Even though many times the flowers aren't truly blue, they are so beautiful you may have a tendency to forgive whoever bestowed the name on the plant. Missouri Botanical Garden: Alpinia Zerumbet 'Variegata', University of Florida Extension: Alpinia Zerumbet "Variegata", Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening; Pat Welsh. Answer: Wait no longer to give your ginger plants a spring pruning. Pruning ginger plants Ginger needs little pruning. Either just the bloom or the whole stem can be taken off at this point. To achieve a shorter, more compact plant, remove the tallest canes at the ground. Use pruning shears to cut the stem off near the base of the plant. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; Trim last year's stems (the old growth) only as needed. In climates where variegated ginger is not evergreen, annual pruning can be combined with lifting rhizomes for the year. Variegated shell ginger plant needs rich, well-drained soil. Variegated ginger only blooms on 2-year-old stems. These canes would be good ones to remove, but be sure to enjoy the tiny flowers first. The stems need to be removed at the base with hand pruners or the plant can weaken, slowing the rate at which new shoots are produced. Garden Perennials & Shrubs to Prune in the Fall. New canes will grow back quickly. Just remember to put them in either full shade, or in a spot where they get only morning sun. This may require the longer handled loppers that will give you more leverage. Simply remove any flowers as they finish, and trim out dead or poorly looking stems. Assess each stalk to determine the height you desire. A beloved spiral ginger among gardeners in the deep south of the U.S. and in Central and South America, the Red Button Ginger is easily cared for by beginners and offers year-round interest. Alpinia needs a lot of water, so during a drought, be conscientious about caring for this plant, while complying with state and local watering restrictions. Just tidy up the dead shoots and they’ll be back again come spring. Patricia Hamilton Reed has written professionally since 1987. Propagating Ginger is pretty easy. We always lived in apartments in NYC so I didn t have gardening experience plus had no idea how this plant would develope. Shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet var.) In climates where variegated ginger is not evergreen, annual pruning can be combined with lifting rhizomes for the year. It is important to remove old canes after they have bloomed, because if they are not removed, the plant will eventually stop producing new canes — removing old canes encourages new healthy canes to emerge. When cutting a portion of a  blooming cane for a floral arrangement, this would be a good time to go ahead and remove that entire cane. Remember that new canes don’t bloom until their second year. How to Grow Red Button Ginger . Trim the branches back several inches, but do not remove so much that you top your trees. There's also a pretty variegated ginger with white and green striped leaves. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University, is an avid gardener and volunteers at her local botanical garden. Fertilizing your variegated shell ginger every month with a balanced fertilizer diluted to one-half strength in warm weather keeps it productive and blooming. When the plant grows too tall for your garden: This evergreen plant can grow to 8 or 9 feet tall in Zones 9 – 11. If rinsing out an empty milk carton, use that water on your plants – it’s a good source of calcium. Blue ginger (Dichorisandra thyrsiflora) is an exception. Its attractive large pointy leaves remain bluish-green in color with showy yellow variegation throughout the season. HI Hannah, I’m so sorry your plant has suffered this way. Grasp the base of the stem with the dead or dying blossom. If you have to let your water run a long time to get hot water, catch the cold water in a container, and use it to water your plants. It’s obviously quite sad looking now, but a couple leaves still have some green in them. Canes that haven't flowered can be left on the rhizomes if you want a chance at flowers the next season. Variegated ginger only blooms from old growth, so avoid pruning off more than necessary. Reed was editor of the "Grand Ledge Independent" weekly newspaper and a Capitol Hill reporter for the national newsletter "Corporate & Foundation Grants Alert." A Few Final Notes For People In Cool Climates. Place them 4 to 5 feet apart and allow at least 4 feet between a ginger and the nearest shrub. Cut off cleanly where the new stems emerge from the old growth. Some of the canes can be cut with the short, handheld pruners, but some of the older canes can be quite thick and fibrous, especially near the bottom. Not being a green thumb, I didn't know how to cut it back. Separating a ginger periodically will encourage new growth and can garner new plants from divided rhizomes. In my garden, I trim shell gingers to maintain their size in relation to the rest of the landscape. That will cause rot, and invite disease and pests. Judging by the dimensions of the space, it sounds as if you are installing plants down the length of a fence or a property line. She asked the best way to prune it. Don’t worry. After it flowers, that stalk will die, and can be removed at the point where its leaf emerges from the ground. Variegated ginger Brenda Beust Smith// For the Chronicle Q: Our backyard is surrounded with variegated ginger too large to protect from the recent … Uses of ginger Edible forms, including Zingiber (common ginger), Alpinia officinarum (galangal), Curcuma domestica (turmeric), Alpinia calcarata (cardamom ginger) and Alpinia zerumbet (shell ginger) are used as spices, herbs and teas.. Ginger can