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How to Care for an Ornamental Ginger Plant

By Barbara Fahs ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ornamental gingers belong to a large plant family and include many showy flowering plants that range in color from white to red. They are related to the edible ginger used in many Asian and Indonesian dishes, but ornamental gingers do not produce an edible rhizome. Because these plants are tropical, you can grow them in large pots that you keep outdoors in the warmer months and then move indoors for the winter. They prefer filtered sunlight and plenty of humidity. And if you treat them right, you will be rewarded with their stunning blooms in mid- to late summer.

Plant your ginger rhizome(s) in a large pot with rich potting soil in spring. Dig a hole one to two inches deep, insert your rhizome, and then cover with more soil and water it well.

Place your pot in an area under a tree or arbor where it will receive partial or filtered sunlight.

Water ginger twice each week to keep it evenly moist, but not soggy. Placing the pot on a saucer with pebbles in it will help to keep the roots out of standing water and to provide the humidity this plant needs.

Fertilize once a month with a balanced fertilizer. When your plant begins to send up a flower stalk, fertilize it with a blossom booster (low nitrogen) plant food.

Cut plants back to the ground at the end of their growing season, in the fall. You can also dig up the rhizome and separate it to create additional plants at this time.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Ginger rhizome(s)
  • Large pot with drainage hole
  • Rich potting soil
  • Area with partial or filtered sun
  • Saucer
  • Pebbles
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • "Bloom booster" fertilizer

Tips

  • If you live in an arid climate, spray your ginger with a fine mist of water daily.
  • Products designed to keep plant leaves shiny are not recommended for the gingers.
  • Spray an infestation of spider mites or other insects with a shower of water or insecticidal soap.
  • To prevent fungal diseases or root rot, allow the plant to dry out a bit and give it more airflow.

About the Author

 

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.