How to Care for White Ginger Plants

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White ginger (Hedychium coronarium) is a tropical plant and a tender perennial hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11. White ginger plants average 4 to 6 feet tall and produce fragrant spikes of showy blooms beginning in mid-summer. The strong scent of the flowers is perhaps their best feature. They will bloom later in the season in colder climates, but the scent will not be as prominent. They are usually grown outdoors in tropical climates, such as in Hawaii, or in the southern United States. They can be grown in other parts of the U.S., however, if given the proper care. White ginger plants are relatively easy to grow if you know how to care for them.

  • Place your white ginger plants in a bright, sunny area with room to spread. In more northern areas, consider planting them in containers placed in a sunny spot or grow them in a greenhouse.

  • Plant your white ginger lilies in a rich soil. When planting, work in some organic matter. Also, the soil should be able to retain moisture, since white ginger lilies do not handle drought well. This also applies to container-grown plants.

  • Apply a well-balanced fertilizer beginning in the spring when the new growth begins. Continue fertilizing throughout the growing season.

  • Keep your white ginger lilies evenly moist. They do not like dry conditions. However, avoid over-watering the plants.

  • Cut flower spikes to the ground at the end of the season. Leave white ginger lilies in the ground in winter in zones 8 to 11. Mulch the plants well. In climate zones further north, bring the rhizomes indoors before the first frost. In these areas, lift the rhizomes and store in dry peat. Container-grown plants can be brought indoors.

  • Divide your white ginger lilies in the spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • The blooms of white ginger plants make good cut flowers. A freeze can topple this plant, but it may survive.

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