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How to Plant a Butterfly Ginger Lily

The scientific name for the Butterfly Ginger Lily is Hedychium coronarium. Other common names given to the plant are ginger lily or garland flower. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae, or ginger, family. The plant is native to India, but is grown widely across the United States, the Caribbean and other subtropical and tropical areas. White butterfly ginger is the most popular and fragrant of the ginger lilies that are grown. They can grow up to 7 feet tall with flowers that resemble the delicate wings of a butterfly. Ginger lilies are hardy in gardening zones 7 through 11.

Choose an area that has partial shade. The area should be a low spot in the landscape or on the sides of a pond. Butterfly ginger lilies will also grow in containers or tubs, with no need for drain holes.

Dig a hole 6 inches deep and 1 inch wider than the rhizome. Add two handfuls of compost to the dug-out soil and mix it well.

Place the rhizome in the bottom of the planting hole and cover it in an inch of the amended soil. Water well to compact the soil around the rhizome. Continue to fill the hole with the amended soil.

Water to soak the ground all the way through to the rhizome. If you are not planting in standing water, the ground must be soaked every day. If planted in containers, water as soon as the top of the soil starts to dry. This plant must be kept wet.

Fertilize every week with a balanced tropical flower fertilizer. If you've planted in containers in a pond, then you can use slow-release fertilizer tablets in the soil of the container. Refer to the manufacturer's directions on the amount to use per application.


The USDA has mapped out hardiness zones for growing plants in the United States. There are 11 separate zones, with zone 1 being the coldest. Plants that are hardy in certain zones means that this is where they grow the best outdoors. See resources for a link to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

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