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Plant of the Month

Zingiber or Ginger is a wonderful tropical plant of which there are 200 species.  These plants come in an astounding number of varieties and hybrids only three of which are illustrated here.   The plant is native to the tropical areas of India, China, Southeast Asia and Australia.  Of the family Zingiberaceae the edible plant which produces the Ginger spice is Zingiber officinale.

Zingiber sp.

Zingiber sp.

Zingiber sp.


Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Ginger   (genera Alpinia, Zingiber and Hedychium)

Botanical Name:  Zingiber

Family:  Zingiberaceae

Plant Type:  Clump-forming, rhizomatous, soft-stemmed, evergreen perennial

Origin:  Tropical India, China, Southeast Asia and Australia

Zones: 9-11

Height:  to 10'

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Low

Soil Requirements:  Humus-rich, fertile, well-drained soil with added compost or leaf mold

Water Requirements: Freely water when growing, just moist in winter

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Bright, filtered light, partial shade

Form:  Erect, clumping plant

Leaves:  2-ranked, lance-shaped in a variety of sizes and colors

Flowers: Panicle or raceme, showy, bell-shaped -- colors vary

Fruits: Ovoid or sphereical capsules

Pests or diseases:  Fungal Leaf Spot, Root Rot, Spider Mites

Uses:  Specimen for shade garden, accent or filler

Bad Habits: None

Cost:  $ - $$$-- very reasonable to expensive

Propagation:  Seed sown at 68F or divisions of rhizome

Sources:   A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, The Subtropical Garden

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Last updated 06/03/08