grow indoors or outdoors for culinary purposes. The plant is evergreen in frost-free zones. The number of ginger plant species available for avid collectors is staggering. If it’s getting morning sun it should be okay, but if the couple of hours you mentioned are afternoon sun, you should relocate it until it recovers. It could also be used to dilute strong coffee or tea before using them on plants. I hope this helps, and best of luck with your plants. Cut off new shoots and leaves to maintain the desired size and shape of the plant. Ginger plant stems only produce one blossom before dying, so pruning these off makes the plant more attractive. Because you asked the question on this page, I think it’s a safe bet your plants are variegated ginger. Looking forward for your reply, Jack. For that reason, I suggest digging up some of them and planting them elsewhere in your garden. I also planted a grouping of the red-leafed banana's behind the variegated shell ginger which gave my south Mississippi front yard a truly exotic look! They also look good mixed in with more traditional foundation plantings. For information on growing and caring for your ginger plants, check out my article entitled. They are clumped together in huge bunches. Will cutting back help or do I need to transplant a few of these for spacing ? Jennifer P. told me of her variegated ginger, and how tall it has grown. Don’t panic! Hi Tomi, thanks for visiting my site. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. Mature stalks are those that have bloomed the previous summer with clusters of drooping pinkish-white flowers and that are a dark maroon. In this case, the entire cane should be removed at the ground. Your email address will not be published. Alpinia zerumbet is a tender herbaceous perennial in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) grown throughout the world for its attractive flowers and foliage.This plant native to open woodlands of tropical eastern Asia is frequently used as an annual foliage plant in colder climates, with a variegated cultivar native to India the most common type available in the Midwest. Maybe someone else has more info on that. Variegated ginger, also called shell ginger, grows from rhizomatous roots that can be also be planted in pots and overwintered indoors or lifted and stored where temperatures drop below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If the roots are still viable, it should soon begin sending up new growth. Keeping Poinsettia Alive After the Holidays, My Favorite Cake Icing to Make — Cream Cheese Icing, How to Shape a Crepe Myrtle Tree Grown Too Large, Lily of the Nile, a.k.a., Aggies, African Blue Lily, Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries & Kiwi. I started my spring pruning in early February. Variegated Shell Ginger features showy clusters of fragrant pink flowers with white overtones at the ends of the stems from late winter to late fall. If you are under severe water restrictions, save any unused coffee, tea, or water, and use it to water your plants. This should take place in the fall, rather than the spring. In frost-free zones mature variegated ginger stalks should be trimmed back to the ground in late winter to early spring. Some prefer to downplay the … Variegated Shell Ginger Latin: Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata' Variegated shell ginger is a bold plant with bright, colorful foliage that makes a statement in the garden. Drop by anytime. You might as well cut them down now because if the middle leaf of a stalk is dead, the stalk is not going to bloom. amzn_assoc_linkid = "54c19a3f202796d8576fe776fdf229a4"; Great blog ! It's about to enter it's 3rd growing season and looks awful because of my poor trimming techniques. ... Variegated ginger is moderately drought tolerant once established, and easy care as long as you've planned well for the plant's eventual size. Discolored around the edges with or without spotty damage, this is likely frost damage or damage caused by a light freeze. Now you can plant them in a pot like this one. How and Where to Cut: Be sure to cut on a fairly steep angle, because, if the cane stands straight up, and the cut gives it a flat top, this will allow water to sit on top of the cane, and gradually seep into the stem. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; You can cut the tallest canes back to the ground, if you want, or you can cut them just above a leaf, at the desired height. Feel free to … If there is no bulb at all, it might not root but you could try a little rooting hormone on the stem and trim most all the leaves off and plant it that way. Variegated ginger is susceptible to spider mites. Both ornamental and edible ginger plants add attractive foliage to the garden. Do wait a few days after a freeze before pruning, however, to see the full extent of the damage. Your email address will not be published. Frost-bitten leaves become brown at the edges; if the plant is not severely damaged, it can generate new leaves when the damaged ones are removed. You just cut the rhizome in half with a knife and you've got 2 plants already. I apologize for not being on top of things (long story) and taking so long to reply. Remember that new canes don’t bloom until their second year. Whether potted or planted in the ground, the plant needs annual pruning in early spring to flourish. Off at this point some seriously cold temps times a year they still haven t given us flowers. Or loppers climates where variegated ginger ( Dichorisandra thyrsiflora ) is an avid gardener and volunteers at her local garden... “ variegated Ginger/Shell ginger ” given us the flowers that you top your trees more than necessary long ). 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