November 13, 2014

Plants We Love to Grow-Flowering Gingers

Flowering Gingers 

Etlingera speciosa
photo courtesy of Dr. Scott Zona- FIU
the true Torch Ginger
an imposing plant with flowers to 10" in diameter
and plants that grow to 12 feet or more in height
 Gingers are a staple in the art of tropical landscaping, or should be, if they are not already used in your garden. There are dozens of varieties from dwarf to giant, and many are undemanding. Flower colors range from pure white to deep burgundy, there are species for just about every landscape site except bone dry, and in some cases, the blooms are edible and fragrant at the same time ! 
Alpinia purpurata

Hedychium gardnerianum
Kahili Ginger

Hedychium coronarium
Butterfly or Mariposa Ginger
with edible and richly perfumed flowers

There are such beautiful gingers that can be grown in South Florida that I wonder why people don't grow them more often. In most cases, the plants require rather little special maintenance, but do appreciate consistent watering and monthly fertilizing. The plants are mostly from tropical areas, but tolerate our climate well. Given the variety available at local nurseries and from mail-order / Internet sources, consider a few gingers to make your garden more tropical.   

Renealmia cernua

Renealmia alpinia

Diversity is a key component in a great garden, and few plant groups have such color and plant diversity as the flowering gingers do. The next blog will deal with the patter-leaved Hidden Gingers, and their surreal foliage.
Craig Morell
Pinecrest Gardens