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How to Prune Variegated Ginger Plants

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017
Variegated ginger flowers.

Variegated ginger, also known as ginger lily or shell ginger, is a lush-growing perennial with striking green and white foliage and shell-shaped flowers. As a vigorous grower, variegated ginger requires yearly pruning to maintain a manageable size and prevent the plant from looking scraggly and leggy. Variegated ginger prefers partial shade and warm temperatures. As an outdoor plant, it must be grown in warm climates with no winter freezing. Variegated ginger can be grown as an indoor plant or container plant in any climate.

Use sharp, clean pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant or spreading disease. Clean shears after pruning and before storing.

Trim off any dying or dead leaves that have yellowed or browned. Cut the leaves off where they emerge from the stems or the base of the plant.

Cut off new shoots and leaves to maintain the desired size and shape of the plant. Cut off cleanly where the new stems emerge from the old growth.

Trim last year's stems (the old growth) only as needed. Variegated ginger only blooms from old growth, so avoid pruning off more than necessary.

Cut off the flower stalks at the base of the plant where they emerge after blooming to encourage further blooming.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Divide the roots of potted, variegated ginger every two years so the plant will not outgrow its container.
  • Give the plant plenty of space around it when planting, as it will grow large quickly. Providing plenty of space will limit the amount of pruning that's necessary.


  • Variegated ginger cannot survive freezes, and prefers temperatures above 55 degrees F year around.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.