plants can be grown in partial shade, but growth and blooming will be reduced.

Grass clippings and chopped leaves make excellent mulches for ginger lily plants.

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