Monday, August 22, 2011

Ginger Snap

Heat, humidity and heavy rainfall are the conditions that the gingers love.  That's just the kind of weather we've been having around My Garden Path and the many types of gingers grown here are thriving.

Hedychium 'Sherry Baby'

The butterfly gingers, bloomed a few weeks back.  Both the peach colored and the white are very heavily scented and fill up the back garden with sweet perfume.  The bloom cycle only lasts for two weeks and that makes it all the more special.

Hedychium coronarium

The pinecone gingers are doing very well down in the boggy area.  They are spreading happily and sending up those interesting blooms.  The blooms are actually small flowers that pop out of the "cone" when it is still green.  As the cones turn red I like to cut them to use in flower arrangements for the house.

Zingiber zerumbet

There is a creamy substance inside the cones that has a sweet smell and gives these gingers their other nickname, 'shampoo ginger.'

Costus barbatus

I'm so happy to see the Costus returning after being killed to the ground this winter. When winters are mild this ginger will stay green and then bloom in early spring. The blooms are tall red towers that last all summer. Even without the flowers, the velvety soft leaves and spiraling stems make this ginger a favorite of mine.

Alpinia zerumbet

The shell gingers bloom in the spring in heavy dripping bunches.  The solid green takes the sun well at the edge of the bog garden but it was hit hard this past winter with frost.  The variegated version loves the shade and wasn't fazed in the least by either of the past cold winters.  I have divided both of these gingers and spread them in front of the fence to give more background to the other plantings.

Alpinia zerumbet 'variegata'

Another ginger that I have divided and spread around all over the shady area is a beautiful 'hidden' ginger.  I divided and moved the clumps last fall.  This spring when I expected to see fuchsia blooms I was very disappointed.  No blooms on any of the plants this year.  I'm hoping they just need to get settled in after their move and that they will all bloom this coming spring.

Curcuma zedoaria

All the gingers in the garden have sweetly scented stems and rhizomes as well as beautiful blooms.  It's the leaves that I love though.  Some disappear for the winter, some stay right on through the cold season, but they all lend tropical flair to my summer garden.


  1. Wow! Aren't they all so lovely! I never realized there were so many types and they're all so different from one another. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My white butterfly ginger's blooms are over. Thanks for the info on the shell ginger, new to my gardens this year and I will be cutting my pinecone gingers, didn't even think about doing that. My hidden ginger blooms like crazy, it gets quite a bit of sun and only rain for water.

  3. I have two gingers in pots. I need to get them in the ground but am not sure where to plant them. Do they do better in partial shade to full shade, rather than full sun?

    Your gingers and your gardens are wonderful.


  4. You have very nice collection of gingers. I only have that variegated shell ginger. The size of most gingers make them not an ideal fit to my tiny garden :( Although I want that butterfly ginger for its scent!

  5. It's amazing how many ginger varieties there are, and you've got a nice collection in your garden. I like that they have a nice scent, too.

  6. You have an awesome ginger collection! I'm wishin' I had more shade so I could add some of those butterfly gingers to my garden. My curcumas are pretty faithful bloomers, though some of them don't throw off blooms until late in the season. I love your solid green Alpinia.

  7. Daisy - Gingers are some of my favorite plants. I just wish most of them didn't go dormant in winter. But, then again, I love seeing them emerge in the spring along with the caladiums.

    Darla - Those butterfly blooms don't last long do they? I love them when they are around though. My hidden gingers bloomed fine in partial shade last year.....

    FlowerLady - I think most gingers do well in partial shade rather than full sun, but it really depends on the type. Your full sun is a lot hotter than here in my area. If you wanted to keep some of the gingers in the pots just divide out a few rhizomes to plant in-ground and leave the others. That's one of the best things about them, they multiply!

    Ami - The gingers do take up a considerable amount of space, but some, like the butterfly, don't really spread too much and you can easily dig up the rhizomes.

    Susan - I love their scent. Even the ones that don't bloom give off a nice scent when brushed against or when their stems are cut.

    Floridagirl - I hope my curcumas will become faithful bloomers too. Last year was their first blooming after they had been in-ground a year or so. I divided them like a mad woman hoping to see the blooms all over the place. Oh well, maybe next year.

  8. Beautiful, NanaK. Such a colorful variety. I only have the shell ginger planted last year and mine hasn't bloomed yet either. I'm hoping they will next year.

  9. I still have a butterfly ginger bloom to open. It is my favorite scent in the garden.
    Do you just cut the pine cone stem and put it in a vase of water? This year they are really turning red. I need to cut some for inside the house.

    Do you have any Hawaiian ginger? A neighbor passed along one to me but it has not bloomed.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.