Tropical Ginger Plants - Exotic Red Flowers

Ginger Plants (Zingiberaceae) contain around 1,000 species of tropical perennial herbs.

Some gingers are cultivated for their edible rhizomes, which are used as both a medicine and a culinary spice.

Other gingers, 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, gingers produce stunning blooms that are often used in flower arrangements. Ginger bracts come in a variety of colors from bright red to light pink. Red ginger loves moist, well-drained soil and partial shade.

Ginger Plants

Ornamental gingers, while related to edibles, are usually grown for their looks instead of their flavor. Alpinia ginger flowers are long lasting, and tolerate long distance shipping, which makes them popular cut flowers.

They can be very rewarding to grow, and with some simple care will continue to produce beautiful leaves and flowers for many years.

Red gingers (Alpina purpurata), are also called Ostrich Plume, Pink Cone Ginger, Jungle King Plant and Jungle Queen Plant. These ginger plants are tall, upright, herbaceous, evergreen plants from the South Pacific, with bright red to pink floral bracts and inconspicuous white flowers.

They are widely cultivated in the tropics and subtropics. Gingers attract bees, butterflies and/or birds.

Ginger Plant Description


The deep green leaves are alternate and sessile (lacking a petiole), with a long sheath that wraps around the stem. Leaf blades are oblong, 12 to 32 inches long and 4 to 9 inches wide, with a pointed apex.

Ginger Flower

Flower Color:  Pink, Rose/Mauve, Magenta (Pink-Purple), Red

Blooms Repeatedly

Plants are tall and slow growing. It takes three years before red ginger plants bloom. Flowers emerge from the end of each stalk and grow as a clump of spikes in colors such as vibrant red, pink, or white depending on the cultivar.

Ginger flowers can be as large as a football and reproduce by growing new plants in the middle of old, dying flowers. This weighs the flowers down; causing them to sag to the ground, at which time the newest plants can be removed and planted. Use in tropical landscaping or as cut flowers.


The plant produces seed capsules only rarely. The capsules are nearly globose, about 4 to 6 inches long and 3⁄4 to 1-1⁄4 inches in diameter, and split open when the seeds are ripe. The seeds are about 1⁄10-inch long, black, oily, and may have a red aril.

Alpina purpurata are among the most common and stunningly beautiful of tropical. From the startling red ginger to the subtle pink shell ginger, these attractive plants are easy to grow in home landscapes in tropical and semi-tropical areas.

If you live in a temperate climate such as the southern United States, you can grow ginger plants in large decorative pots outdoors in the summertime when they bloom and then move them indoors so they can be protected from cooler weather and frost in the fall and winter months.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 10 - 12


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