Growing Ginger Plants: Tips for Ginger Plant Care
Are you considering growing ginger in your garden or landscape? Here,
you’ll find information on how to grow ginger
, as well as tips on
ginger plant care and how to combat common pests and diseases.
The ginger family (Zingiberaceae) contains around 1,000 species of
tropical perennial herbs. Some gingers are cultivated for their edible
rhizomes, which are used for as both a medicine and a culinary spice.
, known as ornamental gingers, are grown primarily for
their pleasing appearance.
Leafy cane-like stems arise from rhizomes to form a plant 3 to 15 feet
tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. Throughout the year, ginger plants produce
stunning red blossoms that are often used in flower arrangements. When
growing gingers, remember, they love moist, well-drained soil and
Ginger - Plant Care Tips
Sun to Partial Shade
Red ginger (Alpinia purpurata) grows best under full sunlight. It also
grows under partial sun and light shade.
Pink cultivars suffer from a tip burn disorder that is lessened with 30
percent shade. Flower yield and rate of development depends
on the amount of sunlight received by the plant.
Ginger grows well in rich soil and in wet habitats, but it can grow in dry
areas as well. Red ginger grows best in fertile, organically rich,
moist, well drained soils with a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8.
In poorly drained clay soils, chlorosis attributed to high manganese
content may occur. Chlorosis due to high pH in calcareous soils is a
Red ginger does better with supplemental irrigation if it is in an area
with moderate rainfall.
Keep soil moist. Red ginger requires 1 inch or more of water per week
from irrigation during droughty periods. The best flower quality is
achieved with generous irrigation. Use of a soaker hose would be great
Good flower quality is achieved with high amounts of irrigation. Red
ginger requires water in excess of 1 inch per week during periods of
Water your ginger regularly. Never leave it in standing water, but keep
the soil consistently moist. The only exception to this is an evergreen
ginger in winter, which should be allowed to dry between watering.
If your air is dry, mist your ginger daily. This will keep the leaves
green and shiny, and your plant healthier overall.
Growing Ginger - Repotting and Propagation
Repot ginger plants in the spring, at the beginning of their growing
season. Gingers can be propagated by dividing the plant in the spring.
Gingers do not need pruning, although you can pinch off blooms once
they are finished. If your ginger plant is too large, divide it in
spring and replant only the smaller part of the plant.
Apply a complete fertilizer once a month. Flower production increases
with increasing levels of nitrogen fertilizer. High levels of nitrogen
fertilizer do not adversely affect the postharvest life of the flowers.
Red ginger is not tolerant of temperatures below 50°F. At
41°F or less, the foliage and inflorescences die. It is shade
tolerant but does not thrive in heavy shade.
It does fine in light shade and tolerates moderate shade. Red
ginger has low salt tolerance and is not drought tolerant.
Provide protection from the wind and salt spray, as browning, tip burn,
and discoloration may result.
Growing Ginger - Pests & Diseases
Red ginger is affected by several types of pest, disease, parasite and
fungi. It is susceptible to 11 types of insect including two types of
aphid, three types of scale insect and four types of mealybug.
These pests are commonly controlled with insecticidal soaps, dips or
sprays. Red ginger is also susceptible to several types of fungi
including marasmius fungus and a variety of root rots.
Most forms of root rot are ameliorated using proper drainage techniques
and the removal of infected specimens. Red ginger is also affected by
parasitic nematodes that target the roots of the plant.
These pests are commonly combated using compost or manure tilled into
the soil before planting. This tactic increases the growth of microbial
organisms in the soil to combat the presence of these parasites.
Field sanitation is part of good pest management for red ginger. Remove
all mature flowers from the field regardless of marketability, so that
they do not serve as hosts where pests can multiply.
Use wide spacing when planting, and keep plants trimmed back to avoid
overgrown fields that are difficult to spray. Wide spacing helps
prevents easy spread of pests from plant to plant in the landscape.
Ginger - Tips for Keeping Ginger Plants Healthy
- Alpinia gingers require well draining soil that you keep
moist. They prefer humidity, partial sun and will tolerate some shade.
- Alpinia gingers respond well to a balanced water soluble
fertilizer after they flower.
- To stimulate blooming in early spring, use a low-nitrogen
commercial fertilizer just as the ginger plant begins to get flower
- Insects and other pests should not be a problem for most
ginger species, but their rhizomes can rot if they are left in standing
water for long periods of time.
- Alpinia gingers respond well to pruning: this helps to
control the size of the plant, as it can spread quickly and outgrow its
Grows in USDA Hardiness
- Some varieties of ginger, such as the beautiful blue
ginger, can survive short frosts and will re-grow from their root
systems if temperatures drop below freezing.
10 - 12