Ornamental gingers are ok to plant if they receive no more than 3/4 full sun in most conditions where they can grow.
Designing a yard with plants can be challenging because the things don’t stay the same size. Things grow, and sometimes they can grow fast. Ornamental gingers can fit this description if the best conditions are present and the season is right.
One relevant detail to all of your plants is the sun and its movement throughout the day and the year. At some point, you may wonder if ornamental gingers take full sun because this is the only spot left in the yard.
What kind of sun does an ornamental ginger need?
The ornamental gingers are a large group and they can have slightly different sunlight needs.
It is safe to say that most ornamental gingers will grow in part shade in the tropics and can take full sun in more moderate climates. Some varieties can handle 80-90% full sun, but this limit shouldn’t be a target.
They all enjoy high humidity and plenty of water.
How do you care for an ornamental ginger?
Caring for ornamental ginger is relatively easy when you have the information. A few easy steps can make the process fun and rewarding because these plants can have incredible flowers. The simple steps to follow are below.
- The soil needs to retain moisture yet be free draining. Don’t use soil that is clay based. They will grow in clay soils but won’t be as spectacular as they could be.
- If using a pot, be very generous with the size because these ginger varieties can often spread.
- Keep your ginger well-watered and use mulch heavily if in the ground.
- If using a pot, give your ginger plenty of light. Filtered sunlight is best in warmer climates and more direct sunlight is ok in temperate climates. If ground planted, allow for winter sun and summer shade.
- You should fertilize your potted ginger with a balanced blend and if you prefer to have more flowers a fertilizer that has a little more phosphorous and potassium than standard. They can be fed once a month while flowering.
What kind of soil do ornamental gingers need?
Ornamental gingers like friable soil, rich in organic matter, and can hold moisture without becoming waterlogged. The soil will benefit significantly from a heavy mulch application if the plant is in the ground.
Preparing the soil before planting is a smart move to get the best out of your gingers, particularly the ornamentals. Once these gingers are planted, they can be left to their own devices unless you need cut flowers or the plant needs cutting back.
They can be tough plants that will take some neglect. You may be wondering if these gingers even need trimming, and we have addressed this topic here.
What kind of ginger has flowers all year?
Several ornamental gingers can flower all year round. The Torch Ginger is one of these, as is the White Ginger.
The beehive ginger will also flower for long periods and makes an excellent cut flower arrangement. The flower bracts are also edible as a vegetable according to the cultures where the ginger is native.
Where does flowering ginger grow in the world?
Flowering ginger plants grow all through the tropics of Southeast Asia.
Gardeners have helped spread many varieties further into the sub-tropics and even into mild temperate zones. Some types are robust in growth to the point of becoming invasive in parts of the world. White Ginger is one of them.
Check your location for current information on its status and behavior.
Is it easy to propagate ornamental ginger?
Ornamental gingers are easy to propagate, which can be done through rhizomes, seeds for some varieties, and rooting stems in the case of the Spiral Gingers.
While growing ginger from seeds might be the hardest method, dividing the rhizome is the easiest.
The spiral ginger can be propagated through cuttings of the stems and laying them down into moist mulched soil. Depth should be about 2 inches deep, and watering should be kept up until the new growth appears in a few weeks.
The flowers of this ginger are edible. Several others are as well and we list them in 21 edible ornamental gingers.
Do you have to repot a ginger plant?
In time the ornamental ginger is likely to need repotting once the rhizome has filled over half of the pot surface area. This is a rough estimate because all gingers will grow at different rates that are decided by where you live.
This is a great time to divide the plant and get several new plants. This is a simple process by cutting the rhizome into sections with at least one growing stem attached to any one section. The rhizome at the base should have roots attached.
Growing ornamental ginger is very rewarding and is not difficult at all. They are a very tolerant plant that will give years of pleasure to every gardener, no matter how experienced they are. Be wary of the variety you choose regarding invasive attitudes, although some are edible, so consider this.
This article gives a couple that are edible. “Are any ornamental gingers edible?“
Article by Tim Blanch for TheTropicalHomestead.com. He is a qualified Permaculture designer.