Hawaiian white ginger (Hedychium coronarium), or “awapuhi ke'oke'o” in Hawaiian, is a native plant of India and was exported in the 19th century to the Hawaiian Islands for its ornamental uses. It soon became naturalized throughout Hawaii and is sometimes even considered an invasive weed. This perennial herb can grow 6 feet in height with simple, elliptical-shaped leaves and fragrant, large and showy snow white flowers. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 22 and blooms in midsummer to late fall.
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Bury the root deep enough to be fully covered with potting soil mix. To plant Hawaiian white ginger outdoors, find a spot in the landscape with partial to full shade. This type of location will promote more blooms than if it is planted in a sunnier spot.
Keep the plant in partial shade after the root has sprouted. Try a window on the east side of the home. Hawaiian white ginger does best in soil that is rich with organic matter. Supplement the garden soil with organic matter using a mixture of 2 parts sand, 2 parts peat moss and 1 part loam. Use a balanced fertilizer weekly or a timed-released fertilizer.
Water the planted Hawaiian white ginger plant to keep the soil moist at all times. Prevent it from getting soggy or drying out by regularly checking the soil. For outdoor plants that receive frequent rains, it will only be necessary to water during dry spells.
Remove any yellow leaves and old stems after the blooms have faded to promote new growth. This vigorous grower will replace lost and pruned foliage with new shoots. Hawaiian white ginger quickly grows out of containers and might need to be divided yearly. This plant becomes dormant during the winter and returns in the spring.