Lifestyle

Growing gorgeous ginger will add spice to your garden bed

Red torch ginger flowers.
Red torch ginger flowers.

THE ginger family (Zingiberaceae) comprises more than 1300 different varieties of flowering plants with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes.

Gingers occur throughout tropical Africa, Asia and the Americas, with the greatest diversity occurring in South-East Asia.

There are some native to our country, including curcuma australis (Cape York lily) and Alpinia caerulea.

Within the family are many ornamental plants as well as spices including ginger (Zingiber officionalis), galangal (Alpinia galanga), turmeric and cardamom.

The ginger flowers range from the dainty to the truly spectacular.

Some gingers grow in full sun while others prefer shade. Some are evergreen and others are deciduous.

Some grow tall, over 3m, while others, like the Kaempferia, are only 30cm high and make a pretty groundcover during summer.

The miniature gingers, including most of the curcumas and globbas, come mainly from the forests of Thailand.

They are deciduous over winter, during which time they need to be kept on the dry side until they reappear in spring.

Because they are dormant in winter, they can tolerate quite cold temperatures - some will survive down to -50C.

Curcuma "Voodoo Magic" has rich burgundy flowers and a deep red vein running down the centre of the leaf.

It is best in full sun to part shade and grows to about 60cm tall. Anita is a miniature form of the Cape York Lily, with bright pink flowers.

I love the Globbas too. It's not a very attractive name, but the flowers are gorgeous - long, pendulous bunches of pink, mauve or white flowers with delicate golden stamens. They prefer full shade.

Curcumas and Globbas both make great cut flowers and will last for several months as a potted plant indoors.

The beehive gingers (Zingiber spectabilis) produce their flowering spikes at the base of the plant. Most are evergreen and just need a bit of a tidy up during winter.

Torch ginger (Etlingera elatior) is among the most impressive of all the gingers.

The flower stem can be up to a metre high, and the foliage can reach up to 6m!

The flowers may be red, pink or white, with red being the most common and easiest to find.

Costus, or spiral gingers, usually produce their flowers at the tips of elegantly spiralling stems.

The most common variety, Costus barbados, has rich red bracts at the top of these stems, from which small bright yellow flowers emerge.

Most gingers love rich, moist well-drained soil, a warm position, and plenty of water.

Some require a sunny position, and others need shade, so check the label before purchasing.

Feed them with a balanced, preferably organic, fertiliser throughout the growing season.

Apart from food and regular water, they don't need much care other than the removal of old flower spikes and leaves.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  flowers, gardening, ginger, lifestyle, plants


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

The best and worst bits of Splendour from our experts

The Amphitheatre received Flume with open arms and danced to his music on Sunday night.

Glitter, fake marriages, see-through clothing and gorgeous weather

Splendour found The Cure

Robert Smith at the Splendour in the Grass Amphitheatre stage during The Cure's show.

Day two of Splendour in the Grass

Gallery donations roll with thanks

Donors gather at The Regional Art Gallery hear from the architect, Dominic Finlay Jones, about the redevelopment of the gallery.

Regional Gallery thanks donors helping with redevelopment

Latest deals and offers

Woolworths to sack 500 staff, close at least 17 stores

WOOLWORTHS will dump hundreds of staff and shut more than 20 of its major Australian supermarkets.

The best and worst bits of Splendour from our experts

The Amphitheatre received Flume with open arms and danced to his music on Sunday night.

Glitter, fake marriages, see-through clothing and gorgeous weather

Splendour found The Cure

Robert Smith at the Splendour in the Grass Amphitheatre stage during The Cure's show.

Day two of Splendour in the Grass

Gallery donations roll with thanks

Donors gather at The Regional Art Gallery hear from the architect, Dominic Finlay Jones, about the redevelopment of the gallery.

Regional Gallery thanks donors helping with redevelopment

NORPA brings My Radio Heart back

Performers in the NORPA co-production My Radio Heart, from left, Randolf Reimann, Phoebe Rose, Mathew Daymond, Claudie Frock, Zac Mifsud (sitting), and Lydian Dunbar. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

The piece premiered in 2014 in Lismore

Pizza chain goes into voluntary administration

Eagle Boys pizza store

Mackay Eagle Boys will continue to feed the Mackay community

Pokémon Go makes Ingress into Clarence Valley

Pokemon Go player Dan Optland is pictured in the game w ith a "Pidgey" Pokemon he lured to a Pokestop at the Clarence Valley Conservatorium.

Pokemon Go Pokestops evolved from hard work of unsuspecting friends.

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started