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How to Grow Hawaiian Ginger

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Although ginger thrives in Hawaii, even growing in the wild where some species are considered invasive pests, there is no ginger plant endemic to the islands. The closest one might get to calling any ginger “Hawaiian” would be Zingiber zerumbet (Awapuhi Kuahiwi), which was brought to Hawaii with the Polynesians when they colonized the island chain. Awapuhi will grow to 7 feet in height and, if grown in the appropriate tropical climate, will spread rapidly. In the summer, new stalks appear with green, cone-shaped flowers, which turn red in the coming weeks. Eventually you will see small, highly scented, white to yellow flowers. Awapuhi is hardy to USDA zones 8 to 11.

Choose a site in which to grow your Hawaiian ginger. Give it a lot of room to grow because it will spread. The location should offer the Hawaiian ginger morning sun and afternoon shade.

Amend your soil so that it has a high concentration of organic matter. Add 3 to 4 inches of compost or well-rotted manure to the soil and mix it in to a depth of 8 inches.

Plant the Hawaiian ginger in autumn by digging a shallow hole (twice the size of the tuber), placing the tuber in the hole and covering it with soil.

Water your Hawaiian ginger daily.

Fertilize the Hawaiian ginger twice a year with a controlled release fertilizer. There are commercial ginger food products available or you can use a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10.


Things You Will Need

  • Fertilizer


  • Outside of tropical regions the Awapuhi will die back in the autumn but appear again in the spring.

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.